How My Garden Is Helping Me Find My New Normal

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God often speaks to me when I work in the yard, especially my flower garden. I’ve been spending a lot more time there these days as I’m working on finding my new normal. This is why I haven’t posted so much lately. Until today…

God reminded me that all marriages go through seasons where they’re forced to find a new normal.

They can be good changes–like a new job, a new baby, a new home or a new church in a new location. Or the changes can be heart-wrenching–like job loss, burying a loved one, adjusting to a medical condition, church splits, or unexpected physical limitations. Whatever the changes, there is a period where one must wait and pray and most of all TRUST.

I’m in that place. In fact, Tom and I are both in this waiting time together. And it’s good, but not always easy when the changes are hitting you both at the same time. We are being honest with our struggles. We are talking about the possibilities of the future–and there are many options. We get excited about them, but until we hear God say, “Do it!” We must wait.

I shared with you about changing our African iris flower bed with dinner plate dahlias back in March. It was easy to bury the bulbs because I had a picture on the package of what they would look like if I gave them time and attention. They have not disappointed me. This morning I had nearly a dozen new blooms smiling at me from their post in my garden.

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I sensed God say, “Wasn’t this worth the wait?”

Yes, a thousand times, yes, it’s always worth the wait. But sadly we often take things into our own hands and try to fix things ourselves. We do something without waiting on God to tell us to do so.

We see this time and time again in the Bible. The one story that stands out most to me is Sarai, Abram’s wife. God had promised He was going to multiply their seed and make a great nation from their union. But.they.were.old. How could this be? God promised, yet years had passed and no child had been given. Maybe Sarai thought Abram was mistaken. Maybe she was being chased by fear of a future with no heir. We don’t know exactly what she was thinking, but her actions demonstrate she didn’t trust God wholly. She gave her servant, Hagar, to her husband in the hopes that she would conceive for them the baby for which her empty arms were longing. Her plan worked, but it wasn’t God’s plan.

Little did she know how much this choice would torment her for the rest of her life. You can read more about it starting in Genesis 16 

As I’m waiting, I don’t have a picture on a package showing me what the future will look like. I don’t know many things, so I must cling to what I do know.

These are the things I know:

  1. God is faithful.
  2. God is good.
  3. God is orchestrating all the events of my life for my good and His glory.
  4. God will lead me through each and every dark, lonely valley.
  5. And He will walk with me through the storms, even carrying me if needed.
  6. God will keep my roots securely grounded in Him, so I am able to bear good fruit no matter where I am.
  7. God will bring about a new normal for us, but He will help us not grasp it so tightly that it’s hard to let go when our normal changes once again.

I’ve finally realized something–change is the new normal. It leads us to cling to the only One who never changes.

I’ve been singing a hymn these days as I pull weeds. It reminds me why I do what I do, and it reminds me what’s of most importance in the place of waiting.

And I find that as long as I have Him, waiting is a joy.

Below are the lyrics to this familiar hymn, and I’ve added the story behind the man who wrote it at the end. What a privilege it is to know this truth. I pray you’re encouraged in whatever changes your normal is facing today.

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

Refrain:
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

Refrain:
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

Refrain:
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

C. Austin Miles (1868-1946) was a pharmacist turned hymn writer and church music director. He was also an amateur photographer. One day in March, 1912, while in his dark room waiting for film to develop, Miles had a profound spiritual experience in which he saw an incredible vision of Mary Magdalene visiting the empty tomb. He saw her leave the tomb and walk into a garden where she met the Master and heard Him speak her name.

When Miles came to himself his nerves were vibrating and his muscles tense; the words to a new song were filling his mind and heart. He quickly wrote out the lyrics to In The Garden and later that evening composed the musical score. The song was published that same year and became a theme song of the Billy Sunday evangelistic crusades.

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4 Responses to How My Garden Is Helping Me Find My New Normal

  1. Sara Catherine says:

    Thank you. God spoke directly to me through your post this morning, and I am so grateful for the clear answer to my prayers. It’s not the answer I particularly wanted (more waiting….), but I am confident in His faithfulness.

    • Debi Walter says:

      Sara Catherine,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. You doing so has encouragement my heart in ways only God knew I needed. If I could I would take your hand and pray with you for God to help us both in the waiting season, but to also find joy in today.
      Blessings,
      Debi

  2. Corey says:

    Thank you! We are going through changes as well and waiting in the process. This post is just so reassuring and timely for me.

    • Debi Walter says:

      Corey,
      I shouldn’t be surprised to hear of others who are going through similar challenges. I’m grateful to be able to encourage others through what God is showing me. He will help us every step of the way. Thank you for taking the time to comment. It means a lot!
      Blessings,
      Debi

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