Turn Toward the Sun
Ironically, as I was putting the finishing touches on my new book, You Are Enough: Heartbreak, Healing, and Becoming Whole several months ago…I went through one of the most significant heartbreaks of my life. A story I’ll save for another day. Right now I want to tell you about how I got to the other side of that heartbreak. Because today, almost a year later, I’m not the same woman I was when I met him. And I am immensely grateful for that.
I lost pieces of myself in that relationship, and when I found myself on the other side of it, I was desperate to reclaim them. I had forgotten how to be okay with standing alone. I had forgotten that I determined my worth…not any man. I had forgotten how to plant my own garden and decorate my own soul. And I was determined to remember how, in a very literal way. The picture below might not look very impressive but those little sprouts meant the world to me. They were the first fruits of my new endeavor at garden planting and soul decorating. When my dad and I planted these seeds back in April, I whispered a fervent prayer that one day soon, they would sprout into my favorite flower of all – the sunflower.
And over the coming weeks as I worked through my grief and heartbreak and resulting anxiety and insomnia…God continued to place this scripture on my heart. He seemed to keep bringing me back to this point:
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” ~John 12:24 (MSG)
One day I had lunch with my friend Laura…and she, too, had been continuously pointed back to scriptures about seeds and growth and planting and fruit. She was even speaking at a retreat that weekend where that was the theme! And I didn’t believe in “coincidence.”
We spent months stubbornly reaching for the light together.
I chose to let the dirt do the work. I chose to embrace the sunny days AND rainy nights. I chose to pull up the weeds that were choking my growth.
I chose to turn toward the sun.
But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.
It taught me that even in the middle of your brokenness, you look around one day and realize that you’re smiling. And that this being-leveled-right-down-to-the-foundation stuff doesn’t have to be sad and empty…it can be hopeful. It taught me that suddenly losing everything I thought I wanted looked less like loss and more like ROOM. Room for new things and people and places and opportunities. Room to stretch and grow and bloom. Room to be ME.
Did you know that sunflowers are called sunflowers because they literally turn toward the sun? It’s why I wanted one on the cover of my new book. Because we can’t all snap our fingers and make the sad turn to joy or the rain turn to sun overnight. But we CAN all turn toward the sun…and TRUST. And the darkness won’t seem so overwhelming anymore once we’ve identified the light. And being lost won’t look so overwhelming anymore; it will simply look like finding ourselves, finding a new way—one of our own, one that no one else charted before us.
My new book, You Are Enough: Heartbreak, Healing, and Becoming Whole hits bookstores on October 23rd.