By Muriel Gregory

Bloom Where You are Planted

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 ESV

Bloom where you are planted. I remember the first time I ever saw that saying. We had moved to North Carolina. I was a new bride. Learning to be a wife. Making all the mistakes but trying very hard. This older lady – funny that I should say older since she was as old as I am today – so this “older than me” lady took me under her wing and spent time with me.

I remember the first time I went to her house. She asked me if I wanted tea and I said yes. Being French, I had never had nor heard of iced tea before. I expected the black, hot unsweetened kind and was served a sweet iced version. I drank it anyway. I was raised to be polite. (Just so you know, I still like the black, unsweetened hot version. Just in case we sit down for tea one day.)

I remember looking around her very nicely decorated kitchen. On the window sill by the sink was this plaque that said “bloom where you are planted.” And I recall smiling. It had a drawing of three pots with yellow flowers blooming. It was cute, and I liked the sentiment. Growing up as a Navy brat, I was never planted anywhere. Having married a soldier, the odds of being planted anytime soon seemed unlikely. Maybe that’s why the saying spoke so much to me.

I pondered that idea of blooming wherever I was for a very long time. I resolved early on in our military life to make the best of every duty station, every move, every moment. However, even though I had every intention to thrive, some moves were excruciating, some duty stations unpleasant, and plenty of moments were gut-wrenching.

We never know what the future holds. I learned that over time. I also discovered through tears and heartaches that there is One who holds my future.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 ESV

The Greek word for abide in this verse is meno. It means to abide, to endure. Endurance is the ability to withstand hardship or adversity. It is the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful activity, like a marathon. I do not know about you, but at times military life feels like running a marathon uphill, both ways.

John 15:5 reminds me that apart from him I can do nothing. The only way for me to bloom where I am planted, the only chance I have to flourish is by abiding in him.

How to Flourish by Abiding:

What does it look like to abide in Christ?

  • It means holding on to his teaching. 1 John 2:24
  • It also means obeying his teachings. John 15:10
  • It requires that I live like Jesus. 1 John 2:6
  • It encourages me to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Super weird if you are not a Christian, but otherwise known as communion. John 6:56

How do I abide in Christ?

  • With the help of the Holy Spirit. John 14:17
  • By faith. Ephesians 3:17-19

What happens when I abide in Christ?

  • I am fruitful. John 15:4-5
  • My prayers are answered. John 15:7, 16
  • I have victory over sin. 1 John 3:6-9
  • I am confident of where I will spend eternity. 1 John 2:28

Abiding in Christ is a choice that I need to make every day. Every day I choose to read my Bible. Every day I strive to obey his teachings. Every day I commit to living like Jesus. Daily I want to bloom where I am planted.

How about you? Have you discovered practical ways to abide in Christ? What specific steps will you take this month, this week, today to bloom where you are planted?


Father, thank you for having sent your son to show us the way. Thank you for the Holy Spirit that abides in me. Thank you for the daily guidance toward a life that is flourishing. Amen.

Bloom Where You Are Planted


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