He told them another parable: “The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
Matthew 13: 31-35
I believe God breathes His life into our stories, reaffirming His power and presence in our lives through them. These stories are uniquely ours and if one were to organize them into a library, they would fit many genres and themes --- chapters of adventure and “happily ever afters”, of self-improvement and “to be continued”, and some of trials, tribulations, and heartache. As He works to bind these pages together, he gives us the power to read our stories and learn from them – powerful lessons that mold us into better, stronger people. And like any good book, it’s hard to read without knowing what will happen next, yet, every so often, we hit a chapter, a page, or a line that stops us in our tracks and changes everything. These are the stories I yearn to learn from, the dog-eared pages I read over and over again, and know they will someday slide onto a shelf of classics – stories that reveal His perfect plan and best work in our lives.
God gave me one of these stories in the bathroom during the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
The night before, I prayed for a sign. I usually have a hard time believing in signs, but I was feeling a bit desperate and out of other options, so I silently asked God to give me a sign that would help me understand what to do next. I let go, let God in, and prayed for His will to be done in the days to come before falling asleep.
I had been praying the same prayer for a year, asking for His grace in understanding what I can’t control, and giving me strength and wisdom to make decisions of what I could. These prayers were often accompanied with a series of recycled emotions --- renewal and optimism, hope and disappointment, grief, rationalization, and back to renewal.
The next morning, I got up, stretched my arms, and was quickly reminded of the uncertainty that laid before me. I grabbed my phone and headed to the bathroom as I always do to check my email without the light of the phone bothering Beau. It's an early morning ritual. And as I deleted usual messages from Old Navy, Gap, and Barnes and Noble, I came across the daily scripture reading email our church sends out every morning. I clicked the message and the subject line illuminated my screen:
“Though it is the smallest of seeds…”
Before I even looked up to see the stick that confirmed it all, I knew I had my very own little seed sprouting inside of me. I knew that after a year of waiting, and praying, and trying to understand where this is all going to go, God was there the whole time. Never in my life had I felt so close to Him as I did in that moment and at that point I understood why I had to wait. God gave me a year to discover how very much I wanted it. How much I can’t do everything on my own. And as my mom always said, after I would call her crying every month, this fight would make me more grateful for the gift.
Today, I am thankful for the fight. I’m thankful for His plan. I’m thankful for this baby. Because though it is a small seed, it’s my glimpse into God’s mighty kingdom.