That time between planting a seed and seeing it sprout is by far the hardest part of gardening. It starts with hope. Hope that you did it all right, that the weather will cooperate, and that it will turn in to something good. But as time passes, as you continue to water this patch of dirt day after day, seeds of doubt begin to take root. You start to analyze everything and find any fault you can with the process. Did you water too much? Too little? Did they get too cold? Did you not plant to the right depth? Were the seeds too old? Et cetera. Et cetera. But you continue to have faith that maybe, just maybe, something good will come of those seeds. And then one day, when you least expect it, there’s a little sprout sticking out of the ground. Two days later there are ten. The next day, twenty-four. And you know that your patience was worth it, even through the doubts. The garden is growing.
Life is a lot like that. There are so many waiting periods in life. It is so easy to doubt what we are doing when we can’t yet see the results. But God’s timing is always perfect. He has the perfect plan for our lives. I think back to how I met the hubby. I had been hoping for the right guy for years. But I kept ending up with the wrong guy. Many of them were wonderful people, but they just were not meant for me. Finally I decided to make a bold move and start fresh in Florida. It was time to take care of me. I was recovering from eight years of depression filled with all the yucky stuff, and a bit of PTSD. I was just beginning to find my way out of the fog I had been wandering through for so long. Then along comes this handsome bartender. I told him I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I told him I was moving in six months. But he had such a personality, was fun to be around, and I think he was equally not looking for anything serious, which only made him more attractive. I met his family early on because apparently Christmas by yourself is not allowed when there’s a big, wonderful, close knit, welcoming family to join for the holiday. They truly were, and are, a gift. But then he said he’d move too. To get out of the Valley and see someplace new. I guarded my heart for those six months because I fully expected it to end when I moved. A month before the move we loaded the UHaul together to move our stuff into storage – both his stuff and mine. (Leases and closing dates just didn’t correspond.) Had we met any earlier, I would have still been in too much of a messed up place in the head to appreciate him, and I would have still been looking for Mr. Right instead of healing myself. It never would have worked. Had we met any later I would have been so close to moving day we wouldn’t have had the time to build the relationship that formed. I probably wouldn’t have even given it a chance. But God’s timing is perfect. He knew when we were ready for each other. He knew when the seeds of hope that were planted so many years earlier were ready to germinate. God was watering both of us every day, protecting us, even when we were filled with doubt. He knew when our time to sprout and finally see the sun would arrive.
He is with each of us every day, through all the waiting periods of life. Waiting for the job offer, the acceptance into school, that positive pregnancy test, the recovery from illness, the right time for retirement. We start with a little hope and a prayer, and, because we’re human, we begin to doubt when things don’t happen when or how we expect. But God sees us through. And almost always at the most unexpected time. The garden will grow aplenty. All it takes is a hope seed and some daily watering.
My onions have sprouted, but I’m still waiting on the carrots. What are you waiting on? What seed of hope are you watering through the doubts?