Monday, March 11, 2013

Quiet Moments With God -- A Desert Flower

The beauty of desert flowers always surprises me. Surrounded by an arid plain makes them especially vibrant. And a desert seems an unlikely place for any kind of blooming. Yet, there they are--lovely and determined, against all odds.

These exquisite flowers remind me of my sister Leslie who led a troubled life. She lived with mental illness, alcohol and drug addiction and a physical illness that took her from us far too early. Much of her life was a misery. And when she was forced, out of need, to live in a nursing home it seemed such a desolate place for a young woman.

However, we know some of the most stunning flowers bloom in desolate places. God had big plans for my sister and she did bloom in that nursing home. Her life became greater than her sorrows.

Each time I look back, I'm newly amazed at God's workings in her life. And yet, while speaking recently during an  interview I forgot about desert flowers. I boldly stated that if I'd had any control over whether or not I would be injured in an auto accident, that  took place back in 1991, I would have chosen not. I am not courageous enough to choose chronic pain and disability. But I had no choice, and a log truck tipped over on a curve striking my van and changing my life forever.

When I see how small my faith is, I am stricken. And thankful that God does not rely on me to make the grand decisions.  :-)

Before the accident I lived something of a charmed life--happy marriage, children, good friends, a glorious place to live and a job I loved. After the accident all I could see was the desert. And yet, in that desert I bloomed. God used every bit of my angst and sorrow, questions and groanings to help me grow. He directed me down paths I'd never thought possible.

The path God chose for me opened doors into people's lives. I hear from individuals almost daily who find life a little bit easier or their sorrows more bearable because we share the bereavement, the questions, the fears. and the daily grind of living with our heartaches. They may discover something in a book I've written or even a word here on my blog that encourages them. And sometimes they find  hope when I'm speaking to a group. When I hear from these dear ones I feel like a desert flower. I've bloomed--brighter and transformed. But it is only because I submitted to and, on my best days, even embraced the path chosen for me.

I am not always lovely. I am human, after all. But I know that I am better than I would have been if my life had been effortless. It is the pressure of adversity that molds and shapes. It teaches us to rely on God and to step onto a path of His choosing.

I pray I will, we will, be courageous and desire the best . . . God's will rather than our own.

Grace and peace to you from God,


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