This type of post is typically something I would share in January. Standing on the precipice of a new year with hope and anticipation, I would share the word God had given me along with the aspirations that word brought. But the beginning of 2021 didn’t look much different than the end of 2020. The word I felt God impressing on my heart seemed counterintuitive as the pandemic continued.
The word was flourish.
Still, after a year of feeling like a bulb buried underground, seemingly dormant due to the world being put on hold, I was filled with the desire to burst forth in bloom like the joyful, glorious flowers pictured in this post. Now that we’re at the half-way point of 2021 (crazy, right?) it seemed like a good time to pull that word out and reflect on how it’s shaping up.
First, I feel God gave me flourish as much for its synonyms as for the word itself.
Bloom. Blossom. Develop. Expand. Multiply. Exceed. Thrive. These are exciting words. Words of action, growth, and accomplishment.
I turned 60 this year. But to quote the title of an upcoming book from author James Watkins – if you’re not dead, you’re not done! Although there are fewer days ahead of me than behind, I can still flourish in however many days God gives me. I am reminded in 2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.”
I want to flourish spiritually by becoming more Christ-like; mentally by continuing to learn about God, His people, and the world around me; physically by improving my health; personally by achieving the goals I have set for myself; and professionally by contributing new ideas and processes to expand the outreach ministry I oversee.
Second, I believe God gave me flourish as a promise.
Psalm92:12-13 says ” The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.”
After a period of seven years of healing and growth, I closed a difficult chapter in my life. While flourishing doesn’t have to be associated with material things, it has included them this year. I was able to purchase a home in May. and a newer car in June. I never thought I’d be a homeowner again or own a vehicle with all the bells and whistles this one has. I am so grateful to be in a position to have them and I thank God for making it possible. But I’m equally as grateful for opportunities – my new book coming out around the beginning of September and a few speaking invitations, leading a small group at church, seeing an amazing group of volunteers growing into positions of leadership as they rise up and take ownership of their duties in our food pantry, forming new partnerships in the community to expand the reach of God’s love. When we pour into the lives of others, it helps us flourish too.
Truly I am blossoming and thriving in 2021. Still, it wasn’t without its difficulties. The loss of my dad on March 1st was unexpected and hard. The loss of my cousin last month had me asking God once again – why did you chose not to heal on this side of heaven?
Until we meet God face to face there will never be a year, a month, or a day where we will totally flourish and reach our full potential. But until that day comes, we can catch glimpses of that eternal glory, we can bask in the warmth of His good gifts to us, and we can enjoy the time of blooming. Always pause to see exactly where God is working in your life. He’s never dormant.
In what ways have you flourished this year? Give thanks to God and remember them in the comments below.