Thursday, February 20, 2014

On Flowers

This week I desperately wanted flowers. And not just flowers, but to have someone bring me flowers. Not in a romantic sense, just to be reminded that I was loved and thought of and not alone. This is what flowers say. They say that the bringer blew money on something that has no meaningful practical value, just to bring you joy. Because when you love someone, their joy is your joy.

I'm wise enough to realize that I feel this way because I've spent most of my time this week giving of myself, physically and emotionally, to needy small ones who aren't as yet capable of giving much back in the way of affection. Plus, it's February, the very lowest point of my seasonal struggle with depression, and I'm so very, very tired. My brain realizes this. My heart wants to be nurtured. If I had more time, I'd call a friend for lunch... schedule a coffee date... call my BFF for some girl talk... but I don't.

I don't talk about being single a lot, because I'm afraid that if I share my journey in bits and pieces, I will be pigeonholed squarely into one of two categories - either as a "strong woman" who "doesn't need a man to complete her" or the "spiritually submissive" woman who says she submits to God's will for her life, but spends most of it begging Him for what she wants.

I think I've found a good balance between choosing joy in where God has me, and an honest recognition of my desires for husband and kids, and the natural sadness when I think about never getting to experience those things, and the constant offering it up to God. Those dreams and hopes have become my offering, my "sweet savour," the thing I bring again and again to the altar and give up to God, because it is precious but He is more precious and because I truly believe that every time I do, I trade the ashes for something infinitely more precious. And since coming to that realization, God has been teaching me about what "alone" means, and how different "alone" is from "single."

This may end up being the only love story in my life, and if it is, I die happy. What could be greater than to be the heroine in the tale where Love Himself rescues her from abject despair, provides for her every need, showers blessing into her life, and ultimately draws her to Himself?

But back to flowers...

I was tired last night in the grocery store. Tired, and a little frayed around the edges, and trying to put a brave face on it. And I wanted flowers, even more so when I walked in and was confronted with bouquet upon bouquet, each more beautiful than the last, each fragrant and lovely and exquisite. And I felt an old bitterness rise up, because I wanted flowers. And it seemed reckless to buy them myself, when the future is uncertain and money often tight and all.

And then (as so often happens of late), I heard the whisper.

"I've got this. I made the flowers, every flower of the earth, for you. They're yours. And if that isn't enough, I've given you the skills and brought you the right job so that you can buy the flowers and bring them home and remember: you are Mine."

I bought the flowers - a bunch of dandelions, yellow and pristine and heralding the hope of spring, and the pink carnations whose color seemed to infuse everything around it with a rosy glow - and I brought them home.

",,,His banner over me [is] love." (Song of Solomon 2:4)

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