The flowers have been dead for weeks.

I’ve been telling my husband that we need to dump the flower pots. The mums died months ago, and the flowers that were there before died even longer ago. The plants are wilted over the side, and it’s like death is sitting on our doorstep.

“We need to dump those pots.”

“I know.”

Yet they’re still sitting there, day in and day out. Dumping the pots means getting up and putting my shoes on and lifting the dirty, heavy pots and carrying them to the trash can near the side of our house. Maybe I’ll do it. Maybe I won’t.

The brown flowers fill the pots, and they are nothing interesting. No one cares about them. I don’t even care about them. But I do care about how they look to everyone else. Us with our dead flowers by our front door, a disappointing welcome to a house that is so full of life. We’ll dump them soon. Maybe spruce up the front to match what the heart of our family really looks like.

I like to think the pots don’t represent anything. Truthfully, they don’t. They’re just pots with some dead flowers. If they show you anything, it’s that I have a lot on my mind, and the dead flowers by my front door are most likely at the bottom of my list. It’s a good representation of me. I’m tired. I’m spiritually exhausted, and I’ve felt that way for about a year. It feels like there’s a lot of flower pots in my soul, dead flowers wilting over the sides, just waiting to be dumped or revived. But Lord, I am just tired. I’d rather they stick around, dead or alive.

Life isn’t like these dead flowers, at least, not today. It’s been unsettling, a description that makes it sound scary or unnatural, but it makes me think of soil that is upturned and toiled. Unsettled. It’s not firm like it’s been packed down or leveled. It has been dug up and pushed over and around. Unsettling it is necessary for new life.

It’s January 2, and I’d like this post to be here for my own recollection. To remind myself of the days when I decided to grab my own face and look myself in my own eyes and told myself it’s fine. It’s okay. Be tired. Let the soil upturn and be pushed around. But don’t, for the love of everything you care for and believe, let the soil stay that way. Don’t be unsettled by anything so much that you never plant another flower.

The flowers have been dead. They’re just flowers; they aren’t meant to live forever. And I know they aren’t coming back to life, even when spring comes. They’re dead as the pot they are planted in. I’ll dump them eventually. I’ll move forward, eventually.

Don’t be discouraged, dear heart. This isn’t a sign of failing. And even if it were, failing is never the end. The difficulty is not the last stop. Dead flowers on doorsteps don’t mean death on the inside. Beauty will be back, ease may return, new growth will take root.

It always gets me–the idea that God cares more for us than He does for the flowers of the field or the birds of the air. And how beautiful both are. Every need met, every care seen. The same goes for me. Even though we may not have easy lives, He will see to it that we are always loved and seen. Dead flowers or alive.

Loved and seen. I am loved and seen. Unsettle the soil around me, if only that all that is new and for more significant glory may bloom for You.

Published by Janelle Delagrange

Wife to a graphic designer, mom to three young boys, and writer of the soul.

One thought on “Wilted

  1. exhausted is normal. How do you do it all? I ask myself, and yet I know. I did it too. four kids and a degree. crazy, we are. yet, called. It is God who tills the soil. and He will show you what and when to plant. Meanwhile be blessed in what you have grown. One day the flowers of all this recent work will be in full bloom. I can’t wait to see it!

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