The Final Bloom: Or Is It?

So I bought my Christmas amaryllis early November. You heard the story. It didn’t bloom by that holiday, but it had a message for me. Bloom whenever the hell you want. No timetables, baby.

I had written that there is usually activity beneath the surface, but the eye just isn’t picking up on it. Suddenly the thing blooms and we are taken by surprise. It eventually dies back and we are grateful for the beautiful flower it brought forth.

But then, when we expect nothing at all, it blooms again. Well, I didn’t think you had another bloom in you, little guy. And there you go, showing us all that blooms happen even when we think there’s nothing left. This is the third time I’ve been surprised by him.

How many life lessons did that little bulb teach me? 

  1. We need to be patient and trust the process. Time is not our enemy.
  2. Just because the eye doesn’t pick up on activity doesn’t mean that none is taking place.
  3. There is a time for every purpose under heavens but usually we don’t get to choose that time;  that time chooses us.
  4. Maybe the one bloom isn’t the end of the story. Maybe it’s a series of blooms that pop over time when they’re ready. Just because we bloomed once doesn’t mean we’re done.

What we need is the hope that everything resting inside of us will pop when the time is right. We were designed in love to hold so much beauty deep within. I thought that little flower was done, but then I noticed  a little green sprout at the base. I kept it in the light to see if it had anything left. Once again, the amaryllis bloomed.  

I feel a connection with this little flower. We talk and laugh and tell each other we are awesome. I got a lot of bloom left in me. Maybe we’ll both be a little beautiful, loud, and out of place. A perfect, if not at all predictable, time for every purpose under heaven.

When It Doesn’t Bloom: The Sequel

I recently wrote about how my Christmas amaryllis did not show up for its holiday, prompting me to write about patience and carrying the word “bloom” into the new year.

Watching that thing sit from the beginning of November til well after Christmas caused me to realize that blooming is not so much an event as it is a process. Deep inside, there is so much going on, so much growth that is hidden to the eye. 

At this season of life, I am not about all the things I must accomplish to be successful. Nor am I focused on the expectations of others. Much like the amaryllis, which couldn’t care less about what I expected, there are processes taking place that are unfolding at their own pace and not interested in what I, or anyone else, has to say.

This past week, my little amaryllis decided to pop open. At Christmas time, there would have been lights, ornaments, and sparkle competing for attention. But now, in the midst of a cold, rainy, gray January, this bright red pop of color has it all. It has bloomed when truly needed, and although it feels a little loud and out of place, it stands proud and confident in its timing.

That beautiful flower continues to teach me about life. 

  1. There is a time for every purpose under heaven. But we do not usually get to determine that time or purpose.
  2. Just because the eye doesn’t pick up on activity doesn’t mean there is no activity taking place.
  3. When things don’t happen according to our timetable,  we can be tempted to use the word “failure.” But there is always, always, something taking place that we cannot know.
  4. When we least expect it, new growth will surprise us with beauty. And that beauty needs not only to be recognized, but celebrated.
  5. Joy and celebration need to become a bigger part of everyday life. We need to embrace struggle, pain, joy, and celebration as they wrap their arms around each other. It’s not a simple two step these days. 

All the things I had hoped would bloom sooner in my own life are no longer my focus. I am trusting the process. This amaryllis was prepared and had everything it needed to bloom. It didn’t need me to water it or fertilize it. Our growth is being timed to bloom when it is most needed–not only for us–but for those around us. 

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. Maybe what’s been resting underneath our skin is getting ready to pop. Let’s be ready to celebrate the blooms that pop when least expected. Beautiful, loud, and out of season. There is a little amaryllis inside us all.