Welcome to the Joy in the Mess series! For the next few weeks, I am so excited to feature several other outstanding bloggers as we come together on Thursdays this summer to share our stories of finding Christ amid the messes and hard times of our lives. I’m so excited to have Kayla on the blog today!
It dawned on me a few days ago that I am going to have a flowering tree this spring. Two of them in fact, but I have one right out my dining room window. A pear tree.
You might not think that this is very significant, and maybe it isn’t really but it just really struck me the other day.
We have lived in four homes now. Each of them has felt like an improvement on the other. With each move that we have made, a little bit more of my burden has been lifted. A link in my chains has been broken every time we have packed up and changed locations. So, finally feeling some permanence – well, I have been allowing myself to soak it in a little bit. Although I have still tried to keep my heart from settling in this place, it sure has done a work in me to be here.
This place has offered us so many freedoms. We can personally contact our landlords if we need to, they kinda like us. There is a huge garden in the back yard, oh yea, there’s a yard that’s all fenced in and trees. A pear tree and an apple tree. I sat and looked at the pear tree and realized that it was going to bloom this spring and drew a parallel with the way that my life has been.
I grew up in a really solid, Biblical-sound family. We were active in the church, always attended Sunday school, youth group and whatever events that were going on…I was growing and making fruit. My faith was blossoming and I was doing all the right, Christian things. But, as with most of us, darkness can settle in all too easily. There were a few circumstances that made my blossoms die off and my fruit quit growing. I was struggling to find my hope and joy, trying to connect with my faith like I had once before.
Everything felt dormant.
I was alone, far from home, unable to connect with Jesus the way that I wanted to, it seemed, no matter what I tried.
I was stagnant.
We moved for the first time – we actually lost our first home to foreclosure – and I had a HUGE weight lifted off of me. That’s when I began to find that little bud in my heart that never went away, it just became a little more accessible. I was beginning my path to freedom. I still felt like I was stuck where I was. I could feel movement in my heart but I still felt like I was in a type of dormant state but my leaves were beginning to open up. I connected with a new love from Jesus by writing a devotional journal – a little more life was brought forth in me.
We moved a second time and even though this move was more difficult than the first, we knew without a doubt that we were being moved with a purpose. I found a little more freedom in this third place. I was able to look fear in the face and speak truth and light into one of the darkest parts of my heart. I also learned that I had completely lost my identity years before when my stagnancy began. The blossoms were really beginning to burst as TRUTH was watering my soul.
We had to move again. We ended up getting the place that we are in right now. It is more than we ever expected or hoped for in our situation. And it has a pear tree. After moving here, my faith was just growing exponentially and the freedoms were just washing over me. Since being here, I can look back and very specifically pinpoint God’s fingerprint on our marriage, my life and more importantly, my faith.
As I sat looking at the pear tree, I realized that he allowed me to be stagnant for a winter in order to make my blossoms and fruit even richer than if I had been blossoming all of my years through. My “trunk” now reflects the works of his love, the richness of his love for me. The provision, the intimate details, the guidance, the security that he has given me to reflect.
I hope you have gained this: not one of our dark times is in vain. If you feel so far away from Jesus, no matter how hard you try to come to him, remember that He is working in you. If you are fighting to be close to him even when you don’t feel him, those are the times that he is working the strongest through. Those are the time s that are truly going to show your faithfulness and his fingerprints.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
Take heart friend, this world is not our home. <3
Kayla has been married to her husband, Andrew for almost 7 years, they have 3 boys – 5, 3 & 1. They have moved 4 times over the course of their marriage which is where the title of Kayla’s blog, the Accidental Nomad Life sprung from. Kayla blogs frequently as her stay at home job; she loves photography, graphic design, and anything crafty and DIY. Kayla has a heart for sharing her story and encouraging people – making the social media life less perfect.