Nearly two years ago, I dropped shrunken dried bulbs into what I hoped would become a flower garden.
I didn’t know that bulbs have a top and a bottom. I planted them upside down and covered them with thick dirt.
I buried hope in the ground upside down.
Stay with me.
Did those large dormant seeds even stand a chance buried in the darkness ?
Here’s the incredible truth about a seed: because it was born to grow, it reaches for the light.
I don’t know how it happens, but somehow in some scientific magical way, underground upside bulbs slowly turn themselves right side up and reach for the sun.
Something hard—and beautiful — happens in the darkness.
It’s difficult to describe the last six months.
When the floor gave way on March 3, 2022, I found it challenging to stand firm. My first reaction was to cling and control.
This became a physical, spiritual and emotional free-falling. Flailing.
Mercy House was displaced. So was I.
Everything felt unstable, out of balance. Temporary.
Painful. And I don’t just mean the ministry I lead— my marriage, parenting, me. Darkness threatens everything.
I Cor 15:58 both mocked and made me: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Here’s the thing about being buried: it’s not wasted.
Keep going. Keep toiling. It’s not in vain. No matter how hard it is. Even if it’s fruitless.
Even if your standing firm looks like crawling on the floor.
Jesus redeems everything.
“Jesus’ words to his disciples are just as true for us today. We will weep and mourn. We will have sorrow. And our sorrow will turn to joy. Today, in the tension of pain that persists, we are living the reality Jesus named. Here we find the descending, rising rhythm that creates our new life. As Henri Nouwen says, “It is the way in which pain can be embraced, not out of a desire to suffer, but in the knowledge that something new will be born in the pain.” KJ Ramsey
I’m back on firm ground today— physically, mentally, spiritually— in all the ways. Oh, I still battle anxiety, fear, and doubt, but just in the regular Kristen-way.
Pain birthed a deeper dependence in me. It forced my hand open—instead of clinging for control, in my fragile state, I had no choice but to be held.
A spring, summer and fall passed and nothing erupted from the ground where I planted those bulbs in the front yard.
I thought they had given up … that the darkness had overwhelmed them… that my planting error provided them with no way out.
It turns out they just needed more time. They shouldn’t be blooming today, but they are. We don’t always grown on schedule.
Don’t give up, dear friend, Jesus is working in the darkness. He promises something new will be born in the pain.