The Season Between the Blooms

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The blue hydrangeas are starting to bloom out back!


These beauties were such a surprise gift to me, because they came out of nowhere. The first year we lived here, there were no blooms. To be honest, I didn’t even know there were supposed to be blooms. I was clueless about all things botanical. When I looked at the enormous mound of green leaves, I didn’t know I was looking at a hydrangea bush, so I couldn’t see what was missing.

I was shocked when they appeared the next year—out of nowhere it seemed—because they were just so beautiful. And there were so many of them.

I asked around about why they had suddenly bloomed, and I was told that some hydrangeas are cyclical. They’ll bloom for a certain number of seasons, and then they won’t bloom for a season. Then, it’s back to blooming again, and the cycle repeats. Perhaps the year without blooms had been an off-season. Others told me that while pruning is a good thing, certain types of hydrangeas won’t bloom for a while if you cut them back too far. So perhaps they’d been cut back too soon or too far and needed time to recover before they could bloom again.

Now, admittedly, I don’t know if either of these theories are scientific facts. I do know, though, that we are like this. We have blooming seasons—when everything seems to be blossoming and thriving and going so well. Then, we have our off-seasons too. Times when it seems like not much is happening; times when life isn’t quite like we thought it would be; times when the blooms are noticeably… absent.

I would like to encourage you, if you’re in a season between the blooms, that a lot of preparation needs to take place before a hydrangea bush can bloom. There’s a lot happening beyond what we can see just by looking at the stems and leaves. There’s growth happening. Photosynthesis and all that stuff. Like I said, I’m not a botanist. The point is, the blooms don’t just appear out of nowhere. They come at the right time, in the right conditions, when the time of preparation and growth is complete.

The season between the blooms is important. It’s perhaps the most important, actually. If you find your life between blooming seasons, let me encourage you to take your eyes off the noticeably absent blooms and instead, to lean into the preparation and growth that may be happening; to lean into the Lord as the One who makes all things grow and bloom.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns… I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. (Phil 1: 6, 9-10 NLT)

Note: Speaking of preparation seasons, I’m in one! I’m preparing for a lot of big changes on the horizon, if the Lord allows them. I’ll be taking the summer off from blogging in order to focus my time during this preparation season. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification when I return. Have a great summer – God bless you! (And if you have knowledge to share, feel free to teach me something about hydrangeas in the comments…)

 

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