Having arrived home after a long talk with a distraught friend, I was feeling very blessed by my own humble home and surroundings. I sat down on the front stoop and the sight of my perennial gardens gave me the sense of relaxed peace that my friend was so desiring.
I truly wanted to share with her how I’d arrived at my own level of comfort and contentment, but how? Truth be told, there is no “magic” formula, and I don’t know if anyone ever fully arrives. I think that it is different for everyone. But what I do know is that one day you come to realize that you’re happy with yourself…with who you are and the direction that you’re heading.
I am by no means perfect in any way, in fact, maybe that’s where my comfort zone lies. I’ve stopped trying to be. Perfect, that is, by the worlds standards. Instead I have accepted myself as perfect in God’s eyes. In self acceptance of who I was designed to be and being ok with the realization that I’m a little bit different.
So what can one do to reach this point in life, regardless of her age? I have actually been thinking about this for a few days, now. Struggling with how to compose this post, and thinking of my friend who is struggling with her own issues – unable to let go of her troubles and continuing to pull them back from God to handle on her own.
This morning some thoughts occurred to me, as I sat with my coffee on the back porch, and picked up my current study on Becoming A Woman of Simplicity (Cynthia Heald). The Message translation of the verse Matthew 11:29 reads, “Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” Perhaps that has been the answer all along. Our acceptance of His grace so that we can live our lives as He intends. Being who He created us to be. Doing what He created us for. When we go against the grain, and are not in His Will, there is tension. Discord. Discomfort. Chaos and uncertainty.
This doesn’t mean that we need to move on, or get away from every situation in which we find ourselves. Or that life will be a bed of roses. Honestly, in hind sight, most of my struggles in life have taught me many valuable lessons. How not to treat others. The ways I want to raise my own child. The importance of respect and hard work, and that I am capable of so much more than I ever would have believed. They have made me who I am and often allowed me to help others facing similar issues.
So sure, I tend my gardens… With love, and care, and patience, hope, and anticipation. I know that they will inevitably flounder while they are struggling to be established, or be required to fight to overcome disease or pests that are hard to co-exist with. While the trials of harsh weather bear down on my delicate flowers, they will somehow be stronger for it. Just as we are when our Heavenly Father toils and tends to us.