Meeting God in the Garden
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.”
Joel 2:25 (NKJV)
Two things about me are true.
I have always been a writer, and I have never had a green thumb.
Let’s start with the first one. Since early childhood, I’ve enjoyed living in the world of words. Making up stories and scribbling them down on paper came naturally to me.
Five years ago, my dream of becoming a published author became reality. In quick succession, I published nine books: seven full-length novels and two novellas. During this time, I also experienced a major health situation out of my control. To combat stress, I began to tiptoe into the world of gardening. To my surprise, I garnered a few tiny successes. My potted herbs and succulents all lived, and somehow, I managed to keep alive a beautiful moth orchid that I bought in the city one rainy weekend.
Things were trending upward. But the stress had taken a toll. Soon after finishing my ninth book, I experienced extreme burnout and physically couldn’t write anymore. The words were gone. I had no choice but to take a step back from the career that I loved and take time to rest and heal.
An entire year went by. During this time–a time when it seemed like my dreams were fading–my orchid died.
I knew it was coming. Orchids don’t flower continuously, and mine had a good run. Four months of glowing, radiant blooms.
But still, the orchid’s seeming death at the exact same time that my writing career stalled was difficult. It felt symbolic. The flower didn’t bloom the entire year that I took off writing. I nearly forgot that it sat in my windowsill. I kept the curtains closed.
Then suddenly, this spring, I noticed some burgundy-tipped buds at the end of the stems.
I will bring your dream back to you, for I am the Restorer of lost things. God dropped some words into my spirit. I will restore the years the locusts ate.
Though it was hard to believe, I had to relax into His promise, as I watched my orchid slowly stumble back into life.
And then–miraculously–a year to the day that I set down my pen, I began writing again. A new story of hope, redemption, and yes, restoration. A reminder that I will always carry with me when I think about nature brought back to life by the one True Gardner
Shaen is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes inspirational cozy mystery from her home in the Midwest, where she lives with her artist husband, Danny, their two rambunctious but adorable boys, and their shelter pup, Violet. Trained as a literary novelist and with a decade of librarianship under her belt, Shaen loves discussing all things bookish with her readers on her website and on social media.
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