Bloom (v): to change, grow, or develop fully (Webster’s dictionary)
Think about a garden.
Think about how many flowers and plants are constantly uprooted and replanted, then uprooted and replanted again.
Yet most of the time, if they’re taken care of properly, they still grow up with fresh leaves and beautiful new blooms, some of which weren’t visible before. It’s a lovely thought, really, that God created these living things to be able to grow strong and weather storms and resist all kinds of diseases. They can’t run away or quit, and they don’t have complex immune systems. All they can do is bloom. Right where they’ve been planted. All they can do is continue growing as if they had never been replanted.
They’re taken care of as God sees fit for them to be taken care of, yet He cares more for us, His human creation. His human creation that he has given brains and immune systems and emotions and the ability to have self-control and the simple ability to bloom.
Just like those plants, if not more so, we have the ability to bloom where we’re planted. And we can grow taller and more beautiful than they can because God will help us if we trust Him. It doesn’t matter if you’re living at home, in high school, in college, recently married, moving away or about to do any of these things – we are all in different seasons of life than we were before this moment, and we have to learn to bloom right there. Because you can’t change your situation but you can change yourself.
[What I’m like] I have a very large comfort zone – socializing exhausts me easily, and I’m OK with that. It just means I have to take time to recuperate again. I’m not one for change, and often I’m afraid of the unexpected and the unknown. But I’ve also moved away from my comfort zone a few times in my life, literally and figuratively. I’ve been as far out of my comfort zone as I’ve been able to get so far, and I know that it’s easy keep your mind tethered to your comfort people or your comfort place just in case you have that split-second opportunity to reel yourself back in when everything is just too much.
[What I’ve learned] But the one problem with this is that you can’t move forward if you’re constantly looking back. It’s perfectly fine to be sentimental, to love whatever or whoever is behind you, but when it becomes inhibitive and you’re pulling that tethered line so tight that you can’t go any further – that’s when the just-too-much needs to become the comfortable. It’s a sign that you’re stunting your own growth. Don’t cut off your people or things or places. In fact, keep the line, but let it stretch (see Matthew 6:25-34).
The secret to blooming is a life with God.
Blooming where you’re planted is more than just making new friends, learning a new town, or adapting to change. And although it is all of that combined, it really starts with a heart examination and sometimes a major perspective change.
This is where we can’t always do it alone – and it’s OK to admit that, too. But we can do it with God. In fact, we have to trust God if we want to truly be at peace with where we are. God will be there when we feel confused and lonely and uncomfortable, but He’s also there when we’re excited and hopeful and content – if we put our trust in Him. The best kind of blooming and growing is the kind that’s done with God on your side and Christ in your heart.
And eventually, the hard things will feel like the easy ones, so we can grow even taller with every step.
Life should be a journey to a destination. Not a wandering, aimless journey, but a journey that has a real, solid end goal. For me, that’s heaven (I hope it is or will be for everyone).
Because of this, growing is completely and utterly necessary. I don’t just mean growing into comfort with my personality and my skin and my situation, I mean growing spiritually and emotionally.
Spiritual growth is the most important type of growth. I can only do that if I push myself to grow out of my comfort zone no matter what season of life or city I’m in. If I constantly push myself spiritually, none of those physical things will matter. All things will be counted loss for Christ (Philippians 3:8). I can be at peace with all things and content with all things, confident that I have God on my side because I’ve been crucified with Christ. I have learned in whatever state I am to be content (see Philippians 4). Growing up into full bloom will mean that I’m constantly working for God every second of every day, with every thought that comes into my mind, every word that comes out of my mouth, and everything that I do.
Emotional growth closely follows spiritual growth (especially if you’re like me and you really do have so. many. feelings). Emotions can play a big part in how distracted from God I let myself get. I have to be sure I’m constantly aware of my emotions because I have to know how to control them. I have to know how to react and when to react so that I’m not letting my emotions drag me back down into spiritual immaturity.
Spiritual and emotional maturity will lead you to growth in “the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), and you’re that much closer to full bloom. And just think – you’ll be even more beautiful to God than that full-grown blossom outside because you’re His creation doing His will so you can be with Him.
As long as you’re taking care of yourself the way God would have you to (in His will), leaning on Him, and you keep on growing, you’ll find a way to bloom no matter where you’re planted. So if this is something you struggle with, as so many people do, I highly encourage you to pick up your Bible. Read about Ruth and Esther, read about Jesus, read about Paul, read about each and every person who knew what God’s will was and fully committed. Then learn God’s character, commit to Him, and let yourself grow.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.