This is the blog post that changed my life.
I know…it sounds dramatic. But the truth is that time of my life, with my long-dreaded empty-nest looming closer and closer, was full of intense emotion. I was dealing with painful memories of the past and and asking big questions about my identity and my purpose in life.
But like He always does, God came to me in my hour of need. Right in my own backyard I came face to face with God’s grace. And by way of my garden, He answered my prayers and brought words of peace and healing.
I believe the trajectory of my life took on a whole new course that day. And I am profoundly and eternally grateful.
Two of my favorite flowers are going gangbusters in my back garden right now – Bearded Iris and ‘May Night’ Salvia.
I just love bearded irises.
This variety (I wish I could find the tag I saved with name of it) is particularly beautiful with its pale violet, ruffled edges. And the fragrance this flower gives off is intoxicating. I like to put my nose right in the middle of it and inhale the delicately sweet scent.
And this salvia…
…I think I’ve mentioned before that I kinda have a thing for blue-ish, purple-y spikey flowers and this salvia is no exception. I really love these regal purple spikes. And although the flowers themselves are not really fragrant, because Salvias are in the same genus of plants as the common cooking herb Sage, the leaves give off a kind of woodsy/minty aroma.
The other day I was just walking around my flowerbed and admiring their beautiful blossoms. Pulling a few weeds here and there. And then I noticed that the Salvia was quite literally abuzz with little honey bees darting in and around all around the flowers. It made me smile thinking how proud my little Salvia plants must be to have such a grand purpose in the garden.
Yes…I am projecting my own existential insecurities on my garden flowers now.
Then I looked over at my stately bearded Irises standing there so dignified and gracious. Although they didn’t appear to display the obvious function of providing nectar for honeybees, my Irises did not at all seem to be riddled with self-doubt about their purpose in life. After that, I just smiled to myself thinking how I’d really gone off the deep end this time. And I said a little thank you to God for Irises because they just make me so happy with their beautiful flowers and delightful fragrance.
And then it occurred to me…maybe that is their purpose.
When I thought about it a little more, neither the Iris nor the Salvia really tries to do anything to fulfill their purpose. Just being an Iris or a Salvia is quite enough – expressing their essential Iris-ness and Salvia-ness is their sole (soul?) purpose, and God uses each one according their particular design and unique qualities.
I may or may not ever truly discover what my purpose is on this earth. But I think I am done with trying to do things to have purpose. Because the truth is that worrying about whether or not I’m doing enough to fulfill my purpose is just wearing me out. So instead, I have humbly offered my gifts and talents to God (gifts that I received from Him in the first place) to use as He sees fits. And from now on I am going to concentrate on just being. Expressing my essential Kelly-ness in all its tenderhearted, messy, hormonal, sentimental, womperjawed glory.