Sunday, August 16, 2009

Growing in the Rocks

"Where flowers bloom so does hope." Lady Bird Johnson

When I went to visit my sister in Israel, she took me to the top of this rocky mountain. Nothing was there - just rocks, stones, and gravel. But it was still beautiful. Maybe because it was so isolated and high. Standing there I felt like I could touch the sky.

We sat there - just the two of us - bathing in the soft wind, the warm sun and the peaceful quiet. Then she started talking, telling me how awful it was for us as kids. She talked about the beatings, the constant bullying, ridicule and name calling, being left alone - the fear, the shame, the terror. She said she was sorry she didn't protect me - that she wasn't there for me.

I was still in denial. I didn't believe it had been so bad. She told me how afraid she had been watching me slowly die from the drugs, the eating disorder - not understanding why I wouldn't or couldn't talk. She had run to her friends. I withdrew into myself trying to become invisible.

I'm not sure why we hadn't noticed them before, but there a few feet from us, two flowers, side by side were growing in the rocks. We were stunned. How could they grow in the middle of all that hardness? How could those two flowers survive and grow?

Somehow they had managed to grow without good soil or adequate rain. I looked at my sister. "We survived." My sister is older than me. And more emotional. She broke down and cried. I forced myself to be strong like I had done since I was a kid.

"It was so bad." She said. "How did we survive?"

I looked up at ths sky. I knew. I remember when my mother was dying. We lived in a tight Jewish area. I came home from school and was surprised to see a nun sitting with my mother. I think that woman prayed for us. I think God heard.

Thinking about those two flowers, I wonder if God put them there for us - to show us - even in the hard places He's there helping us to grow, helping us to be strong, keeping us safe. I need to believe that.


Paula said...

I can relate. And know that survivors have developed an incredible strnegth, will power and determintaion - we are just not always aware of it or dont want to believe it. But our pain has rquipped us with all we need to survive, break free and strive.
Hugs to you

Denise said...

Sweetie, God is with you, keeping you safe. He loves you, let Him pour His love and strength into you.

Just Be Real said...

Dear one, you are very brave and strong and I admire your courage! We are survivors. Thank you for sharing.

Madison said...

What a beautiful story. I think God gives moments when you know, He's there. There's so much hope in that. Thank you for sharing this. Really lovely.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sarah,

I want you to know how powerful your writings are. You truly have a gift. I am sitting here and your post has brought me to tears. God has given you an ability to touch people hearts in the deep places. I want to encourage you to not be afraid. His Spirit is working through you.
I have been placed in a situation where it looks like a desert and very rocky and God has placed me there like those two little flowers. I keep saying "why" am I here. Don't you want me with all the other flowers like me. God used your blog post to answer my question.

Thank you so much for posting this.

Blessings and Hugs,


Prayer Girl said...

Thank you for the reminder that with God's protection and nourishment, flowers and people can survive, grow, and be beautiful even in the hardest and roughest of places.


Anonymous Drifter said...

What a beautiful post.

James Oh said...

Sarah, You are one of conquerors that Christ had done everything for.

Wish His blessings be with you always,

Rhonda said...

What a powerful and moving experience you had that day. I am so very proud of you! {{{HUGS TO YOU}}}

Andrea said...

Sara~what a touching story. A beautiful example of GOD's perfect plan....bringing the beauty amongst the rocks and thorns of life.
Blessings, andrea

PS: Prayer request at arise 2 write

RCUBEs said...

God is always near...even if we hit "rock bottom"...Powerful testimony here. God bless.

Rev Deb said...

Since the Lord is the same yesterday, today and forevermore, and He caused almond buds to grow on a dry stick to select Aaron as a priest and parted a sea so that the children of Israel could walk on dry land and caused a plant to grow for Jonah to keep him cool from the hot sun, made the sun stand still for a whole day for Joshua,caused an axe head to float to the top of a pond against nature, shut the mouths of lions, transported Philip to preach the gospel. I know our God will do the same for His children NOW!! And if He is the root out of parched (dry) ground (and he is)... He understands our needs. He has experienced abuse too and He knows how much comfort you need, He is a compassionate God! You and your sister needed to see His hand on that mountain and feel His comforting love.. And so He gave it to you- If God is real (and He is)and your circumstances are real (and they are) then the Lord will move mountains to reach out to His children that are calling for His help and comfort. The apostle Peter stepped out of the boat and panicked. When His heart was overwhelmed, the Lord reached out with a comforting hand.

Sarah you are an inspiration to many and the Lord is using your hardships to help others who are painfully reliving their past..

You are a very strong individual and the Lord knows it. "He will never allow more than we can handle" This is why you have been called for this very purpose.

Whatever we have been through, God (Rom 8) causes it all to work together for our good!!! and uses it for the good of others.

I am very proud to be called your sister in Christ.

Please tell your sister she will also be in my prayers for the Lord's healing upon her wounded soul.

This is a passage the Lord put in my heart for you and your sister.

"For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11

Be at peace my dear sister be at peace. Let the Lord calm the raging sea that disturbs your And aching hearts.

"Sorrow is for a moment, but joy comes in the morning.."

May you and your sister see the Lord in everything you do and draw peaceful comfort from His hand.

God Bless You Both
Much much affection in Christ's comforting love
Rev Deb

A.R.K. said...

Aw, what a great image. If you ever write a book, those two flowers in the rocks should be the cover photo.

Stay strong. xxx Life's rocky, but..God's the most powerful rock of all. :D

VICKI IN AZ said...

O yes yes HE put those two flowers there for you and your sister. What a beautiful story you have shared here. It has moved me more than I have words to express to you.
You see, I am the older sister, I am the one, who has opened up conversations with siblings and been met with the kind of reaction you described, or with complete denial and horror at me for saying such things.
We survived my friend, my sister, because this is our place, to testify and speak the truth, for ourselves and for all of those who did not survive.
Hugs and blessings,

Terri Tiffany said...

I want to thank you for being such an encourager to so many and thank you for cheering me on:)
I love that you and your sister can talk about your life and heal together.

Marj aka Thriver said...

What a wonderful, touching story. It is part of YOUR story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. You are not only a survivor--you are a thriver!

Greg C said...

This was a wonderful story. I can relate as well. The only negative side to our story is not all the flowers bloomed. Some are barely living or should I say existing.

Patricia Singleton said...

In my story, I am the older sister but I am like you in that I felt I had to be the strong, silent type. My sister is the younger one who has used sex and alcohol to be in denial of what happened to both of us as children---incest. Thanks for sharing your story.

Lisa Marie said...

I think that there are stories of perseverance everywhere to remind us that we are strong enough to get through anything if we carry God with us. I am so glad you and your sister have each other. Such a blessing.

Anonymous said...

Aww, the beauty of God. How He can use something like two beautiful flowers growing amongst rocks to speak His power to us. God is truly good.

I love you and I love this post!

God bless