I walk by this when I'm walking the dogs in the morning. Yesterday, on our way home from the pool, I finally stopped to take a picture. I took a picture of this same bush when it was fully in bloom with lots of living flowers - blue and pink. And that was really beautiful.
But this one is beautiful too, in kind of a different way - but kind of the same, standard kind of beautiful way, too.
I promise not to get all symbolic on you now that I'm on this writing journey. At least, not all the time anyway.
But you know what? I can relate to that hydrangea. It's surrounded by scorching heat. It's all alone. But, somehow, it's still making it.
I read this in my devotional this morning:
"Your only hope is to look up and see the Light of My Presence shining down on you. Though the Light looks dim from your perspective, deep in the pit, those rays of hope can reach you at any depth."
Oh, do I remember that pit.
Oh, do I remember looking all around me, and feeling so alone, feeling so different, feeling so overwhelmed. Feeling so mad at God. The smallest little thing could make me cry. I couldn't get through a day without crying. Then, it got a little better - I could go a day but not a week without crying.
Some of you were there, then.
Some of you were reading along as I took those first steps out of the pit.
I'm out now! I'm free! His promises are true, even when they do take time to see, and especially to feel.
There are still times when I look around and see how different our life is from those around us. But, the self pity isn't there, so it doesn't sting as much.
And, I can see that all of this is being used for good.
That makes all the difference in the world.
If the smallest things make you cry, go ahead and cry. Cry out. He is there. He can handle your doubt, your anger, your fear. Just keep being real. Because I think if you're real, the light and the water can still get to you.
And who knows - maybe next summer you will be the one shining and growing and alive, even if you are the only one standing.
"He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD."
I highly recommend "Jesus Calling," especially if you're like me and peace is not your autopilot mode.