Thursday, August 6, 2015

Finding God's Presence ~ How Can We Bloom When We're in A Dark Place?

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Guest Blogger, Kelli Hughett   @KelliHughett

I love red geraniums so I bought one for my kitchen island when I purchased some for my outside planters this spring. The geraniums outside are loaded with showy blooms, but the one in my kitchen is leggy and hasn’t bloomed all summer. I realized the geranium in the kitchen isn’t getting enough direct sunlight to bloom. It’s in too dark a place to bloom.

Do you ever feel like you’re in such a dark place that you can’t bloom? Life has valleys where the sun doesn’t seem to shine. There are mornings when the sun won’t come out from behind the clouds, even days when the sun doesn’t shine at all.

Like my geranium, it’s hard to bloom when we’re in a dark place. It’s at these times, we tend to peek into other people’s gardens. Their lives appear a bower of showy annuals, all blooming as if it’s the last day of summer. Discouraging, isn’t it?

But there’s hope in the dark valley. Here are eight ways to bloom when we find ourselves in a dark place.

       Keep watering. A healthy plant will be ready to bloom when the sun comes out. Prayer and positive thinking sprinkle water on your heart, keeping it healthy. Spend a few moments in prayer at the beginning of the day. Make a list of positive thoughts and repeat them to yourself throughout the day. 

       Fertilize. Exposure to the word of God is the only way a heart truly experiences growth. Find a few scriptures that speak to you or offer special comfort. Write these on notecards and place in your car, on your bathroom mirrors, or put them around your work space.

       Plant shade loving plants. There are times in life that the darkness is likely to hang around for a while. I know people who’ve experienced the death of a child and while there are bright days in their future, the current days are likely to be the darkest of their existence. Instead of lamenting over the lack of blooms on your light-loving plant, choose a plant that thrives in shade. I have a beautiful lavender blooming hosta that shrivels in full sun. Give yourself some slack during the hard, dark times. You may not be able to handle all you’ve juggled in the past. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Ask for help. Delegate some jobs. Accept less than perfection.

       Prune. Dark times are a good time to cut off old or unnecessary growth. My annuals can’t continue to bloom unless I shed the spent blossoms. Consider letting go of past successes and failures. Cut off your expectations and failures and give them to God in prayer. Have your own mistakes in life added to the darkness of your valley? Consider pruning bad habits and sin from your heart to encourage new growth.

       Re-pot. Sometimes, my houseplants cease growth because their roots are so tightly bound in the pot that they can’t absorb nutrients. I have to choose a larger pot and add new potting soil so the plant can keep growing and blooming. The sameness of our lives can keep us from growth. Change your scenery. Go for a walk in a new park or cross a new scenic bridge. Change your routine so you pass a beautiful vista on the way to work. Read outside your normal genre. Learn a new skill or take a class. These activities in a dark time can help increase how much nutrients the plant is getting and increase the chances of blooming when the sun comes out.

       Kill the weeds. Are negative influences adding misery to your dark time? Surround yourself with people who desire growth and freely give grace. Ban negative thinking from your garden which eats on your mind like weeds choke a blooming plant.

       Watch out for disease. Fungus and mildew can kill a plant or stop the blooming process. Satan wants to disease your mind with lies like “You can’t find happiness. You’re never going to get through this. Nothing is worth this level of suffering. I deserve better than this.” Ward off the fungus of Satan by surrounding yourself with God’s people. Get to church regularly. Get Christian counsel, whether professional or from a local minister. Test everything you tell yourself against scripture. God’s truth rises above the lies of Satan and rids your plant of disease that can stunt and kill your heart.

       Turn to the Light of the world. Life’s dark valleys don’t have to be dark. Jesus Christ is the light of the world. He is there in the darkest valley, offering light. You can blossom in the darkest places when you turn to Christ. Make Him the light of your life and revel in the eternal sunshine of His face. 

"But you are a chosen generation, 
a royal priesthood, a holy nation, 
His own special people, 
that you may proclaim the praises of Him
 who called you out of darkness 
into His marvelous light." 
~ 1 Peter 2:9

A Tweetable to Encourage Others 

 Meet Kelli
   Kelli Hughett holds a degree in Women’s Ministry from 
Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. In addition to teaching women, Kelli is a fiction writer and homeschool mom. She and her husband, Kirt, work with the church in Windsor, Colorado where they’re raising their three kids. Kelli loves agricultural landscapes, the Broncos, and reading the classics. 

  Her latest suspense novel, Red Zone, is available on Amazon.

        To purchase Red Zone, please visit Amazon


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