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  • Lena Jennings


During shelter in place I started a garden. We started off with a huge plot of land full of weeds and unhealthy hard soil. I had no green thumb whatsoever and because of my lack of green thumb I was clueless on the things in which I needed to grow anything. But I went to the best Google there is: instagram to first poll my followers and then get the low down on what to do first. I truly started from the bottom and last week I harvested the tomatoes I grew and made my very own homemade marinara sauce. So I would say the gardening business has been a success! Granted, the garden is incredibly thirsty and hasn't been water in a minute now but hey at least I got tomatoes out of it. But I digress, the biggest surprise though was the lessons I learned through this process. Gardening has given me so many lessons of life that taught me about patience, diligence, and consistency (all qualities I still need to develop). There's something about being in a garden that roots me (no pun intended) in my faith.

I recently had a revelation about my herbs that relates directly to life. I went out of town and was gone for 7 days. During those 7 days the Bay Area experienced record breaking temperatures on top of experiencing the worst air quality index in California history. I come home from my vacation to incredibly dead plants. I asked my housemates to water them while I was gone and obviously they did not. The herbs themselves were wilted, brown, and frail. As soon as you touched the plant it started breaking. But I began to prune the plant and pick off the dead leaves. I stripped it to the very root of the plant leaving the branches behind. I didn't know what I was doing or if I could salvage the plant but knew that if I wanted anything to grow again I had to remove the dead to make room for the new. So I stripped the plant down (pictured below) and kept watering it consistently.

Basil & Oregano Plant
Mint Plant

I left the herbs to do whatever they do. I began to water it every other day and I just waited. And as time went on the brown began to fade and the branches started to turn green. I kept watering and 3 weeks later my herbs came back more full, vibrant, and stronger than ever. I think about how dead they looked and how easy it would've been to just throw it out but I stayed consistent. I kept going but I think the key to the growth was the initial pruning that had to have happened. All of the dead things had to be removed to make room for new life.

I compare it to our real lives and how we often try to hold on to the past but still expect a future. We hold on to the scraps because we are fearful of losing the little we have. We would rather have something than nothing so we settle. We settle because at least we know the outcome. But what we've been called to do is surrender and trust God. We've been called to be consistent: consistent in our faith, priorities, determination, and consistent in our purpose. It's consistently choosing to pursue our purpose over our preferences. It's still practicing your purpose even when you think no one is watching and especially when you don't know what it is you're doing. A motto I go by is it's not about perfection, but progression. It's about moving forward and accomplishing something because experience begets confidence. So keep on experiencing and keep watering because growth will come. Trust the process and say yes to your purpose.

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