The Gardener I Want to Be

All my life I’ve wanted to be a gardener … a master gardener. I’ve longed for a green thumb. Mine has a decidedly blackish tint—my thumb is the touch of death to plants.

I have friends with gardens that flourish. I can plant the same things in pretty much the same conditions and mine will look like … well, let’s just say it won’t look good. I have friends who don’t believe me, “Surely it can’t be that bad!” Oh but it can! My yard is full of clover, other unidentified weeds, and dried mud, and my vegetable garden is growing the most beautiful green grass you could ever imagine. What is up with that!?

Apparently my black thumb only applies to things I’m actually trying to grow. Apparently the things I’d prefer not to grow—those I have a greener than green thumb for!

I’ve noticed that often God uses these goofy things in my life to reveal something about my walk with Him. There is no denying that, when I pay attention, I can see that everything in my life points me to Christ. So I will share my biggest issue right now, which I’m a bit embarrassed about. I’m struggling to trust that God is going to show me what to do regarding my children’s education. I have had the exact same struggle but with different children each year since my husband left.

There are options—some more doable than others—and each day I feel differently about each option. I honestly don’t know what is best, and there are deadlines, money issues, preparation issues, and so many things to consider. I’m baffled.

Let me share why this is so silly. I’ve seen God answer things before when I didn’t expect it. When my oldest was planning for college, he felt that he had committed to the wrong college, but it was a little bit later than was convenient. We prayed, God answered! He showed us very clearly that what my son was feeling was absolutely from Him, and He firmly shut the door to one place and flung the door wide open for another and even provided a scholarship! God shows me over and over again that He is good, faithful, and loves to be kind to me. So, why am I struggling with trusting that He is going to show me what to do? Again, I’m baffled.

And this gardening thing… what does that have to do with this you ask! I think, maybe, I need to recognize that there isn’t a perfect place to grow my children. Maybe God is going to grow them wherever they are—whether it’s in the spot I consider “perfect” or a place I consider not the best at all. You know, I know that. I know that God is going to take care of my children and yet I’m stressing over it. Unfortunately that is my S.S.O.P. (Sue’s Standard Operating Procedure).

So how am I going to change this operating procedure in my life? Again, God brings me back to prayer. I can pray like the father in Mark 9:24: “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!” And I can pray for wisdom because He says He will give it (James 1:5). And I can rest in the knowledge that He loves me and my children and He will indeed work everything for good (Romans 8:28).

And I can remember that this place where I live is definitely not the garden I had planned, and yet, I’m flourishing. I’m growing stronger and even producing some lovely fruit and some rather pretty grass even if it is in the vegetable garden.

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