BLOOMING IN THE DESERT
I have travelled to many places all over the globe, and in each of those places I have found beauty. I see beauty mainly in nature in the amazing variety of indigenous flora. I have seen beautiful lace plants in Finland at dawn when the early morning sun turned every drop of dew into a diamond. I have seen acres of lupines alongside the roads. During my stay in England, I never ceased to wonder at the amazing variety of bulbs that appeared in spring. I went to the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands to see the fields of tulips (my favorite flower, my late husband always gave me the first tulip of the season!) Australia has its variety of flowers that in many ways are similar to those I grew up with in Rhodesia, the beautiful purple jacaranda trees lining the avenues throwing down their purple carpet. Flamboyant and tulip trees with their red carpets of fallen petals beneath them. In South Africa in the Western Cape, the fynbos has a special kind of flora indigenous to that region, and Namaqualand daisies that only flower once a year after rain has fallen in the desert.
What is the difference between thriving and surviving? Indigenous plants flourish and thrive because they are in their home environment and have adapted to the conditions, so they grow strong and healthy. Desert plants do not thrive in wet conditions and visa-versa. After I had been divorced, I felt uprooted, I left my country of birth, I was transplanted into a new environment when I moved to Johannesburg and Cape Town. In these right conditions I started to thrive, I found new friends who uplifted me, a church that supported me in my journey into wholeness and work that I loved. Because I thrived and grew in my new environment it helped my children to as well. There were difficult times as well, but we lived through the storms, because we were in the right environment. After my husband died, I transferred to the UK to start my life again. This time around was a lot harder as the environment was more difficult to adapt to. The weather for a start! Eventually I established myself in my new environment, but I am not sure whether I was merely surviving, I would not classify my existence as joyfully thriving though! After a time of rest and renewal since retiring and moving to the USA I found I was thriving again. I had found my right environment, a church that practices a creative ministry where I can use my gifts, family around me and friends young and old whose company I enjoy.
Sometimes we may just be in an environment that is not conducive to thriving after we have been divorced or lost a loved one. Our inspiration and will to live is battered by these storms. Do you wait out the storm and bloom in the desert like the Namaqualand daisies? or do you transplant to a better environment where you can thrive? Those are questions you will need to answer for yourself. The prophet Isaiah has some words to encourage us “Even the wilderness and desert will rejoice in those days; the desert will blossom with flowers”. And again “Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the Lebanon mountains, as lovely as Mount Carmel’s pastures and Sharon’s meadows; for the Lord will display his glory there, the excellency of our God.” Ask God where He wants you to bloom, be it the desert, mountains or meadows. Wherever it is He will display His glory through you.
Copyright Deryn van der Tang 2019