Four years ago I spent a year filled with unimaginable grief. Prayer is what got me through that terrible time. Every morning felt heavy and grey. But one day as I was sitting in my prayer garden wrapped in sad memories, I saw a little splotch of yellow sort of hidden behind my fig tree just peeking out at me. A sunny golden flower was blooming. A bit of brightness to surprise me.
It’s important to know that I am a terrible gardener. Which is why I mostly grow only succulents. Things that don’t need water or attention. But a while ago when I was unpacking and putting away things from my daughter’s effects, I came across some old packets of wildflower seeds. I felt I should plant them but since I have a bad back, I don’t have the ability to dig up new flower beds, so I just sprinkled the seeds here and there and pressed them into the existing beds. Other than a sprinkling of water, that was the extent of my effort. My attitude about plants is that if they grow – great and if not — oh well. And every now and then a strange wildflower would show up.
So while I was sitting in prayer that morning, I started thinking about my daughter and how much I missed her. It’d been two years since she died. And sometimes as I think about her, I can imagine her sitting nearby on the grass. She is in a bright turquoise shirt and white shorts. Healthy, beautiful and alive. In the quiet of that morning, I felt her say to me, “It’s ok to move on, Mom. To be alive again. You have so much to do. Tell everyone about how beautiful heaven is.”
Permission to move past my grief
I knew then, that she had given me permission to move past my grief. Not that I will ever be able to do that completely. But I knew she was happy and safe in Heaven and it was time to focus again on life and what God has planned for me. There are still times when it is incomprehensible to me that she is gone. But life keeps going. But there are days when the world seems grey again.
Then suddenly appears one yellow flower. Its cheery color seemed like a bright beacon of life. As I looked around the yard, it was as if all the colors became more saturated. Purer. Stronger. I knew something had shifted. I felt the grayness lift. I felt a peace and a joy. The kind that only a loving, and kind God can give. I felt alive again.
To be free of sorrow and pain
In the Lord’s prayer, we ask for God’s kingdom to come here on earth as it is in Heaven. We know that Heaven is a beautiful place that is without pain and sorrow. We know that in Heaven we will experience Love with a capital “L”. Love like we have never experienced here on earth. Heaven is God’s kingdom and we are to pray for it to come to us here on earth. I don’t think we are to pray for that to happen someday when we die. We are to pray for it to be here now.
Imagine what it would be like to experience God’s love now. Today. To be free of sorrow and pain. To experience His creation, the beauty around us.
Every time I see a yellow flower it reminds me that God wants us to experience His love today. He wants us to feel the life He has for us. The joy and peace He has for us.
We can come alive again by turning our faces away from the darkness and back toward Him.
Even on the greyest day, a flower beckons us to come back to life.
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