I've been participating in the #novembergratitudechallenge this month, taking time daily to share something I'm grateful for. In the beginning of the month I shared a quote that I had found that inspired a daily gratitude post,
Sometimes when you're in a dark place you think you've been buried, but you've actually been planted. -- Christine Caine
I have been "buried" many times throughout my life by so many different trials. When I found this quote I really thought about all those times. It occurred to me that whether we are buried or planted is up to us.
Sometimes I am buried. I let the problems shovel darkness over me, and I am consumed by it. I stay there in that darkness, unchanging. Other times, I let it nourish me, teach me, and help me grow. Whatever happened, whatever the trail; it was up to me what came of it.
Infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, depression, postpartum depression, anxiety, whatever my problem, or your problem may be,
it can bury you or you can choose to let it cultivate you
Every month that passed. Every negative ovulation test and every negative pregnancy test. Every pregnancy announcement I cynically wished I could "dislike" on Facebook. Every year that passed that made our dreams seem further than closer. Each one felt like a heaping, shovel-full of dirt dumped over our heads, burying us alive. Barely alive. The pit was filling up around us. The dirt rising steadily to our heads. You know that's what it feels like; slowly being buried alive in adversity.
So, many times I sat still in that pit of despair and heartache. I let myself be buried in my misery. I let the darkness take me. I refused comfort. I refused growth. Oh, how I wish I could go back to those times and tell myself to fight. But other times I did try. I sought nourishment for my soil and I would begin, in small ways, to grow.
On November 17, 2015, I peaked out from my pit and grew into the warmth of the sun. Max was born, and no matter the trials we endured through his short life, I felt peace. I felt joy.
But from the last breath he took until late this summer, it felt like a slow motion fall back to the deepest, darkest part of my hole in the earth. And when we lost our 3rd pregnancy in July, it felt like a bulldozer just moved a mountain of mud over me, and that was it. Pure, complete darkness. No light. No way out. I was buried.
I felt hopeless, and I stayed hopeless. I refused to water my soil or till my dirt, and I refused to let anyone help. And I was consumed there. I was buried so deep. My heart, my very soul, had been broken seemingly beyond repair. I was already buried, so why not just die? It seemed like the only answer then. It seemed to be the only way to get out, to get free.
Being buried in our own negativity, is a choice. Despite grief, mental illness, heartache and failure, we can still choose to grow, even if sometimes that doesn't feel true. Sometimes it feels like we don't have a choice, but we do. And when we fail to be the gardener in our own lives. When we fail to cultivate ourselves, there is One who will always be there to do what we cannot. We only have to reach for Him.
The Savior is our gardener. And while He does not bury us, he will come to water us and give us sun and til our soil. If we just turn to Him in faith we can grow after we've been buried.
I was planted. I was buried. And I grew.
Eventually, slowly, the light returned. I became firmly planted, instead of buried. I could have joy. I can have joy! I am made new. I have grown through being buried, and I am grateful for it.
Friends, do not get lost in the deep darkness. Do not lose hope when life buries you.
Have faith to grow.
Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, is the gardener we can rely on when life's trials bury us deeper than we can grow from on our own.