We wandered through the garden section of our local home improvement store the other weekend – the prize for having to wander through the aisles of paint and hardware earlier in our trip. As we looked at the plants, Madi realized they all had tags on them with little pictures of the sun, and she asked what it meant.
I shared with her that some plants are made to thrive in the shade, like the huge hostas we have under our deck, or the ferns my mom has hanging on her porch. Those plants come with tags that don’t have much sun showing on them – they need a little light, a few hours a day, but not much more than that.
Other plants like an even mix of sun and shade – not too much of one or the other. Our hydrangea plants have found their perfect part-sun spot in our yard where they’re now able to thrive. They used to be in a full-sun spot and they struggled for years before we dug them up by their roots and found them a new home.
And the plants with the big sun on the tag? Those are made for full sun. Like the flowers in our backyard that enjoy the sun all day and are growing like crazy, those plants are at their best when they’re soaking in the sun.
There have been seasons of my life when I’ve felt like I was struggling to really be the best version of myself that God made me to be. As I explained the different types of plants to Madi, I wondered if maybe, in those seasons, I had tried to live a full-Son life under too much shade?
Instead of soaking in the Son, spending time with God and hearing His voice over all the demands of the world, I was walking around with a list of “shoulds” over my head like a big umbrella:
- I should be over that by now.
- I should be resting more.
- I should be working more.
- I should be more successful.
- I should be a better mother.
- I should be softer and more gentle.
The list could go on and on, and in some seasons it did. Under the weight of my doubts, fears, insecurities, and struggles I needed to be closer to Jesus than ever, to be fully immersed in the Son and His life-giving presence in order to thrive through my circumstances.
Imagine what it would look like to throw off the things that have been keeping you in the dark, to take a step out of the shade and into the Light. How would you bloom, right where you are? What beauty could you bring to those around you, simply by being so close to Jesus that His light shines from you?
We are made for full-Son – let’s find our place in the light.