The way of the Zinnia

Friday, August 25, 2023

I forgot about how much I cried a few years ago. I'm not anti-tears. I learned God gave them to us for a reason. The tough part of those tears was the accompanying pain and premonition of the difficulties to come. Good thing God is for me and He helped me grow into the person He wants me to be.

Adapting to Georgia has been easier than adapting to anywhere else I've lived. Georgia felt like home instantly. 

I wasn't crying a lot when I got here. I was actually adapting to living in an environment of peace. As funny as it seems, it took a while. 

I remember doing all the things we do when we move. Getting the home ready for the family. Getting to know the school system and the town. Connecting with the church. There were (there are) so many new faces. It was tough to know who was who. 

I learned immensely from our previous moves. I learned that while there was a reason to move to Georgia because of a ministry and a job, I needed to carve a place of my own. 

I started by finding a CrossFit gym. Working out really helped me as a person to make the transition to the community easier. At the time, I was going to CrossFit three days a week. When I moved, I started going 5 days. I had to adapt to the new community and programming. BGB felt like home. It was easy to become part of their rhythm. I found everything I was looking for and more. I'm immensely grateful. 

I didn't feel the urge to make friends in a hurry. For the first time in my life, I decided to allow friendships to grow slowly. Looking back, I'm glad I did not take this approach until now. We didn't know we were moving. When we did, I was glad to reach out to true friends and tell them we would always have each other, even with the distance. Some of my friends know that I cry in parking lots. Hard! It just so happened that I had to say goodbye to friends in Houston and East Texas at different parking lots. So we hugged and cried and we all spoke words of grateful friendship from our hearts. I will never forget those goodbyes.

I needed to hold on to those dear people fast and hard. The type of friendship we developed helped me endure the harshness that life gave me, day in and day out. Thank God for fast-growing friendships. 

Moving to Georgia means I am back at ground zero. Moving slowly with friendships means you don't really know what you have. Sure, I have hundreds of acquaintances. But friends? I'm still waiting to see what type of friendships bloom from the seeds I've been planting. 

I feel like my youngest daughter. I gave her a package of seeds. She planted them. Every day we both would impatiently check to see if something was going to pop up. Impatience paired with a busy life meant we stopped checking. We let go and kept going on with life. One day, when we were watering our plants, we saw that a green plant had popped up. We were ecstatic! "The seeds! The seeds!" We told one another. A few days later, beautiful zinnias bloomed. 

While I hope my friendships in Georgia will follow the way of the zinnia, there are no guarantees that they will. I am committed to watering and nurturing these new friendships. Something good will come. I just have to wait with a peaceful and grateful heart.