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This past weekend I was so unbelievably privileged to go on a weekend retreat with a group of women whom I co-lead in personal and business development. We went away from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning to my friend’s parents’ creek-side cabin in Maryland.
I need to set the stage a little bit for you. There were six of us who got away together. We are all moms of young children, are married, and own our own businesses in some form or fashion. We all have some percentage of hippie in us; free-spirited, nature loving, natural parenting practicing, art creating crazies. We wore yoga pants all weekend, ate organic scrumptious food as we fed our spirits and souls.
So we spent the weekend doing things like drinking wine and sharing our dreams, desires, hopes, struggles, victories and defeats. We created mind-maps for our year and spent hours cutting out pictures from old magazines to create our vision boards. We sat and created art. Not coloring in our kids coloring books with them, but using our mommy markers (please tell me I’m not the only one with my own art supplies the kids aren’t allowed to touch!) and art supplies to create what our spirits and souls needed to express.
It was a weekend to remember, for sure. Spending time with like-minded women away from all the cares and stress of life, filled with renewed vision and plans for the year and feeling re-energized and nourished.
Then came Monday.
As my friend so adequately described it, we all got hit with a crap storm. We were back to reality. It left many of us asking, “What the heck happened? Did we not just spend three amazing days together? Were we not ready to take on the world with new vision and vigor and plans?”
As I began to pray about what in the world was going on, that still soft voice of Jesus quietly spoke in my ear, “Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies…”. I turned my spirit to Him and said, “Oh no. Do we have to go there?” There was no answer but a deep knowing that He was right.
What Jesus was referring to is the passage of Scripture in John 12:24 where He says, 24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” At first glance this passage seems to make no sense because biologically speaking, seeds don’t actually die when they are planted. When they are planted in the ground, they begin to soak up water and germinate so that new growth comes up through the soil.
I think what Jesus was referring to is revealed in the verse before it, 23 “And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” When Jesus made this statement about His glorification, or resurrection from the dead, He first had to die. He had to give up what He was to become what He was destined to be.
I started to think about my dreams and plans and visions, my life really, in terms of being a seed. I realized that I would have to let go of my “seeds” so to speak and let them fall into the ground. A seed can’t grow unless it’s planted and starts soaking up water. The seed literally soaks up so much water that it bursts and that’s how the plant comes out. There is a stretching, a growing, an expanding that is uncomfortable.
Once the seed bursts, it starts to send out its first shoot. When the plant hits the surface of the soil, it looks nothing like what it started out as. It keeps growing and changing into what it’s destined to be.
So if this is you and your seeds have been planted in the ground and now there is stretching and growing as you soak in God’s presence, the river of Living Water, take heart. Soon, that seed will burst and you will see what it will become; what is was always intended to be.
The hardest part is letting go.