The simplest definition of the word flourish, is to thrive. We all want to thrive right? But how do we do that when we’re faced with trials, challenges and circumstances that seem like they are out of our control? I think a better definition of flourish is…
To grow or develop in a healthy way, especially as the result of a favorable environment.
Now you might be thinking, but I don’t have a “favorable environment”. My family is dysfunctional; my marriage is in shambles; my boyfriend cheated on me; I’m lonely and don’t have any real friends I can count on; my job is stressful; my coworkers are toxic; I can’t find a job; my finances are a mess; my community is divided; the news is depressing….
But whatever your environment is, I have good news for you.
You can create a favorable environment and bloom where you’ve been planted.
Nothing you have done in the past, no setback you’ve experienced can keep you from flourishing. With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
In Luke 7:36-50, we read the account of the sinful woman. Based on the way she is described, we can assume that because of her sin, she is emotionally wounded and broken. She seeks out Jesus and He sees beyond the sinful woman she is and sees the woman she can be. He forgives her sins and tells her that her faith has saved her and she can now move forward in peace.
She sought out Jesus. Don’t rush past that. She was in a very unfavorable place in her life. And according to the Bible, she had caused this by her own sin. But she changed her circumstances by drawing close to Him. She created a new life for herself where she could thrive.
In Luke 8, the Parable of the Sower, Jesus is traveling with the disciples and a group of women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. (Luke 8:1-3) We don’t know all the details of these women’s stories, but based on what we do know, I believe that the unfavorable environments they found themselves in were not 100% the result of their sin.
I’m sure you have situations in your life right now that you can’t trace back to some specific sin, but you find yourself stuck non the less. But isn’t it encouraging that after all these women have been through, they are now traveling with Christ?! Their interactions with Him cured them and now their ongoing relationship with Him has placed them in a favorable environment where they can thrive.
No matter what you’re going through, you can learn create a favorable environment in your life. You can control your thoughts, how you spend your time and who you spend it with.
I know, I know….maybe the problem is in your home or sits in the desk next to yours at work, this won’t be easy. But you can still decide how much you are going to let them effect you.
Learning to bloom where you’re planted means you:
Embrace where you are in your life right now, by choosing to be content and trust God’s plan for your future
Focus your energy on being deeply rooted by deepening your relationship with God and seeking Him daily
Identify where you want to grow next by developing a life long desire to learn and try new things
Prepare to bloom, by actively seeking opportunities that will help you flourish into the woman you are becoming
When you live your life this way, you create a favorable environment for yourself because you aren’t focused on other people or even on external situations that are trying to keep you down. Instead, you are focused on the special path that God has laid out just for you. People can be acting crazy around you, but you’ll have peace and hold onto your joy because you know God has better for you. You’ll look at those unfavorable environments in a different light. Seeking to understand how they are meant to help you flourish, rather than how they hold you back.
Finally sisters, I encourage you to keep your focus on the good stuff. (Philippians 4:8) Don’t let anything or anyone hold you back, because you were made to flourish. You were made to thrive.
You may not be able to see it now, like a seed planted deep underground, but if you remain planted in good soil, your joy cannot be taken away. Your roots will grow deep in Him and nothing will stop you from blooming over and over again.
Where do you want to grow next? How do you think your current situation is being used to position you to bloom?
Jamila is the founder of loved+blessed. On her personal mission to leave a legacy of encouragement, she blogs about her own life lessons with the hope that it will bring joy into others’ lives and help them find the courage to keep walking in faith knowing that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Read her testimony of how God turned her misery into ministry.