We arrived in our new city a little shell shocked from everything that had occurred in such a short time.
My husband accepted a job in a new city, my mother entered hospice, my car was totaled in a wreck, I lost vision in my right eye, my mother died, and her house was ransacked by thieves – all happening in the period of a few weeks.
I threw myself headlong into settling my family into our temporary home, and avoided dealing with the emotional flotsam and jetsam of that month. Just keep swimming.
The previous tenants left behind an orchid. Bloomless. I wasn’t even sure it was alive.
Those first few weeks, I gave it a few ice cubes as the tag instructed . It didn’t seem to like or dislike the attention. I unceremoniously plopped it in a bathroom window one Fall day, and then I just forgot about it. I forgot to water it with ice cubes. I never turned it to provide even sunlight. Complete and utter neglect is what I provided for six months while I tried to keep my own head above water.
Just a few weeks ago, I noticed that some buds had appeared.
Subsisting on the steam from the shower and sunlight alone, the orchid was starting to bloom in spite of it all.
As I sat last week waiting at yet another doctor for my eye, I flipped through an interview in Good Housekeeping with actress Susan Kelechi Watson. One paragraph stood out:
“I look back on this period of obstacles and it was clearly a strengthening time. Strengthen and prepare for the next level when God brings [what is] yours.”
Strengthen and prepare. That’s what my orchid had been doing for six long months. We don’t get to pick our circumstances. We do get to choose how we respond to our circumstances. The orchid was choosing to bloom right where it was planted. It’s time for me to do that, too.
Two blooms have opened now with the promise of more to come. I had no idea that checking on an orchid multiple times a day could inspire me to trust God to bring me through my own period of obstacles, but here we are. I’m fascinated by the resilience and determination that I have been shown and trust that as a child of God, I have that ability, too.