I grew up hearing the phrase Bloom Where You Are Planted. As an Army Brat, I was “planted” in lots of homes, schools, and states. I did not have a say in where I was planted. But I could choose to bloom or wither. Through this process, I began to understand and appreciate the dynamics of CHANGE and CHOICE.
Having been through a few of life’s seasons, the phrase has a deeper meaning. When I CHOOSE to depend on God to reveal my purpose and when I CHOOSE to look to Him for my nourishment, I can CHOOSE to “bloom” in the darkest and most desolate places. Isn’t that the beautiful irony of being in Christ instead of being in the World? In Christ, I can connect to a peace that surpasses human understanding. Even when I’m in a dark place, surrounded by weeds, He will guard my heart and mind (Phil 4:7).
It’s one thing to bloom where you are. But what if you feel in your spirit that God is leading you out of your community into another? If that has happened to you, you may have confided in someone only to be told that The Grass Isn’t Always Greener. What might be behind that feedback? Let’s discuss.
Seek Wise Counsel. As you consider making a change, speak to those you consider to be wise leaders and mentors. Don’t make decisions in a vacuum. When God is leading you down a new path, you will receive validation. Look for it. Speak to trusted family members, friends, pastors, and mentors. But be aware! The people you trust the most may tell you that the grass isn’t always greener. They may encourage you to bloom where you are planted. You will now need to pray for discernment as you sift through the counsel you’ve received.
Change is scary. When leaders, parents or mentors have watched you grow and become a strong member of the community, it is scary to think that you might leave. Perhaps our first human reaction is to keep things status quo. In our rush to maintain status quo, leaders might discourage instead of encourage change. The danger is that our brightest blooms might wither on the vine.
Guard your heart. Part of developing healthy boundaries is the identification of safe and unsafe people in our lives. If you feel like you are being manipulated to any extent with guilt, doubt or fear, make note of it. Keep it in perspective. I believe a sign of a “safe” mentor, parent or leader is their desire to help identify strengths and purpose and their willingness to release us on a journey toward greener pastures.
Can you Imagine? Disciples have always, and will always, be called out of their comfort zones. We may build walls around churches in our communities, but a healthy church will not use those walls to keep people away from God’s purpose for their lives. Can you imagine what would happen in your community if the walls around churches fell down? If churches worked together as the body of Christ, as envisioned in Ephesians 4? Read it. Think about it.
When God leads you into a season of change, it’s going to be covered by His grace and protection. Bloom wherever you are planted, but don’t be afraid to tear down a fence or two in pursuit of greener grass.
Drs. Cloud and Townsend, including Necessary Endings, Safe People and Boundaries.