You can’t make a flower grow. But when you give it what it needs, the growing happens on its own. – Unknown
I would never consider myself a green thumb, but I have a great love for plants. Apparently my two cats second that emotion as they will be go to great links, scale walls, leap onto furniture, just to sink their teeth into a green and luscious leaf. Because of them, I have to stick with office plants only.
I’ve had my plant, a golden pothos vine, for a couple of years. This plant is low maintenance. Its needs water once a week and it is tolerant of any lighting conditions, even though it is fond of low light. It even has a reputation for improving the quality of the air. This plant started off strong and full of potential. It was growing like wildfire and eventually outgrew its pot. When I transferred the plant to something bigger, a place where the roots could stretch out, the growth became stifled. It was like something was choking the life out of it.
I began to wonder if this plant would make it. The leaves, once vibrant green in color, started turning yellow and falling off. I had to trim away the dead vines until there was only one left standing. Determining not to give up, I kept watering my one little vine. I even positioned it right next to the window so it could receive direct sunlight. For whatever reason, the plant held on and over time, a new bud started to appear. Then, another leaf appeared. Before long, a few more leaves sprouted until the plant was in full bloom.
Just looking at the plant, you can see something different. The leaves were once spotted (as appears on the left) and now they are a lush green. The texture of the leaves are smooth as before they were a bit rough. The plant is now standing upright where before it was dragging across the ground and appeared lifeless.
This plant is similar to a particular relationship in my life. There was a season where the relationship was thriving and full of life, and then there were times when it felt like the relationship was dying. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses. There were days I wanted to wrap my hands around that little sucker and shake it violently until the leaves completely fell off. I know this sounds harsh, but it is the truth.
There were days I deliberately chose not to water it. Well, he made me mad yesterday so I’m not going to be nice and I’m sure not going to pray for him. There were days when we felt no sunshine at all, and we experienced some very dark times because of it. We were not kind to each other and sometimes we deliberately hurt each other.
Even though the situation looked dismal, I still loved this person. The roots, the reason we began the relationship in the first place, were solid and still in tact. It seems we just had to wade through some nasty, unwanted weeds. Remembering the love for my “plant”, I made a commitment to water it everyday, no matter how I felt. I watered it with my love, my words and my actions. I nurtured it by picking off the dried up yellow leaves and trimming back the lifeless vines. I let hope grow.
Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants. – Psalm 72:6.
As I sit in my office staring at my plant, I’m still amazed by its unexpected growth. I am also amazed by the unexpected growth in my relationship. This time the relationship feels different. There is something new in the air. The atmosphere feels light where it once felt heavy. There is no animosity hovering over left over wounds. The memory of the hurtful words and the deliberate actions have been erased. It seems all it needed was a little love, a little bit of forgiveness, and time to heal.
Joyce Meyer said, “We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when we face challenges.” I honestly believe we would have never reached this place without the hardships we had to endure. Those hardships made us grow, they made us strong, and they made something new.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)