One of my best friends got married in 2013. Her wedding favors were small burlap pouches of California wildflower seeds. I found them when I was moving and stuck them in the back of my kitchen drawer. Two years later I remembered them at a time when I felt I needed to plant something, to start something fresh, something new. I dug up the old weeds that had been growing there, tilled the soil with my hands (for lack of gardening tools, but let me tell you – it’s very therapeutic!), and scattered the tiny seeds, gently patting down the soil over them with care.
I didn’t know anything about wildflowers – how to plant them, how to care for them, how much water and sunlight they needed to grow – so before I did anything I did some research. I wanted to be as prepared as possible to take the best possible care of them that I could. I learned a lot about wildflowers from just a couple of online articles. Namely:
- if grass and weeds are growing there now, wildflowers will flourish
- you don’t want to bury the seeds too far down, just far enough below the surface that they don’t blow away in the wind
- wildflowers lose their blooms in the winter, but they always grow back in the spring
What I didn’t know when I planted those seeds that morning was that very evening at church on a Tuesday night Clay would tell me that he was pursuing me. We had been talking a lot, and he had even come to dinner and met my younger brother one night. But he wanted to be open and honest about his intentions so that as he took things slow (and he did!) I wouldn’t be left wondering what those intentions were.
This morning I walked outside and our “love flowers” as we joke were in full bloom. It made me smile. I thought about how I got to watch as both those seeds in that soil as well as those of our new relationship began to bloom over the following months. And then I got to thinking of all great metaphors these tiny flowers hold:
- The grass and weeds: In many ways I felt as if grass and weeds were growing in my life. I’d experienced disappointments in both my career and personal life. But it wasn’t long until the Lord brought new perspective and the cherry on top that was this new relationship with Clay.
- The depth of planting the seeds: Clay was so wise and patient in “burying the seeds” of our relationship just deep enough below the surface to allow us to grow together at a wise, slow and steady rate. I was often tempted to rush things along because I just knew that I wanted to be with Him. But no matter how certain we are, it is never wise to bury the seeds of a new relationship too deep – to jump into things too fast – or it will not have the ability to grow in the way it was so beautifully and perfectly designed.
- The seasons of growth: Those first seeds bloomed in the spring. The newness of our relationship was filled with such beauty and wonder. A tiny miracle in my mind. (For where would one ever find such a godly and handsome man living in LA?!) Then the blooms of those flowers faded away in the winter. Clay and I had to work through issues in our relationship, as any couple does. And we endured some trials (emergency surgery mere days after getting engaged among others). But here we are one year later, back in March when I had first planted those seeds, and these flowers are back and fuller than ever. And in just one month Clay and I will be married.
I could go on about all the metaphors of these wildflowers, believe me. But I’ll wrap up with this: the blooms of these flowers return because they were well cared-for in the planting process, allowing their roots to take firm hold in solid ground and fertile soil.
Similarly, the roots of Clay’s and my relationship have been and will continue to be firmly planted in the foundation of Christ. I am fully confident we can withstand any “wind” or “winter” that comes our way, and not only that but that our blooms will faithfully return. And even further, I am confident the Lord will only bring more beauty after the longest and coldest of winters. Because He is just that good, loving, and capable.
“From the broken earth, flowers come pushing through the dirt; You are Holy.” – David Crowder Band
Right now Clay and I are doing premarital counseling. I view it as an opportunity for me to be as prepared as I can be to take the best care of our marriage. Just as I did my research on wildflowers, something I knew very little about, I am learning – and will continue to learn – what I can do in order to bring the most beauty from our marriage.
“Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone.” – Zechariah 10:1