Green Thumb

Movement on the beltline

“Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith” – Elisabeth Elliot

Spring is a time of new; a time to rejoice in fresh growth. It’s a time when things wake up from their wintry slumber and burst forth into the world – “Helloooo I’m here”.

If you take a moment to peruse my instagram feed you will probably pick up on my obsession with spring. The streets and trails in Atlanta are lined with fifty shades of pink, green, red, and white, and the grass is suddenly this vibrant, full-of-life color.

Besides the fact that I love flowers I know very little nothing about gardening. However, I do have some pretty distinct memories from a childhood spent outside in the garden. I would occasionally help my parents weed or sometimes if I was lucky my mom would let me help her with the flower pots. Every year she plants flower pots that live on our front porch. They are vibrant, neatly arranged, and will absolutely bring a smile to your cheeks as you walk through the front door. Someday when I have my own home I will line my front porch with dragon snaps, pansies, daisies, and begonias.

I remember planting bulbs in the ground; carefully digging a hole several inches deep, gently laying the bulb, covering it with dirt, then watering and waiting.

…Lots of waiting…

Growing plants is an exercise in patience. It requires you to have faith that with the right conditions (sunlight, warmth, water to name a few) something living with come up through the dirt. Most often it is painfully slow. Usually it’s a process that you can’t appreciate with the naked eye, but rather a process that you can sometimes catch glimpses of.

A hard lesson I’m always learning is that you can’t rush the process of growth either. I never fail to water my plants too much because I think that doing so will help them grow fast, but in the end I wind up drowning them. It would be so much easier just to buy my plants already grown. Each time I kill a plant I think will be the last time that I try and that next time I’ll gladly let someone else do the work of nurturing baby ferns.

But wait. Isn’t that the point?  Should we really be putting such emphasis on the end result and ignoring the path we took to get there?

In this world of constant motion how likely are we going to stick it out for the long term or give up the moment we lose sight of the horizon? Instant gratification is ingrained in us. Hell, amazon prime has same-day delivery because we need that thing we ordered an hour ago right now. That being said, I don’t think it’s impossible for us to endure – to dig deep, plant a bulb, and wait for it to grow. (I’m not suggesting that it’s easy, just that it’s possible).

This season of my life is feeling like a never-ending lesson in patience. I started working on my medical school applications last February. As in February 2015. In July I submitted my primary applications and then waited a month. Then I rushed to write my secondary applications, only to wait another 5 months before hearing from many programs that while my application was competitive, there wasn’t enough room for me. I interviewed at the University of Colorado 34 days ago and have yet to hear a peep from the admissions committee. I think its safe to say that I’ve been in it for the long haul.

This season of my life has been a struggle, but I’ve carefully planted this bulb in faith and I refuse to overwater, dig up, or give in to the pressures of waiting. I refuse to dig up in doubt what I planted in faith because when the time is right it will bloom.

Today I allowed myself to pause while passing some blooming flowers and I simply thought to myself, how beautiful this life truly is.



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