Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Come To the Garden

"Lots a things that looks dead are just biding their time." (Dickon, "The Secret Garden".)

Recently I attended a live, musical production of "The Secret Garden". There's something about that story that captivates my heart. Finding a key that opens the door to a place where dormant desires come alive. For me, "She Speaks" was the key that opened my heart to gifts and passions the Lord had planted in the garden of my soul.

I first attended "She Speaks" in 2005. I wandered in quite lost, but over the course of the weekend found myself, and my dreams. I had "flowers" that were "wick” deep in the soil of the gifts the Lord had planted in me. They had sat idle and isolated, but were alive and now given the opportunity to grow. God sees even the tiniest of flowers and He began watering the seed with the excellence of mentors who had long sat and prepared with the Master Gardener.

Caring for a garden takes effort and work. Throughout the conference the bark and thistles of doubt, fear, discouragement and inadequacy were cut back and pruned. Dead parts were cleared away giving room for tender buds of courage and confidence to bloom. The earth was loosened to let Sonshine warm the roots and feel the cool and gentle rain on the dream seeds God hand planted.

It takes courage to sprout out of the ground. It's safer below, but God's Word tells us not to hide our talents. Maybe all we can see right now is a single streak of green growth beneath the earth’s surface, "but when a thing is wick it has a will to grow, and grow." Deep down longings have been hiding through the darkest night, just waiting for such a time as this, the right time to be seen. Hosea 3:23 reminds me that God says, “I will plant her for myself in the land…” I am a planting of the Lord.

Each time I have come to the conference, the Lord has planted another seed. This year my desire to attend is two-fold. Yes, I still hold on to a silly notion of one day being a published author. But, quite honestly, this year, spiritually speaking, the garden of my heart has experienced some difficult tilling and is in need of some fertilizing.

I understand that ground needs to be cultivated and ploughed for growth to occur, but that doesn’t mean we have to enjoy the process. I stare at the date required for the submission of these scholarship entries, realizing that day, March 11, 2011, for the first time, I am scheduled to meet with an oncologist at the hospital to discuss further findings and possible treatment. An adversary has trespassed on garden ground that is not his, trying desperately to snatch the seed within me. My life feels more like a forsaken, forgotten garden. Registering for the conference this year, when the winds of uncertainty are blowing over this fallow field, is a huge step of faith. I hear the huffing and puffing of the enemy who longs to steal, kill and destroy. Oh how I pray the forecast ahead will be kind.

I lean into the swirling flow of nature’s energy and listen. I have a loving, powerful God who can produce vineyards and fruit in places of wilderness. There is growth to be born and birthed in this current climate. He will come to me like the spring rain, bringing a downpour of peace and joy. Fear wants to leave the soil barren, but faith issues an invitation to come to the garden, whispering that God is creating a new variety of flower, one whose season it is to bloom in the middle of a miracle.

("Wick" is a term used frequently in 'The Secret Garden'. It is used to describe something that still has the hope of life inside.)

This post was written as a submission for the She Speaks Scholarship opportunity.

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Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Praying for you as you walk this road!!


patricia e said...

Joy, I found you here! I love the way you share your heart on here. I'm praying for you as you struggle with this. Reading this makes me think of a good friend who is going through a similar thing right now and would be soo encouraged by your words. Wondering if I could send her this? Thinking that we definitely have to have that meeting. I'm going away for a week, but will check in when I get back...Praying for you.

Patricia, Burlington, ON

Nichole said...

Because you are so rooted in Him, everything that comes out of you is beautiful my friend. Praying and knowing He has GREAT things for you! I love you Joy!

Sheryl said...

I am so praying for you my sister. I pray that through this you will find a more intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe and that He will be glorified the most.


Chef Diane said...

Joy what courage it took to type this blog. What faith it took to push the send button! I am so proud of you dear friend. Proud that you are leaning hard into God for the strength.. and swaying towards others to help when the winds are too strong.
Your garden will once again bloom with the beautiful flowers that it once knew. As with any garden there are seasons of growth. We don't know how long these seasons last, but know that I like many others are here for the long haul. We will stand through the harshest of storms. We will also shout from the highest mountains for the smallest victories.
Just remember you dear, sister are not alone.........
Much luv,

Kathy S. said...

I love love your garden analogy! Are you a gardener? I never asked! I know you love mine! (Thank you! ;))

I didn't enter the scholarship contest...but I am still praying about going! And fighting with you in prayer! Victory in Jesus.......Yeah!

Becky W. said...

Joy, I followed you here from a comment you left on Melissa Taylor's blog. All I can say is "Wow"! What a courageous Jesus girl you are to post so openly about your fears! You are a wonderful writer and I hope you win the scholarship for She Speaks. I will pray for you as you travel this new road.
God Bless, Becky

Cheri Bunch said...

So beautiful, Joy! You are soooo gifted! You minister through every message you write . . . even when you just chat on facebook! You are such a blessing!
I am looking forward to seeing you at She Speaks!!! Can hardly wait!

Love you,