A beautiful process.

on June 24, 2009 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 27 comments by

It seems to be what God keeps saying to me.

“Hang in there, sister. This is part of a beautiful process.”

At this moment, writing this post, I don’t hate process. Usually, I tend to hate process. Because I have a strong distaste for change, for the unknown, and for hard work.

[You’re welcome for that bit of ugly truth.]

There is a classic field trip location in Atlanta called the Cyclorama. You pretty much sit in a chair and rotate in a circle, seeing different Civil War scenes painted on the walls. I picture my life like that. So if you were to sit down in the Cyclorama of Annie’s Current Life, every scene shows me in a process:

The plants with the other Annie.

Africa. [Which I promise I have more to say about, but the processing is deep.]

My writing career.

My heart.

All in process. I think that’s why the plants meant so much to me last week. My hands were getting to do something to express the condition of my heart, reminding me that my work on the front end will yield good results on the back end, but not without some waiting in the middle.

Waiting that looks like death.

But it is actually pre-bloom. Very different.

The plants are going to be a short process, I think. Just a practice run in patience. Other things, like my book getting published and on your bookshelf, or me being almost 29 and wanting to get married [yeah, I don’t blog about that], those processes feel long. And like death.

But there is just something about those hanging plants. God uses them to whisper hope into my heart. “The flowers will come up.”

God said in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that He makes all things beautiful in His time.

So I don’t doubt that the flowers will come. It’s my ability to be patient that I doubt. But last week I realized that it’s time to hug the process. Do you know what I mean? Not that I have to always love it, but I need to settle into all these stories and let them play out. God has literally FILLED my life with situations that are pre-bloom. Mid-process.

Why now?

Phil Wickham sings “That my heart beats to the rhythm of Your heart…

I think I can hear that rhythm more clearly in the waiting. At the beginning, my focus is the goal and how to get there. And in the end, my focus is the reward, the completion, the prize.

So it’s here, in the beautiful process, that my heart has the opportunity to sync with His.

So wherever you are today, remember that there is purpose before the blooming begins. In the quiet of the inbetween is an opportunity to lean your head on God’s chest and hear His heart beat a rhythm that, if you listen really close, kinda sounds like “I love you.”

27 comments

  1. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 2:14 AM  |  reply

    This is such a good reminder – I’m so impatient about certain things at the moment – getting a job I like, buying a house, and I forget that God has it all planned out to happen at the right time.
    And the line “I have a strong distaste for change, for the unknown, and for hard work.” fits me perfectly. I think I will have to write about this myself sometime…thanks for sharing.

  2. caroline
    posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 3:20 AM  |  reply

    I am literally crying right now! Oh our Abba! He is the master tiller of the soil of our heart and i pray I am a willing vessel to be tilled, and ravaged, in order for the blooming to come about. The is beauty in the breakdown and the building up:) I too feel so many areas of “pre-bloom” and wonder about the time when we will shout….”see the winter is past, new has come….” I think the garden of our hearts are now and will remain (if we allow them) a delicate and beautifully rugged place for Abba to plant wildflowers, tulips, roses, lilies, forget -me-nots, etc…all in due season. As my granny says “it takes sunshine and Rain to make the flowers grow” Here’s to you my dearest Annie….im so thankful for you, adn here’s to the beautiful and intense intricacy of the pre bloom! here here! LOVE U! thanku thanku for sharing my sweet friend!

  3. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 7:30 AM  |  reply

    Annie,
    I love this post! It fits my family’s situation now. We have been through a process going on 8 months and most of it has looked like death. Loss of jobs, material things, finances, home, car and even a friend. All of this is so hard to understand and it is a process of one day at a time. God sends delights with each day and I can’t wait to see the end of it. Thank you for your words today. They were so needed. This Siesta thanks you and may God give you a special delight today!
    Love,
    Patty

  4. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 7:42 AM  |  reply

    Thanks Annie!
    I needed to be reminded of God’s love today! I was starting my day tired and with a bad attitude and this post just helped change my attitude!

  5. Southern Gal
    posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 7:51 AM  |  reply

    What a way to start the day. Thanks for the insight. You are most definitely loved.

  6. Jennifer
    posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 8:24 AM  |  reply

    Annie…wow!! I love your honesty and know the waiting, the process can be tough. I needed those words today. I am thankful that our delight is in the Lord even as He works in us. love ya!

  7. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 8:45 AM  |  reply

    thank you for that beautiful insight!! it is hard sometimes to “see the light at the end of the tunnel”!! i am not a patient person AT.ALL so i hear ya sister!! hang in there, it’ll all happen in God’s time and in His perfect plan!!!

  8. kathleen
    posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 9:31 AM  |  reply

    Good one, Annie.

  9. Melissa
    posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 9:54 AM  |  reply

    I’m there, too, and struggling to learn “to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11). Thanks for sharing your insight about the process. Press on…

  10. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 10:07 AM  |  reply

    […] if itโ€™s more about (as AnnieBlogs says) the […]

  11. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 10:08 AM  |  reply

    WOW… couldn’t have said it better myself! It sounds a lot like my life right now. Thanks for the insight, buddy! Love ya ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 11:15 AM  |  reply

    That’ll preach, sister, that’ll preach.

  13. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 11:17 AM  |  reply

    Great post, Annie. I’ve been thinking similar thoughts lately.

    It’s interesting to me how many of us (meaning Western, evangelical Americans) are so focused on the end goal versus the process. Really, life is nothing but one long process.

    I’ve found that I spend much too much time aiming for a future point when I want to be more open to the now process.

  14. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 11:53 AM  |  reply

    That was beautiful Annie. Thanks for that reminder.

  15. Adria
    posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 12:00 PM  |  reply

    And it’s really beautiful how God created the heart (with four chambers – two atria and two ventricles)–with each of these four chambers providing an intricate step-by-step pathway for blood to be sent first to the lungs for respiration and then dispensed to the body’s cells to sustain life. Sometimes he’s still teaching me to breath and to rely only on Him before he can fill all the chambers of my heart. And only he knows the pace of your unique heartbeat. Thank goodness. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 12:05 PM  |  reply

    A friend directed me to your blog and I am so glad she did. Wow. I am definitely right smack in the middle of a big process right now. God has planted me. I know things in the end that I will see beauty, but how hard that pruning can be.

    Lifting you up in prayer, my sweet sister in Christ. Praying that He love and tender mercies will be like a refreshing spring to your soul.

  17. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 3:02 PM  |  reply

    Annie,
    I HATE when people do this, and I can’t believe I’m about to (and on such a serious and beautiful post too), but…

    I just got published! You’ve GOT to see this post on my blog!

  18. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 3:46 PM  |  reply

    He tells us “ask and it will be given to you. seek and you will find. knock and the door will be opened…”

    Will we take that offer to heart? Or will we only ask a little, seek when it is dark and maybe do a little doorbell ditching instead of jumping into a relationship with God so utterly and completely that it includes every part of us… the good, the bad, the ugly… and of course the beautiful too?

    You annie, have jumped in. Thank you for inspiring change in the lives of your readers. Thank you for reminding us that change is coming and we can find hope in that the process has at least begun. Now we just have to wait, have hope, and trust.

  19. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 6:26 PM  |  reply

    Thanks, Annie! I can always count on you to inspire and challenge me through your thoughts and words! ๐Ÿ™‚ Lana

  20. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 9:49 PM  |  reply

    I tend to fight the process. I let fear creep in and tell me the process is going to be hard and that the end result might not be what I want. But then I come and read this blog…I was given a much needed reminder that He loves me. Your blog is always full of such good reminders for me. Thanks! Praying for you in the process.

  21. posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 10:09 PM  |  reply

    there is a song by Brooke Fraser called “Faithful” that is worth checking out. it gives words to my heart & sounds like it might yours too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    thanks for this post. i needed to read this & remember that im not the only one in this place…

  22. Heather
    posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 10:40 PM  |  reply

    I understand this COMPLETELY! Although, my processes aren’t the same as your’s. And I, too, generally HATE the process. I’m learning to embrace it. But I must admit it’s not easy, and it’s been a year in the making. However, I still struggle daily.

  23. emily
    posted on Jun 24, 2009 at 11:28 PM  |  reply

    thanks for speaking to a 22 year OLD heart in mid-process, too :]
    i loved this.

  24. posted on Jun 25, 2009 at 9:24 AM  |  reply

    I LOVE the free newsletter photo. LOVE it.

  25. posted on Jun 25, 2009 at 9:37 PM  |  reply

    Hi Annie! I happened upon your blog about Africa a few weeks ago and have been coming back for more chuckles ever since! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Yes, I’ll go ahead and mimic everyone else’s comments- it was beautiful! And also a GREAT reminder of God’s eyes always being bigger than mine. Thanks for sharing!

  26. posted on Jun 25, 2009 at 10:12 PM  |  reply

    Oh, the process. I’m so Tivo-minded that I’d really like to fast forward the process the same way I do the commercials. But I’m realizing sometimes it’s really ALL about the process…The results are byproducts of the process. Thanks for the reminder.

  27. Amy
    posted on Jul 02, 2009 at 8:15 AM  |  reply

    beautifully written. thanks for sharing these thoughts. i think we all get impatient. for me i’m impatient and want my dream to grow faster than it is although God is giving me glimpses each week that He’s growing it. thanks for reminding me that He does make “all things beautiful in His time.”

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