Beauty Will Rise

I'm at camp this week with my class. As we arrived yesterday, and I was walking to my cabin, this flower was the first thing I saw, and it literally stopped me in my tracks. I didn't know why. I thought about taking a picture of it, but I didn't. I took a mental note of it, but I just kept walking.  

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As we went through the day, everywhere I looked, my eye was drawn to pretty flowers, growing out of the dirt, out of the ugly, rocky soil, with no other flowers around. There was just the ugly ground and the beautiful flower emerging from it. I had spent the morning grading wildflower projects. I heard our camp guide and my co-teacher talk about pressing flowers. I listened as the kids identified flowers they recognized from their research. I was definitely seeing a pattern, and hearing God whisper, but what He was saying I wasn't so sure.  

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This morning, at 6:00, when the alarm went off, my eyes popped open and I knew. I was the wildflower. What was that supposed to mean? God had some words for me if I would be still and hear them. When I was finally still, this is what He revealed to me. 

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There is a difference between surviving and being a survivor. You are a survivor. You're a fighter.   You have deep roots like a wildflower. To survive out of your element...where others haven't endured...you have to be different. You are stronger than you think. You have endured when others would have been (and have been) blown away. You're still here. You're still here and still standing. The rain pounded hard against you and the wind blew with all its might. You stayed beneath the ground for a long time because you just weren't yet ready to emerge. You didn't know what was happening to you in the darkness. You felt the pain and you thought it was weakness, but you were wrong.

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In your weakness, you were being made strong. You were growing. Growth hurts but it is necessary. You can't see it happening, but you can feel it. It's such a small amount at a time that it feels like nothing at all, but when you look back to where you were a week ago, a month ago, six months ago, you'll be amazed at how far you've come.

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Then, one day, something happens. You see sunlight. It's not so dark anymore. You're not quite ready to face the world and all of its cruelty completely yet, but you're getting there. You're taking those small steps forward. Every day, minute by minute, you're getting stronger. Despite the pain, despite how slow you feel it's going, you're growing, getting stronger and you are becoming something beautiful that you can't yet imagine.

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Finally, one day you will stand with your head held high, growing taller still, your face shining in the light of the Son and His beauty will make people stop and stare. They will marvel at how magnificent God is and how He redeemed you. He took you...broken...wounded...a remnant of who you had been and restored you. You fought your way back when others wouldn't even try. When others were overcome by the darkness or blown away by the wind and storms due to weak roots, you stood strong. You persevered. You trusted in your maker. You didn't quit and look at you now.

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