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Stand in the Gap for WidowsWidows

From Seedling to Flourishing

By April 18, 2024No Comments

From Seedling to Flourishing.

We all are familiar with what bloom, blooming or blossom mean when describing your life. It evokes a picture of life, growth and new beginnings. But what about the word “flourish”? What does that mean to you?

Technically, flourish is a synonym for bloom or blossom. The Hebrew word also means to to bloom or blossom; to spread or grow; to fly (as extending the wings); to break forth; to break out; to spring up. What a beautiful definition. 

For me, words like bloom, blossom, and flourish cause me to search the landscape for those pops of color in the spring and honestly it seems like everyone is using the word to describe something that is new and growing. It is almost like using the word flourish means that new life and new experiences are all attached to an awakening from dormancy.

After losing my husband the grief brain fog was real. It felt cloudy and dark for a long time even when my face or my laugh didn’t seem to show it. This time period felt like winter. There were no colors, no new life, no growth. It was cold, dark and dead. Yet, just like nature, one day the clouds began to part and the sunshine appeared. This was followed by new life, new colors and growth. What was the difference? I am not sure, however, I can tell you that there were many days filled with tears, uncertainty, and questioning. That being said, sowing those tears, uncertainty and questions has led to joy, happiness, courage and the ability to honor a life well lived while still living mine. I love the promises of restoration and joy from Psalm 126:1-6:

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Our mouths were filled with laughter then, and our tongues with shouts of joy. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord had done great things for us; we were joyful. Restore our fortunes, Lord, like watercourses in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy. Though one goes along weeping, carrying the bag of seed, he will surely come back with shouts of joy, carrying his sheaves. doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” 

Psalm 126 is such a beautiful and short chapter filled with a wide spectrum of emotions! We always hear the “sow in tears, reap in shouts of joy” verse quoted, yet how often do we truly get to experience this? Do we really allow ourselves to receive the exchange of joy for tears? If not, why? 

Oftentimes our culture tries to rush through hard things and honestly we quickly try to replace it with something not so emotional, or rather we try to fill every open space so as not to have any down time to feel the emotions that accompany grief. So naturally it makes sense to want to skip the hard and uncomfortable parts of grief as well. But we cannot and should not skip this part. We have to sow the seeds of tears. It is not something that is shameful. It does not mean that you are choosing to forget and walk away. You are giving this pain, this grief to your Heavenly Father and He will tend to it and care for you. He is the ultimate healer, the most responsible gardener and He always has good things in store for those who are in relationship with Him!

If you know even a little bit about gardening (I am not a professional), you will know that it takes time to grow something from a seed. Time. Patience. Trust. All of these play a key role in reaping a harvest, whether it be in life or gardening. 

When planting a seed you have to bury it in the dirt; cover it completely, water it and then wait. To see the harvest or experience “flourishing” you have to plant the seed then trust that the work is being done in the darkness of the soil. We cannot see through the soil, but we know that with care and time there will be growth. Remember,  the Hebrew for Flourish means to bloom or blossom; to spread or grow; to fly (as extending the wings); to break forth; to break out; to spring up. So, as care and time take place you should always be on the lookout for growth, blooming, blossoming and new life! 

What if instead of skipping over the hard parts of our grief and our life we bury them (give them up to our Heavenly Father), cover them with dirt (prayer) and then trust that our Heavenly Father is good and faithful and will answer those prayers and questions. Because one day, those things you planted in faith and covered with prayer will grow, break forth, break out and spring up! How beautiful will that day be when you see yourself flourishing! 

Samantha Stewart

Stand in the Gap for Widows, Program Manager

Samantha Stewart values her unique sense of humor and vulnerability in her role. She finds value in helping widows and other women connect with others in their communities through laughter and deep love for God. Her desire is to remind everyone that they have a purpose and that they can create a ripple effect of encouragement and support throughout our communities.