Following my meditation on Galatians Chapter 5. I want to tell you my story.
Have you ever wondered if you were a flower, what type of flower would you be? Personally I never thought about it but apparently I do carry the characteristic of a flower. I am Mirabilis Jalapa. To you and me just the old fashioned Four O’clocks.
Like the flower I was easy to raise. I remember how I came to this flower. My coworker gave me some seeds and told me, “Just scratch up the ground and throw them down but make sure they are where you want them.” I did just that and they grew into the most ample set of leaves with little flowers are over it. Like it was shy of showing its full potential but everyone could see it had a real possibility to be a showstopper. When I was born into the world, my mother rejected me because she wanted all boys. She was so adamant about it the nurses would not give me to her for fear that she would harm me. That was fear on her part. I don’t think she didn’t love me. I think she was afraid of raising a daughter. Maybe she knew there was a pattern of hurt that I was going to endure because she too endured it. Maybe it was anxiety that she could not do it justice because she was so damaged herself and from the beginning she just wanted to avoid it. Either way, my grandmother saw the value in me at birth and swooped me into her arms closing the bond that should have been between my mother and me. Being the middle child she didn’t really have time for me. Her oldest and youngest children had more urgent medical issues to deal with. I remember asking her about it and she said, “I didn’t need her, they did!” What she could not see was the fear and anxiety she transferred to me. Two negative traits I fought to suppress all my life. Winning mostly but losing just the same.
Four o’clocks can tolerate a wide range of conditions. They are easy to care for because they don’t need much attention. I was an anxious kid having to get my knuckles whacked every day in kindergarten because I would knock over my milk. In my elementary years I used to come home from school and sit in the corner and read books. I remember being home alone. I would just sit and wait until my grandmother would swing by and pick me up if my mother was going to be late. I did not know I could read until fourth grade. Being a shy kid I would not have ever read in class. After I discovered I could read, I became a bookworm. I never wanted to play outside. I was content just reading my books. Books had the ability to take you anywhere you wanted to go. Away from isolation, unhealthy relationships, even boredom and despair. The love of reading kept me out of other people’s way and gave me a purpose until I found love. Love brought to my life a garden. A family.
In the garden the four o’clock is a show stopper. It controls any location and thrives against all odds. It is controlling and will tower over any nearby plants. Sometimes it will cause such a shadow that the underlying plants can not get enough sun and nutrients. I can see now how I had control over my family. I took responsibility of everything and everybody. I gave all of myself so much so I had nothing left from my heart to give and I would become angry. Not at any one person but at the whole situation. At times I would be outside of myself and when difficulties occurred, I could lash out and cause discord. In Galatians 5:23 it says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. All of which are in us to freely give but when you live in fear you forget who you are. You are a child of God and if you become hateful and selfish God does not like it and you know it so you rest until a new day begins and you wait until four o’clock again.
This time in the garden, it is about remaining quiet and composed until the appointed hour to come alive and vibrant again bringing all the love and beauty to the gardener. I think back to how I would patiently wait all day for 4:00 p.m. for my day to begin. I would lay low, keeping the house quiet so my husband could sleep. I would go about my day taking care of errands but staying close to home giving little time to myself or others trying desperately to be available if he needed me. I kept my house immaculate and my children orderly and active outside of the house. Inside they also had to be reserved. My husband never demanded any of it. It was just easier to be complacent. So at the appointed hour I was ready to give all of myself to him for the little time we would get to spend together. I would praise him and give him all the credit for the things he was doing for our family. All in his own strength not God’s. He was the gardener in our garden. Galatians 5:19 speaks of idolatry. We are not to put anything or anyone before God. It was okay for me to be submissive to my husband but coupled with fear and a obsessive desire to constantly please made me a servant to him. I thought Serving him was my way of showing God’s love but when fear, anxiety and anger came into play it became burdensome and none of my actions were voluntarily given. The Spirit was in bondage.
I feel I am to tell my story. I hope you will read Galatians Chapter 5 for yourself and see how it relates to your life.
The garden of four o’clocks has been turned under and the gardener has hung up his hoe. God is now maintaining the garden and there is new freedom in Christ. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and so not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1. This is the message I received. I will never again go back to living in fear. I will live by the Spirit. If I am going to be a flower I will be a pineapple. I will hold my head up high, wear a crown and be full of sweetness.
God wants us all to be filled with joy Wonderers.
Until next time, Thank you for perusing and have a good night rest. God Bless You!