“Bloom where you are planted.”
By Brenda Puckett
Supposedly the Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) is credited with this quote. I wonder if he saw a scraggly flower blooming in the middle of a dry, rocky path, a most unlikely place to see a flower in bloom, bringing these words to his mind? We usually associate blooms with flowering plants. As used here, these words apply to people. “Bloom where YOU are planted.”
Perhaps you are someone who has strong roots in one location, someone who was born and grew up in the same town all your life. You were planted there as a baby, and there is where you grew and developed and blossomed into maturity. Only as a young adult did you move away from your familiar surroundings to attend university, or start a new job.
On the other hand, your story may be more like mine, someone who has been uprooted often since birth, and given numerous opportunities to bloom after being planted in various new locations, over and over again. You see, I was raised in a military family, and the label “Army Brat” was an affectionate one. I was born in Maryland, and subsequently lived my preschool years overseas in Germany. We then moved to Connecticut where I started first grade, and where my father served over a year in Vietnam. After his return, we moved numerous times; the longest time period I lived anywhere growing up, was 3 3/4 years, in beautiful Hawaii. (What a lovely and colorful array of tropical flowers in constant bloom there!) I attended 10 different schools in 5 states before high school graduation.
Then, in my adult/married life, we have lived twice overseas, in Britain and Asia, as well as in Michigan and Kentucky, due to my husband’s job. Seven years is the longest stretch we have lived in one location during our 33 years of marriage.
I am grateful for the terrific opportunities that have accompanied my transient life: exposure to different cultures, people, scenery, foods, gaining friends from all over this world….but I must admit, it has not been easy to “bloom where planted”, at least not in the first year after a move. Some might call me a “late bloomer”. I prefer to think that in God’s economy, I am right on time….at least for His timing. Job 23:10 says, “He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” God sees our human frailties and is full of compassion for us.
I believe God knows what He is doing with each one of us, and He knows what type of soil each of His dear “flowers” need to grow and thrive. He knows where we need to be planted, whether in the shady climates or in full-on sunshine, to bring out the best colors and strength in His “plants”. He knows what type of food we need for our nourishment. Picture the bright young Spring daisies standing tall and stretching up toward the sunshine in the sky, as you read, “The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalm 145:15-16.
Some of the things I have experienced in my life—the chaos of frequent moves, childhood sexual abuse, the loss of close relatives and friends through death—I might not have considered very good soil for growing and thriving. BUT GOD….”He knows the way I take.” He knows what I don’t know. He knows how the rocky soil can help produce inner strength and perseverance in the maturing plant of my life. He doesn’t miss anything, and He also provides the nourishing water of His love and comfort during the challenges. He provides fellow “flowers” in the fields where He plants us, to share the journey.
He led me to the Eve Center in early 2013, and I will be forever grateful to Him for placing me in this beautiful, abundant flowering Garden. God truly does satisfy my desires! If you desire to grow and blossom, and especially if you need some help in that growing process, reach out to us at the Eve Center. You will discover there is room for you to bloom in our Garden!
(copyright Brenda Puckett 2016)