I had high hopes on that hot summer day.
I envisioned big blooms and arching limbs at the entrance of my back door. So the freshly purchased limelight hydrangea was carefully placed in a prime spot for my future expectations. She was tender and tiny but had much potential. For two years, I cared for my baby. I researched how to help her grow. I followed the instructions. I watered and fed her. I even coaxed her with words of affirmation. I gave her the attention and time needed for growth.
However, my hydrangea to this day is weak and, honestly, not very pretty.
Disappointed, I recently entertained the idea of pulling her up, tossing her out, and moving on with my life. However, an experienced friend suggested I be patient with my hydrangea and give her a little more time. "Don't give up on her," she encouraged.
I listened. And guess what??!! I am so glad I did! Because today, my little, weak hydrangea had her first bloom!! Now, friends, I am not naive enough to believe this is my big bloom and arching limbs I have envisioned. I am not trying to convince you either.
However, to me, this small bloom is thrilling! An absolute beauty. Because she represents a step in the right direction. I see results. I see future possibilities of immaculate maturity. I am so grateful for the words of my friend. I am thankful I did not give up on this hydrangea.
This simple experience has challenged me in other areas. What do I lose heart on that simply needs more time? How quickly am I ready to give up on others?
Ladies, what or who do you feel like giving up on today? Maybe, you are frustrated with a child's maturity that needs a little more time. Perhaps you want to walk away from a friendship that requires a little patience? Who are you mentoring that you question if your time and energy are paying off? I get it!
But today, I encourage you and (myself) - Don't give up on your tribe. Keep showing up for the next thing. Love and nurture your people. Teach and train your babies well. Give of yourself in ways only you can with family members and friends. Keep pouring into those you are leading. Teach new believers how to grow in the faith.
"He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him." Psalm 126:6 (ESV)
Let us love others well. Don't quit believing in people; sometimes, all they need is a little more time. Galatians 6:9 reads, "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
I am so glad I did not give up on my little hydrangea. I am also reminded to be patient with the ones I love. This one thing I do know - "And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you (and our loved ones) will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6 (EVS)
I am so glad! How about you?