This Guest Post by Jennifer Raburn, one of our newest Worship Team members, gives us some great tips for flourishing when you don’t like where you’re planted.

Flourishing When You Don’t Like Where You’re Planted

by Jennifer Raburn

The soil beneath my gloved hands felt loose, tender, and cool. It felt good to turn over the dirt in that clay pot. I churned and aerated its contents. The smell was earthy, its color black. It held moisture and promise. I dug in, filled my palms, lifted them up, and let the dark particles fall back into their container.

And instantly I remembered how much I look forward to this yearly ritual of sowing in soil. There is nothing quite like the comfort and thrill of gardening.

This spring season, my gardening efforts were minimal. They consisted of two small pots near our back door which I filled with flowers of varying and beautiful colors – not expensive but lovely still. Nothing like the raised bed gardens filled with herbs and vegetables I’ve had in the past. Or the rose bushes I’ve tenderly nurtured. Or the porches I’ve adorned with ferns and foliage. Where we live now has no yard or porches. We have a stoop out back that holds my only hope for gardening of any sort during this season.

Stop Comparing Seasons Past to the Present

This place where I am is not what I wished for. Not where I want to be. But I am where I am. Better said, I am where God has me. This is not a place I would’ve chosen for myself. I don’t want to be here, much less be here for long. But I am here. And I don’t know for how long. I am waiting on God, trusting in His timing, listening for his voice, and seeking His wisdom and guidance. And while I am here, I want to find the joy God has for me – even in this season of being where I don’t want to be.

Flourish Where You’re Planted

God gives us joy for our journey, no matter where that journey takes us, no matter how many seasons of transition we weather. Jesus gives abundant life and because of Him, I am never alone. I may not be where I long to be in life, but I can still celebrate, even flourish, in the place I am.

Count the joys.

Mark the seasons.

Enjoy life.

Plant the flowers.

Next to my clay pot of promise were three beautiful plantlings purchased that day from a local nursery – one vibrant in color, one a neutral white with trailing blooms, and one a deep, rich color that would vine and sprawl. I dug dirt wells with my gloved hands and nestled each plantling into the rich soil. My teenage son (talk about watching something grow!) came out to help me water – giving each plant an ample drink. I tidied up a bit and took a step back to admire.

To celebrate the beauty, color, life, and seasons.

And I smiled.

I’m not where I want to be but He is here with me.

And there is life and beauty even here.

Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land, and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:3-4