Sunday, May 16, 2010

Planting Seeds

We recently sold our family home that we had lived in for over 10 years. Although we were very grateful to sell it, there was a sense of loss because it was such a wonderful, nurturing place for our family for the last decade. The couple we bought the home from had lovingly built and lived in the home themselves for about 20 years before. Every spring in our backyard, the entire border was filled with beautiful, mature, rhododendrons of several colors. Over the years the branches had intertwined together so that the bushes appeared to have multi-colored blooms all over them. A few months later, the blueberry bushes would yield so many berries that I grew tired of picking buckets full every other day. Around the corner we had healthy raspberry bushes too. One cool summer evening I remember sitting and enjoying the loveliness all around me when I realized that most of the beauty and fruit around me was due to someone else's efforts. The former owners had carefully landscaped and cared for these mature plants that I loved and admired so much. I'm sure they planted them for their own enjoyment, but I received the benefit of that!

I've thought about that realization quite a bit in the last few months. My husband and I are nearing the end of our current work assignment. We are searching and waiting to find out what's next for our family. Transitions like this invite self examination. What seeds have I planted or helped nurture that the people coming behind us will enjoy? I can feel the selfish tug of wanting to put my name on things I leave behind so people will know how I contributed! But deeper still I can feel God pulling on me to release everything to Him. Just as a seed has to die and become broken inside of the ground to bear fruit, this process is inviting me to a deep surrender. Perhaps some of the best things I have planted are mainly for other people to enjoy who I may never meet. They may never know who I am.

At first I could physically feel the YANK inside my heart as I entertained this thought. Now I feel a flutter of excitement because I realize that I am releasing my seed into the wind of God's spirit. He can take it wherever He wants and do so much more with it than I ever can or could! This process isn't perfect in me. I still struggle to stay in that place of yieldedness. But as I land there I realize that God has been breaking me to make me willing to let Him blow on me and my family and send us wherever He wishes. While that would have been unthinkable only a short while ago, now we are excited and expectant for what lies ahead. Wherever it is, and for how long or short it may be, I'm sure there's going to be good fruit!