One spring I bought a succulent from a nursery. I took it home, stuck it in my window, and by the time winter rolled around I had neglected it and forgotten about it. I was packing up my things to move to Michigan when I noticed my plant in the window. Part of me was mad about forgetting about it assuming it would be dead. Instead I saw it had grown upward three inches, lost a bunch of leaves, and…had a baby?
That’s right, it had a baby. I was dumbfounded. How did this happen?
So, I did my research (thanks google). Succulent plants reproduce very different than other plants (if you don’t already know this). The correct term for this reproductive process is “propagate.” They often lose their bottom leaves naturally. You can also pull them off or accidentally bump them off pretty easily. The fallen leaf’s end calluses over time, roots begin to sprout from the callused end, those roots go into the soil, and it begins making a new plant. I had assumed my succulent would stay in it’s adorable tight rose bud shape, it didn’t. Over the winter my plant struggled for light so it chased the sun by reaching upward closer to it. This makes its stem super long. Some people call this growth process stretching. The mind blowing thing is if you cut the stem a few inches below the top you can place the pretty top end back in the soil. The plant will be a tight knit bloom and grow roots back into the soil again.
Okay, so I know by this point you are all wondering, “Why are we talking about succulents, what is the point of this blog at all?…”
When I decided to create a blog the hardest part was choosing a name. I love what it means to flourish: growing healthily and vigorously. Wow, if only to do that completely without fear. Without fear of judgement, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of missing out… that is my goal. I want to share my journey with you. I want to share the things God reveals to me in hopes to encourage you and bring you hope.
When I told a friend about my name idea for this blog she asked me, “What kind of plant is fearless?” We joked about a venus flytrap being a logo for a minute, but being fearless isn’t so much about being intimidating as is about the fight. My succulent survived months without water reaching towards the sun twice it’s length and made beauty out of the past it left behind on the floor without looking back.
One time during a relationship series I heard a pastor talk about premarital intimacy. He spoke about it feeling like giving a piece of yourself away to each person you are with. He said, “If you are like a bee hopping from flower to flower, you are going to give away these pieces of your heart until there’s nothing left to give to the right one God intended you to be with, cause you were impatient.” There are many different sins or weaknesses that make us feel empty this way. It doesn’t always have to be a person you gave part of your heart to that makes you feel like you aren’t complete and full.
I don’t believe God intended our past regrets to leave us feeling shamed and empty hearted forever after repentance. I believe he created us to be like succulents. When we lose seemingly hopeless pieces of ourselves in the dirt…These lost pieces weren’t meant to be regret stories but to be a offering to God for him to use. Sometimes he uses those pieces as your testimony to propagate the good news. We were made to reach closer towards his Son and to be desperate for more of him in our personal winter seasons. Then God trims the old stems away to make us like new through his grace and mercy. He places us back into fertile soil. A fresh start, a new beginning.
Philippians 3:13-14 says, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
When someone bumps off a couple of your leaves or you accidentally give one away to the wrong thing, count it all joy. It’s an opportunity to move on, stretch forward and strengthen your faith in the one who never leaves. Keep flourishing. Keep pressing forward fearlessly and without ceasing.
Song of the Week: