For the last two spring seasons, the children and I have been planting sunflowers. First starting in the grow box as seedlings, we then transferred and planted them in a particularly sunny patch of our garden.
One poor sunflower has seen more snail attacks this season than any of the others planted. This one straggly looking plant spent most of the spring and summer seasons looking half dead. I’ve had many thoughts to simply remove the sad sunflower, as it often looked beyond the point of recovery. And each time this weak plant attempted to grow new leaves, I would find them munched off by persistent and greedy snails.
Despite all of this, I decided to just let my plant go through the summer and see what would happen. I am so pleased to say that our little sunflower, the smallest of them all, is making a recovery! This one plant is incredibly resilient and against the odds, survival and actual blooming appear to be happening.
Sometimes, I can feel like my plant, being attacked by the Enemy’s schemes day after day. Just when I think I am growing in a certain area, such as being more gentle in my tone of voice when speaking to the children, I will slip up and a raised shouting voice blurts out instead. Then, like the snails coming night after night to chomp on the sunflower’s leaves, the Devil whispers lies that I am not a suitable mother, that I keep failing them, and I should just give up now.
As mamas, no matter how many times we are attacked by the “snails of life,” let us determine to keep on growing. We may not always get it right and our growing leaves might feel like they are being stripped away repeatedly, yet we have a choice with what we will do when life throws us challenges. Will we shrivel up and wither away? Will we stunt our own personal growth by believing the Devil’s lies about ourselves? Or will we, despite the difficulties, choose to persevere and learn resilience? Will we sit down with our Bibles and fill our heads with God’s truth?
Let’s be like my sunflower and keep growing our leaves of green, allowing God to help us push through no matter how many setbacks come our way.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.Habakkuk 3:17-19