Bloom Where You’re Planted

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Yesterday, while trying to attack the mountains of grading at work, I decided to check my email really quick. As my inbox came up, the first thing I noticed was a forward from my husband that was from the last PT school we were really hoping he’d get into. As I opened it to find yet another rejection letter, my heart sank, and I tried to fight back tears as I forced myself to get back to the tasks at hand, mind swimming with disappointment.

At home last night, both Matt and I were a bit morose—we were trying to do the usual routine (dinner, play a movie in the background, catch up on our days), but we were both admittedly feeling down about the rejection, and we didn’t really know what else to say about it.

I went upstairs to write in my journal, hoping to give voice to some of the tangled emotions I was feeling. About three lines in, Matt came into the bedroom and just enveloped me in a hug, and though I was trying not to break down (because after all, it was him getting the letter, not me), I couldn’t help myself—I started into one of those inevitable meltdowns I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

The truth is that I’m feeling a bit crushed that he didn’t get in this first year—he’s worked so hard and we’ve prayed so much and I felt sure that everything would work out (which of course gave me the hope that we’d get exactly what we wanted).

After the news came, it just kind of all hit me:

I’m still going to be here for another year.
I’m coming back to this exact same job again.
I still have a stressful church calling to stay on top of.
We’re still going to be living in this dingy apartment that we wanted to move out of after having lived there only about a week.

And I lost it right then—-tears, snot, and all the hidden worries, fears, disappointments, and anxieties just came flooding out, and Matt just sat there and smoothed my hair and listened and gave me assurance that we would be just fine.

Deep down, I knew that it would all work out.
Deep down, I knew that everything happens for a reason.

But it still hurt because I wanted something else.

When I went to bed last night, I was feeling a bit better after the hard cry, and I had a somewhat odd dream:

I dreamed that I was in a shabby apartment (much shabbier than ours) with a woman who was about my same age, who had a young child that was probably 6 or 7. I’d never met the woman before, but she was telling me how excited she was about the teaching position she’d just gotten. Wanting to make connections, I eagerly put in, “Hey! I’m a teacher too! Unfortunately, I don’t really love where I’m at right now, but at least it puts food on the table…”

When she found out that I taught at an American public school, she was in awe—“I’ve always dreamed of being good enough to get hired on by one of those schools,” she said. “The school I’m at is just a local thing, and it doesn’t pay much. But I’m so relieved to have a job. After my husband died last year, things have been really hard…”

I got a massive lump in my throat, feeling horrible that I’d been wanting to divulge all my petty problems to this woman in my attempt to make a connection.

Then I woke up.

The dream has lingered with me all day, and I don’t think I dreamed it by accident—

The truth is that I’m disappointed that our life plan is not going as planned for at least the next year (possibly more).

The truth also is that I’m incredibly lucky to have a husband who’s willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to support me, and to have a job that allows me to grow while providing for all of our basic needs.

As I’ve quietly thought over the things that Matt and I talked over last night, one phrase keeps coming back to my mind over and over again:

Bloom where you’re planted.

Sure, this might not be where I’d imagined myself staying. But I feel confident that there’s a reason we’re still here.

Matt put it beautifully when he said it this way:

“Think about it—because Jon [our friend] didn’t get into grad school when he’d planned, we were able to form that friendship with the Shipleys. We never would have had that chance otherwise. Maybe we need to be like the Shipleys but for somebody else.”

I thank my Heavenly Father every day for sending me a husband who is usually much wiser and much more faithful than I am.

It may not be what I wanted, but I will bloom where I’m planted—

Or at least I’ll sure try.

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