A beautiful bouquet of flowers adorns yet another colleague’s desk. I feel obligated to show interest and ask who sent them. What’s the occasion? Is it a special day or are you just someone specially thought of? Women I know who have flowers sent to them swoon about how thoughtful, romantic or special their date, boyfriend or husband is. I nod and agree that their date, boyfriend or husband is indeed spectacular. I walk away. But there’s that rankling thought. My mind hears that they get flowers because they are thought about. They are special, loved and extraordinary. But my heart hears that I am not so special, loved or extraordinary. I shrug it off and head back to my desk.
If flowers can speak the language of love to a girl’s heart, they can also scream doubts to a girl’s soul. That maybe I’m not worth getting to know. That maybe I am not quite special enough. That I don’t have what it takes to be marriage material. That after years of dating, I can’t sustain a relationship to the finish line.
All I hear is that I’m not. I don’t. I can’t.
But perfect love can. It overpowers fear and doubt. It’s the love that comes to meet me in the dark places of my soul after a disappointment, rejection or regret. This love says that God will give me the courage to face my fears and doubts. It says that I have gifts that he will help me use. It says that I can have hope for new adventures that he can lead me to that just might be amazing. My heart hears it. And I know that God is thinking of me. Thoughts filled with love, mercy, hope, and so many plans with purpose.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord … plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11
When I visited Paris this summer, I passed a flower shop on almost every street corner. The tables of flowers spilled out on the sidewalk with beautiful bouquets in all sizes, from just a few sweet roses to colorful bunches. I saw Parisian women carrying flowers in one hand and a baguette in the other. As they hurried home, I wanted to follow them and join their party. Even though it might have just been a party of one. It made me think that if I lived in Paris, I would buy flowers every week. Just for me.
Because I know it’s not the sender of the flowers that’s important. It’s remembering who brushed the petals with the vivid hues of a sunrise or the faint shades of twilight. It’s knowing that God wants me to live out the vibrant life he has envisioned for me, far beyond my doubts and fears. From the day he first thought of me. With special attention, never-ending love, and extraordinary plans. I like knowing that I’m always on his mind.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” I Jn 4:16a
By Valerie Sisco, Grace with Silk