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Window Box Petunias
by Jennifer Mobbs
3/19/2013 / Testimonies
For the past few days I have been dragging myself around as if I have no life, no purpose, even though I know that's not true. The feelings of despair and loneliness have been overwhelming. I forgot do household chores, got my dates mixed up, all because I allowed myself to be consumed by my problems. These are not new problems; these are the same old issues I have been dealing with most of my adult life; maybe that is why I felt all the worse, because I know better. I started thinking that I am never going to get over these things, the missed opportunities, the reckless mistakes, the children I never had and love ones that have gone on that I miss so much.
My life has not been a story book upbringing or normal childhood, the things I saw, no child should see, the things I was told, no child should hear. My teenage years where even worse; I was attacked when I was fourteen years old by a friend of my older brother, I was arrested once, I attended four different schools from grades seven through twelve. The only way I could pass my classes was by memorizing everything since I never learned to sound out words, they said I had dyslexia so I shouldn't really expect to much. I have spent most of my life working for people who never really treated me right. They always missed me when I was gone, but what good was that to me at the time. I sat on the sidelines it seems so much of my life, watching other people build theirs, getting married, having children, achieving the dreams we all want. By the end of the week I was so mired down in my self-pity, I could barely get out of bed.
Saturday rolled around and my husband and I went to breakfast and then began to run our errands, I still felt I had no resolve I felt so emotional and so emotionless at the same time. I was angry with everyone who had ever hurt me, and that was a long list especially when I had been spending the past week re-living all my failures, my sins. I wanted to go home after a short time, I was to depressed to continue with our errands but my husband wanted to make one last stop; the Home Improvement store-my nightmare, to me trailing behind him while he looks at nails and plumbing supplies is worse than going to the Dentist for a filling. So I dragged my feet following my husband in the store; we ended up outside in the lawn department, he wanted me to choose some flowers for the window boxes in front of our house. In my state of mind, I couldn't find anything I liked, so to get it over with I settled on a few purple petunias.
Once we got home, I started working on the window boxes. We had put them up a few years ago when we first bought our house. The dirt in the boxes was hard as a rock and completely dried out. I hadn't changed the soil in them ever even though I had kept plants in the boxes year around. Finally the plants got so bad this past winter I just removed them, but I left the original soil in the boxes. As I started breaking up the dirt with my steel garden pick, a realization came over me.
I had been used so many times to make someone else look pretty or better. The top layers of the soil in the window boxes were like concrete that I had to crack to get down to the deeper dirt loosening it up. I dug out handfuls of old roots from all the plants I had planted in the window boxes over the years.
I was that soil, hard and dry on the outside like a wall to protect myself, and underneath lay all those roots of pain and disappointments from the past, that I thought I was hiding. The more I dug the more I realized that these roots had to be removed and replace with good soil, new soil. The dry times, the despair I was feeling was part of a process I must go through for God to show me my purpose, His goal for my life. God is the steel breaking me apart, breaking me down so He can show me that the things I have experienced can bring Glory to Him. The trials I have gone through, even what I was experiencing now, are making me into the person I should be, I should have been. Taking out those roots leaves room for new soil and beautiful flowers. Even at my age, it is never to late with God. So if I can stand God's breaking through my walls and healing my hurts, then He can show me how to help other people just like me. If I can show just one other person that they can get through their trials or understand their pain and seek God; that would make the life I have led mean something. All those disappointments and those painful times I can let them go. What I thought was a meaningless life was made meaningful by God.
Breaking up the hard soil wasn't easy, but once I had put the beautiful purple flowers in the window boxes, it all made sense. Without the soil the flowers wouldn't exist, I couldn't appreciate their beauty. My life may not have started out in the right "soil" or grown in the right place or the right way, but that's OK because God still uses what the world deems as foolish to confound the wise.
I have been writing all my life, I just didn't realize it until I was my late 40's. I hope my experiences can help others who have gone through similar trials.
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