About the Author

Bianca Olthoff is an (in)courage alumni who spends most of her time working as Chief Storyteller for The A21 Campaign, a global anti-human trafficking organization. By day she's a freedom writer who advocates for justice, but at night she's a step-mom who loves to have dance parties with Parker, Ryen, and Ricci [a.k.a. The...

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  1. What an amazing illustration of how we have “hidden” treasures in us awaiting His timing to bloom.

  2. This year in the desert I too have noticed this plant, it is amazing when it blooms. Tonight’s Bible study was amazing beyond belief and it makes me bloom each and every week. I am so thankful for good and true Bible teachers that help us bloom.

  3. There are seasons of all those in my life… but currently I am blooming. God is blessing me with good words of encouragement and growth!

  4. I love that verse in Ecclesiastes and what a neat illustration…breathes of deep encouragement and I need to remember this in the face of my own growth as a believer, wife, mom…I can be hard on myself, setting lofty expectations…
    And I have to mention it’s so God to speak to you in the desert…me, too and I wrote about it recently…God has a way of getting our attention when we wander in the wildnerness, doesn’t he?

  5. It’s amazing to know that even in the dry areas of life, God can bring something beautiful out of the desert. I think we are all in constant states of blooming here, withering there . . . and maybe that’s the grand scheme of it all. That the good Lord gives and takes away – teaching us not only to lean on Him and patiently await the next bountiful blooming of life.

  6. The article is just great. I too experience down times when I feel so ugly and unwanted by the society but God makes me feel complete and wanted, for Him I am beautiful and complete. And there are a few people who understands that, who sees my inside beauty in spite my physical ugliness.

  7. I’m blooming! I’m pregnant. This baby has been hoped and longed for for many years. Truly it’s a great blessing from the Lord. He is transitioning me into being ready to be a mumma.

  8. I’m in a strange – but good! – place of being in the middle of a tough emotional and physical trial, but blooming at the same time. It’s God’s faithfulness in the midst of it all that makes me want to shout His name in praise.

  9. I want to bloom! This is a tough time for me and I hope that I will bloom from this experience.

  10. I have seen a lot of growth in my walk with God the past 3 years, but right now, the past 9 months have been really really hard. I’ve had friends say its a time of transition for me and my kids, I call it a hurricane or tornado!
    I’m struggling really hard trying to battle a depression that has sunk into my deepest parts. I started a new med and that scares me to pieces on top of the depression.
    I am told that God uses all things for good. I’m having a hard time holding onto that so I am really wanting to see something bloom out of all of this. And if its not what I would think of as a blossom then I pray that God opens my eyes to see what He has made blossom!

  11. I am in that period of high growth between the 20 years of ugh and the blooming. This is an entirely new period in my life, and I am so excited to see where God takes me!

  12. I am so thankful that God’s patience and faithfulness far outlasts ours! Today I am blessed and amazed to be seeing my dad’s very late but very beautiful blooms. My sisters and I have been praying for my dad for years. Though every area of his life was in shambles, still he did not turn to God…until recently. And our faithful God was there waiting for him. Now our years of prayers for his mental and spiritual health are being answered. My dad is finally choosing a growing relationship with the Father. Though his physical brokeness continues, the growth springing forth from his once-broken soul is a site to behold. Praise God!

  13. This has been encouraging to read. I so want to bloom. I’ve been thankful for the awesome growth I’ve seen in me during this time but, yes, there have been trials and depression and pain during my grief journey after the death of my husband almost two years ago. I don’t know yet what’s next. I still can’t see the end. I want to believe that God makes all things beautiful in His time. Waiting on God’s timing has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. But I still believe it’ll be worth it.

  14. I loved this article. I feel as though I am growing and the blooms are budding getting ready to burst open very soon. Just on that edge…

  15. Some days life feels like fast forward but MORE OFTEN, it feels slow like waiting for that little bloom to pop out, watching others seemingly walking in their dreams, gifts, callings, destinies….On the outside, I have felt like I appear to people to be blooming and growing but yet inside I sense this tugging of the Holy Spirit that this is AGAIN just a piece of the journey.

  16. Thank you for the encouragement this morning. His timing is perfect, perfect. Now, I just have to REMEMBER that!

  17. I feel like I’ve begun to bloom more in my life since I’ve had my daughter than before I had her. She’s a constant reminder to thank God everyday for the good and not so good. A 24/7 blessing that keeps blessing

  18. So many times in life God brings the desert to help us to bloom. I am in the desert, but trying to rely on my Savior. My mom passed away this April and my oldest son has been away for a year. We are anxiously looking for his return. The pain I feel in my soul at times in excruciating. But I trust…

  19. I was reminding a friend recently that it’s much easier to see another person’s life “blooming” from the outside, but how we can so easily miss the obvious beauty in our own lives. I love that our Lord gives us beauty for ashes …

  20. I’m blooming a little at a time. I’d say marriage, motherhood and homeschooling have all been experiences which have made me bloom.Thanks for the encouragement.

  21. I am in the in-between…my young family life is blooming, but my personal spiritual life is at a standstill. I have been seeking God’s will and purpose for my life at this time and I am in the word more than ever before. I just am not hearing Him at this time, but am still seeking!

  22. I do believe I’m blooming- funny, as I read others’ comments, they can mark certain times in early seasons of adulthood where they are blooming, such as an engagement, or a baby on the way – for me, I’m at the other end with (almost) everyone kid-like out of the house and I’m feeling like now God is starting to shoot forth that growth! I love sitting back and watching Him work and seeing how it all comes together.

  23. thanks so much . . . i’ll be looking forward to that “full bloom” knowing it will come eventually. these things take time!
    blessings,
    shana

  24. After an incredibly hard year last year, I do feel like I am getting me back and maybe even starting to bloom again. I’m working on it, anyway.

  25. God does bring beauty from ashes. Sharing your journey brings hope and healing. All to His glory!

  26. There are some things on the horizon and I’m wondering if I’m on the cusp of blooming again 🙂 can we bloom more than once?

  27. Right now I think I’m at day 1 of that 3 day growth spurt 🙂 God is doing awesome works in my life and opening doors I never imagined were there. I’m still a few feet away from the “old me,” but by God’s grace He’s transforming me into something beautiful.

  28. Not only do I have a cold that is knocking me down today…and having a low week in general. But it seems, when I am hitting a rough patch just the right post comes from this site and pulls me out and up to growth again! Thank you for your grace.

  29. Oh how this post resonates with me! I have had experiences with many of the ugly things of life and now feel that I am beginning to shed the ugly and bloom in to what God wants me to be!
    Thank you for this beautiful post!

  30. His grace and love restores me daily. In this world, he gives me the strength to keep going.

  31. God is good to place blooms in a heart damaged by sin. He is so good to heal and grow when we feel as if there is no helpful option. He allows us to grow in our love for Him and for others. What a fulfilling place to be following the desert of hurt.
    Praise our Wonderful God!

  32. Having just moved, I am blooming meeting new friends and being blessed attending a new church.

  33. Very nice post. We see the blooms of the seeds of missionaries long since gone. We don’t always see what we may want to see or hope to see but need to keep our hands to the plow and keep pushing foward. The final harvest will be seen in the Lord’s Kingdom.

  34. Yes indeed, I’m blooming. The Lord is good and I’m learning to trust Him with all He has for my life.
    BEAUTIFUL POST!

  35. I loved the post. What a beautiful illustration of hope in the midst of ugliness and desperation. I too am in the desert and have been for about 5 years. There are good days and bad days. But God is doing something and I am hopeful. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  36. I think I might be a semi-annual bloomer. It seems to come in spurts, or is that seasons? Maybe I’m more like the plants that only bloom at night? Dry during part of the day, and then colorful and fragrant at other times. I suspect it stems (pun intended!) from how much nourishment I gather from the Vine.

  37. I wonder if I will ever “bloom”. I place my trust in the Lord, try to see what is happening in my life as His will. My husband left me almost a year ago with our three teenage children, then fought me in court over custody of the two minor-age children. Despite a Custody Agreement (put together at the 11th hour before going to court, and which I am not happy with), it’s a constant tug of war to the point I feel harassed. He has greatly limited our income and proper child/spousal support has not yet been settled in court. I struggle to try to give my children the things they want/need. Now I’m struggling physically with facial shingles on top of all my worries. I ask your prayers.

  38. I am trying to bloom- made a decision to divorce and get out of abuse and its been hard on all but I feel Gods hand on my soulder- just scared to trust

  39. I am finally blooming ..after years of insecurities plagueing me and causing so many bad reactions to things…I am FINALLY secure in who God has made me to be….finally secure in His love. Am I totally scar free? Not at all–but they aren’t being picked open all the time anymore.

  40. I have just experienced my 3rd ectopic pregnancy and am now unable to naturally conceive. While in hospital waiting on God and many tests I knew and know now without a doubt God’s glory and power will be shown through this. I don’t know what He has in store but I believe after a winter of pruning, healing & quiet and a time of our roots of faith growing and burrowing deeper we are looking forward with great hope to the beauty and splendour of the coming blooming time. His timing is perfect and I would choose no other adventure than the one He has us on. These 3 remain: Faith, Hope & Love!

  41. I pray that we all grow closer to our Lord and Savior everyday. I want to laugh with, lean on, and learn from Him!

  42. Honestly I’ve felt overlooked these past months but this reminds me of processes, god’s processes for me, for us… so I know better days are ahead and maybe closer than we think…!

  43. I’m in a season of ugly! But I believe important things are happening that I cannot see.
    Looking forward to my blooming!

  44. This is a season of “ugliness” for me. I’m so grateful that Christ sees the inside: For man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. I Sam. 17:6

  45. I spent over a decade in my ‘unchurched-of-the-world days’ *thinking* I was blooming. I was successful. I was having fun. Or so I told myself. In reality, I was shrinking, shriveling.
    I kept believing I’d gone too far and that there was no way to ‘come back.’ The day I figured out what grace meant, I bloomed in one seriously huge way.
    And then God put me in a holding pattern. (ha)
    The blooming since that time has been slow, but I know that after a time such as this…..those ‘bursting forth’ moments come.
    It’s taken half my life just to bloom to this point. I can’t wait to see what blooms going forward.
    Love!
    deb
    P.S. Would that cactus be succulent? 😉

  46. I’ve been dry will illness. Yet, God has used this dry dessert to show me how to bloom. He has taken me by the hand and walked me through it and taught me about how much I will bloom and grow and be fully his on the other side of this illness, when wellness is my friend.

  47. I love the fact that walking with the Lord through this life is a never ending school but this school is teaching me to become the person he so specifically created me to be.
    There is no higher education than that.
    And through the trials of life He is shaping & molding me slowly, but surely to that person.
    I wouldn’t trade one tear or heartbreak through those trials because I am becoming that person in His Time.

  48. Right now I feel like I’m just the plant, waiting, storing and resting. Slow growth, but no big blooms, just small changes along the way.

  49. What a beautiful picture of the Lord’s restoration! My husband would say that I’ve been slowly blooming over the last couple of years in a family trial we’ve been undergoing. I don’t see it as much in my life, but I hope to one day look back and see His complete restoration!

  50. Today I am wilting just a little, my kids went back to school, I really have a hard time on the first day of school, even though they do not.

  51. I think we are always blooming — we may just not see the flowers or fruit yet. But, God does and I think He uses whatever season we are in toward growth and beauty.

  52. At times, I felt like I was planted in bad roots but God transplanted my life not too long ago. I had to recognize and release roots of anger and bitterness. That process was an encounter with my Creator. God’s love as helped me live and survive the desert. It is His grace that helps me bloom through my circumstances.

  53. i needed this today, but in application with our 9 year old daughter. she is being rebellious (already) and i am thankful that you reminded me that she is a work in progress. i guess we all have to go through some “ugliness” before we can be made beautiful! i can’t wait to see how it all works out:)

  54. I’m in the desert and it is a very hard place to be. I’ve spent much of my life blooming. I know that time will come again, but for now there is pain and heartache in this desert place.

  55. Very nice post. I guess all I can say is I don’t feel as though I am blooming as of yet…I am always growing, stretching, and getting close to blooming but, then the big wind blows and I topple over waiting for the sun to come out and stretch me upward again.
    Thank goodness the sun continues to shine. 😉

  56. I’ve been in a desert for a long time, but it finally feels like an oasis is on the horizon. God is good like that. He said we’d go through the valleys. Not stay in them.

  57. Wow, enjoyed this one today and I am beginning to bloom, I can’t help but think it is taking years to start a little bloom, but I am encouraged to know that even in the desert times blooms come and oh what a beauty they will be. Right now I feel the seedlings starting to sprout and just feel blessed to be in this season!

  58. The thing I think I like most about the plant imagery you used is that when it finally blooms, it blooms BIG and BEAUTIFUL. 🙂 He does good things, regardless the timing.

  59. After a long drought of happiness my faith in God delivered me to the life He had waiting. He taught me to how to leave my life of guilt and how to accept blessings in my life. It’s like a whole new world! For as long as I remember I’ve known Christ as my savior, I’ve always believed in God. Now I believe God. I believe that His plans are perfect. He taught me to be thankful for my struggles and to learn from them. I encourage others to take a difficult look into their past times of strife and to figure out what God was teaching in those moments. We must learn from them, it’s at our most challenging times that God is arming Christians with tools to use in the future. In Christ, A

  60. Great post! I have been struggling with the memories of my past. I have not allowed God to restore what was lost. I hope soon to see that beautiful growth pushing through.
    Thanks,
    Nichole

  61. I once used the quote “bloom where you are planted” for a program in highschool (years ago). I try to bloom, but acts of “nature and the world” tend to knock them off. I need dailey reminders and encouragement to continue to “bloom where I am planted” with God as my caretaker. 🙂 Have a blessed day, everyone.

  62. Great article. So hard to remember that we are exactly where we are supposed to be and with faith, all things work to the good. At those times when we can’t see where the road is going, when we think the burdens we carry are too heavy and we can’t take one more step, it is comforting to remember this plant that spends years laying in strong roots so that it can eventually bloom and reveal it’s glory. This plant reminds us that even when we can’t see the evidence of God’s work, He is there, walking every step with us, supplying us with all that we need to bloom. Sometimes it is the period right before we bloom that requires we do the most difficult and depleting work!
    Thanks for your inspiring words.

  63. I used the quote “bloom where you are planted” to help convince me to stay in a job I despised…I finally realized I hadn’t been planted there so much as set there & it wasn’t for me. There would be no way to build solid roots. I found the courage to leave even when the job world is so unstable. I am growing my own roots & preparing myself for the s(pot)he has in store for me.

  64. I’ve seen these plants in New Mexico!! They are so interesting! I am spiritually coming out of the dessert after being beaten up there for almost three years…God moved my family out if that place, physically and spiritually at the same time! So, I am at this place of awakening and healing now. It has been so good, enough for me to realize the new strength He put in me during time in the desert.

  65. Amazing! Thanks for sharing and making the connection. Just trying to bloom. After many years of having a purpose and ministry, I now am asking “where Lord”? It has been the hardest thing connecting after a move.

  66. i feel as if every single person in our family is in the desert right now..this is a huge thread of encouragement to me that will help me to keep holding on to our ever loving GOD…thank you!

  67. What’s striking to me is how fast the giant stem and bloom matures once it starts. It reminds me of how quickly a time of prolonged despair can be healed in a relative instant.

  68. I think I’m in the middle of the growing season. I’m not the ugly, ignored plant, but I don’t believe I’m in full bloom-yet. I’ve been working my way towards that point, and I can see that it’s coming. I’m hearing God whisper to me, “Not yet. It’ll come.” That promise of good things to come is enough for me!

  69. This post is timely, as I’m feeling like the ugly plant. I am encouraged though, in that God uses all seasons in our lives to bring beauty to the world. I pray mine blooms soon.

  70. Yes, I think I am blooming, very, very slowly. Some icky things were put into my life but I have always felt that God wanted me to use them for His glory someday, just wasn’t sure how. Then one night I went to bed and he gave me a story, word for word and I could NOT go to sleep until I got up to write it. It has been one of the most read stories on my blog. I have since won writing contests and feel like God’s pointing me in the directions of writing and giving others encouragement through faith, just as He does here at (in)courage. I am humbled. I am not worthy but I will glorify Him! Thank you Lord!

  71. I’m honestly not sure what stage I’m in right now! Not really feeling ugly and dry, but not blooming either… praying that I’m heading toward the bloom! But, I suppose it doesn’t really matter since God is here–with me wherever I am, and God is good, no matter what the circumstances…

  72. I thank God i’ll finally bloom at His time, even when it seems hope has gone.
    May God bless you all,
    Sara

  73. At the moment, my husband is blossoming (after years of standing still) and I am not. We’re about to go through a transition that I am not entirely on board with. And with this comes doubt and distance from God. I know I am in the wrong by not seeking Gods will with fierce determination during this time if testing but I am not. It’s as if my husband and I have switched roles! Needless to say, I am proud and thankful for his growth. He is an amazing husband! I know has something awesome in our future, I just need to get my selfishness to take a backseat for this ride!

  74. I would have to say I am neither “blooming” or “ugly”. I am soaking in the desert elements. I am at a dry point in this phase of my life where parts of my blooming seem to be pulling apart at the seams. The elements are wearing certain relationships to a dry and crumbling stage.
    I am confident of God’s love and presence in my life however, and know that through this possible transition period in my life, the sun that seems to be beating down on me is actually the Son warming my soul with his presence. And I know that putting my trust in Him will lead me to “blooming”.

  75. I believe God is trying to let me bloom if I would just stand back and let Him. I have a job that a love and a family that supports me. But I am 28 and was sure I would be married with kids by now. I am learning to let go of my plan to let God’s plan bloom.

  76. My husband and I minister to college students and it just never gets old watching someone transform from the inside out. =0)

  77. I believe that right now I am being stretched. God is in the processes of teaching me to stand firm and wait. This has been a long process. He is teaching me to trust and perservere. I pray that my faith, integrity and character all grow into his liking. I believe he is up to something bigger than me. I pray that I am strong enough to withstand adversity along the way.

  78. Waiting to bloom but feeling like it has to erupt from me soon 🙂 I am coming from a season of grief, and waiting to see in which ways I will soar to new heights.

  79. What a great reminder of how even when we don’t think anything is going on God is preparing us to blossom into something.

  80. I feel I am in a blooming time. Last year I found out I was pregnant. At the time it was not a joyous moment. It was a total surprise and a big detour to what I thought God was wanting me to do at the time. I struggled all throughout my pregancy and the few few months after my beautiful son was born. I hung on to the Lord with what little I had but I felt Him holding on to me. He pulled me out of the miry clay and now I rejoice that He has given me a beautiful baby boy who will be turning 1 in October. I never thought I would love being a mom but I now see how I am more me than I have ever been.

  81. My family is definitely in an ugly stage. We have had some serious difficulties with one of our children this summer. Counseling sessions, tension, fear, and anger all cloud our days. But God is God and He knows our seasons. I hold fast to the promise of blooming after the desert times. Without the desert times, we would not appreciate the beauty of the bloom.

  82. Divorce is a nasty business, and we all know it affects not just the husband and wife, but the kids as well. Divorce was the only answer in our case, and after nearly three years since the divorce and one of separation, I feel that I and my sons are growing. It hasn’t been easy, and there have been many conflicts since D-day. Many times I have felt I can’t handle the trials, but God has always brought me through. II Corinthians 12:9 has been a wonderful comfort to me “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” I have prayed that God will use my “trials” to help others who may be going through the same situation.

  83. Today I would say I am blooming.
    Blooming because a desire I”ve had to love and minister to women is bearing fruit and I’m gearing up to travel north to Zimbabwe and love on the women and youth up there and I can’t believe it, and can’t wait to see how He uses the dry and desert and pain from my story to love on the ladies up there. SO, so blessed.

  84. Sometimes I tell God that I’ll never be anything, that I just keep failing and I’m not growing in any good way. But He always whispers in my ear, “I can make something out of nothing,” and by His grace I know that I can be whatever He wants me to be. 🙂

  85. I’m not sure…but I think I’m almost ready to bloom. Right now is tough. But I’m hopefull for a change on the horizon. Love this analogy! What a beautiful illustration of how God can work in us.

  86. I’m at the top of the 20 year growth…both in my current age and my walk with Christ. I’m fully redy for the moment where I break through and bloom into the beautiful flower that God created me to be…thank you for this beautiful comparison story! 🙂

  87. “In His time, in His time.
    He makes all things beautiful, in His time.
    Lord, please show me every day,
    As You’re teaching me Your way,
    That You do just what You say,
    In Your time.”
    We need to remind ourselves and each other…He’s not finished yet!!:)

  88. Thanks for the great illustration. Quite often I get caught up in life and don’t notice my own life cycles. Right now I am in a stage of growth and feel some ‘blooms’ coming on!

  89. Every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ can be placed in this very description you have given. Wile on this earth we are among those who do not believe and those who hate the name of our Lord. We are only here for a short time, then we will be shining with the Son! \0/

  90. My children are out of the house – to be honest I have a grandson who will be a senior this year. I have found through the years of my walk that God will bring you to that blooming time of your life when He knows you need to be there – even after staying in that prickly area for awhile. Often it is how he will use you for purpose in someone elses life – sometimes it is for you. I don’t know that I have reached full bloom yet – then again maybe I have and haven’t realized it.
    Thanks for all your ‘incouraging’

  91. I definitely feel like the ugly plant right now lol! I am dealing with the painful process of letting go anger and frustration as well as trying to keep our marriage stable and healthy. It isn’t easy for us right now as my hubby (who is a pastor) has just added to his responsibilities. It is a tough season, but one we are determined to get through together. Great post Bianca.

  92. I’ve always loved the saying, “Bloom where you are planted”. I believe that it is encouraging people to be content with where God has them right now and to bloom in beautiful, fruitful, meaninig ways to bring glory to His kingdom in all kinds of situations.

  93. I am definitely growing in ways I never expected. I am growing in strength, physical. I am growing in a blogger’s world. I am growing as a wife as I prepare for a weekend alone leaving our several children at home with others… I’m just along for the ride…

  94. This is such a great site. I have been so encouraged by reading the posts each day. Thank you for the reminder that the Lord can bring beauty out of such ugliness.

  95. I believe that I am in the process of blooming. I’m not the full blown beautiful flower yet, but God hasn’t given up on me yet.

  96. Love this and how God uses all of His creation to illustrate His greatness!! I feel like I am for the first time learning to hear and obey, without being enslaved to the thoughts and opinions of everyone around me!

  97. I’m definitely blooming, slowly but surely. It’s not always pretty and not always so graceful, but it’s happening. 🙂

  98. I just got out of a desert season with the encouragement of one of the (In)Courage bloggers. Now I’m seeing that beauty bright and clear. The Spirit has been constantly reminding me of different facets of His story – the simple yet mysterious truths that I’ve so quickly forgotten. Yes, He is faithful to remind us of His ways and His truth, but so often He reminds us through the voices of our sisters and brothers.
    I love that you ended with the Romans 12:15 passage because if we’re not in-tune with our sisters, then we won’t be the voice reminding them of our Lord’s truth. He has put His Spirit in us for a purpose, and it is good. I am a witness.

  99. “Even when we can’t see the full scope of God’s work from beginning to end, He will make all things beautiful in His time.”
    Amen. Though I can’t see what He is doing with all the pieces, I can see Him working. I can’t wait to see the final masterpiece!

  100. What a wonderful reminder of praising God through the storms. He can see the other side of the storm clearly whereas all I can see is the storm itself.

  101. I feel like a late bloomer, but now I’m really blooming. I would love to have the Amazing Grace bookcrop; that song really speaks to me

  102. Like others commenting I feel I’m on the cusp of blooming physically and emotionally, but spiritually, I’ve bloomed and then some and I’m reaching to the skies. God is so good, and so much more faithful than we could ever be.

  103. Just when I think God has forgotten me, He leads me to your blog and let’s me know He still loves me and HE is still in control.
    Thank you for those wonderful words of encouragement!

  104. My immediate family is in the blooming period right now although my health concerns always feel like whiplash back and forth depending on my health that day.
    My main concern is for those in our church fellowship that are continually overlooked because they “don’t fit in”. (Widowed, unmarried, without children, jobless, etc.) I am trying to find new ways to greet others and make them feel welcome despite a large degree of introvertism on my part.

  105. Thank you for your encouragement on this day. I feel i’m still in the ugly state and i hear the Holy Spirit naggings but i’m either to busy or just don’t take the time. I do believe that there is beauty in each of us and i have felt that times in my life. Thanks for makiing me think and want that bloom!!!! God bless

  106. Lately, I have felt like I am sitting around waiting for something. God has finally shown me today where to go with my life. An offer at dream job! I am very much so blooming!

  107. I am encouraged that God’s timing is perfect and that I don’t need to understand the scope of his work even though I so desperately want to. I feel like I am am waiting on God and his timing to show me where and when he wants me to fully bloom. Thanks for the encouragement

  108. I think as a Mom of 2 young kids, it’s easy to feel broken and un-glamourous, but realizing that we are blooming in God’s eyes makes the days brighter!

  109. Oh, to bloom! Thank you for the beautiful illustration, and the reminder that some seasons are for growing and others are for blooming. I love it, too, that when the plant is ready that tall flower grows up in just three days!

  110. What a great reminder that God uses all things in our lives for His glory and our good. So many times we give up before the real fruit is produced. So many times – especially when He is pruning us we don’t see it. Truth be told, some of those blooms may not be apparent until we are in Eternity!
    We are called to be faithful and to trust. He does the rest!

  111. I have bloomed and I have been given wings to fly!! I love the Butterfly and as I have walked through much in the past few years, my love for them have increased.
    The LORD has set me free and I am no longer captive, My past has no hold on me, friends that I thought were friends have showed otherwise and the LORD has shown me who are the roses in the garden of my life!!
    Today I sit here and I am strong,anointed and redeemed, I am a child of the most high GOD as we all are and sister’s that is a blessing!!!
    We serve an amazing GOD..we are HIS GEMS!!!!
    Tina

  112. He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)
    And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10)
    These have been important verses to me in the last year. I have sensed the Lord bringing me through heartache and blooming in me a stronger faith and a hope after suffering for a little while. I thank the Lord for his power of restoration and renewal and for giving me a hope and a future that is beyond what I could have imagined.

  113. In Georgia my neighbor calls her plant like this a “Century Plant”, but what a beautiful meaning behind God working on us so that we may one day bloom to the height and potential loveliness He has for us!

  114. The Lord has blessed me to bloom! I am blooming as a Sunday School teacher, as a youth leader, as step-mom and as a wife. I am blessed!

  115. I struggle with depression periodically–organic in nature, it comes and goes without warning. God, in His loving mercy has shown me this last year that my depression is a gift. I draw ever closer to Him during those times. He is my Rock and my strength on the darkest days! He takes that thorn in the flesh and makes it blossom!

  116. Perfect!! I think finally after a long time of uncertainty, ugliness,and just plain ol depression, I can see the pretty flowers starting to bloom. Very well said 🙂

  117. Wow, I’ve never heard of this plant before!
    I’m feeling like the ugly rosette right now. Out of school, living with my parents, unsure of my purpose and what God has for me…it’s hard living at home with my parents, who can be rather…legalistic. I’m frustrated with myself because I fee so useless, and upset because I don’t know how to change.
    I guess I can just keep in mind this plant. Maybe I’ll bloom soon!

  118. That was a great analogy and I really enjoyed reading it! I feel as though I go back and forth between blooming and feeling the ugly prickle of waiting almost each day. We’ve been trying to get pregnant for over a year (after waiting for 6 years to begin trying because of my husbands career) and I am ready! Each day God gives me such an amazing peace about it that I do feel like I am blooming in that sense, but then there are moments where there is a prickle of impatience. I am choosing to trust God’s plan and timing. And in that trust, the blooming is so refreshing and sweet.

  119. I am in a time of bareness and depression. My husband and I are both currently unemployed and really don’t know where to go next. With other things also going on, we are trying desperetly to be patient and wait on the Lord. Oh, WHAT JOY in your words:
    “Years of abuse, molestation, neglect, depression, trials or tragedy are part of the brokenness of man. But in God’s perfect time He restores the years of ugliness with vibrant colors, sweet scents, and towering strength.”
    To know that there is hope; that there is a reason to wait. Tears in my eyes blur the words and the vision in my head is clearer than ever. We will wait on the Lord and He will make all things beautiful in His time.

  120. Oh, funny, I’m just like Beth whose kids are heading out and she’s feeling like she’s blooming. I feel like I’ve been faithful to do what God has called me to do all these years–be a stay-at-home Mom–but suddenly, as my first is off to college this year and the others are getting older, God is bringing really fun opportunities into my life. I am so blessed.

  121. I haven’t felt led to comment on any posts ’til now.
    My life is the desert at this moment. I yearn for the Living Water to refresh and nourish the maguey plant in my spirit. I look forward to when He has fulfilled His purpose of planting me in this desert. When His glory will shoot forth, strong and faithful, crowning me with the beautiful, sweet scent of victory!

  122. Coming out of a trial, things aren’t as challenging as they once were but not yet blooming. I am also in-between. . .I am trying to find my purpose for this time in my life and praying for what to do next. It has been a long time of waiting and depnding on God.

  123. “Live courageously in the arms of Grace” Love Love Love It!
    Wonderful story on the ugly plant…I’ve felt like that plant for a huge part of my life…but…God is healing and I’m blooming after 52 years (finally God is filling me with all his colors and fragrance). Amen!
    God’s Blessings. 😀

  124. I believe I’m at the beginning of a bloom. So, perhaps I am “budding!” My husband and I just went through a very difficult year. Our son had a very major, invasive surgery to reconstruct his skull due to a congenital deformity. Our son was only 8 1/2 months when he had this surgery. That was immediately followed by my husband’s deployment. And that was immediately followed by us moving to a new base. To say the least, we’ve dealt with a lot of stress on our marriage and in our lives. We’ve been working hard to restore the peace in our lives and allow God to bring healing to our relationship as you can imagine all of these circumstances have taken their toll. We are more in love now, having come through the trials, than we were before and I am grateful that the Lord brings us through rough times and allows us to bloom beautiful on the other side to His glory.

  125. This reminds me of being baptised. You start off dirty and emerge from the water clean. Praise the Lord!

  126. “Each year the plant grows wider, longer, and uglier.” Hahaha some days I feel like that is me; wider, uglier and -gasp!- older… Maybe it’s because, like a cactus, I’m retaining water?! Great post B, awesome reminder to keep on keepin’ on.

  127. After years of despair and grief following the loss of my daughter, I am starting to feel hope again. I asked God to please give me new dreams because I had none…so these dreams, these new hopes, the gentle encouragement to lift up my head and gaze forward, could this all be a part of that new shoot springing forth from ugliness? May there be beautiful, fragrant blossoms!

  128. I’m blooming again. The hard part is trusting God with loved ones who are not yet. Believing He will give them beautiful flowers. I do believe, LORD, help me with my unbelief.
    PS I have pics with my kids next to plants like these. SO tall.

  129. I’m ready for the blooming part, but I have a feeling God isn’t done working with the ugly parts yet. I know thay He is working all things for His glory…I anxiously await that beauty!

  130. I have been thinking about this all day. I really am not sure. I am 34 years old. I know that I am a better woman today than I was 10 years ago. On the other hand, there is still a lot of room for improvement. I know that with God’s love and grace I am becoming the woman He wants me to be. I guess that means that I am stuck in the middle of ugly and beautiful, and I am okay with that. Everyday I bloom a little more.

  131. I’m blooming if I make sure to look past the trivial things in life that can really bog me down.

  132. I’d say I’m in a blooming season. My family has faced a lot of sadness in the past, but my husband and daughter and I are persevering and are so grateful for the ministry God has given us!

  133. This reminds me of the concept of the creation of diamonds. If a diamond is pulled out of the pressure of the earth too early…it is simply good for pencil lead. However under intense seasons of pressure…the beauty of a diamond is created. I am in a season of tremendous pressure, a time where I feel like God is uprooting much that I know, and I am feeling the “pressure”….like this plant you posted about, I am waiting to bloom after these years. Trusting that God makes all things new, and has a purpose for my life…has a purpose for all seasons. So..here’s to the pressure…here’s to allowing my roots to grow..until I bloom or a diamond is created in me

  134. In 51 years of marriage and 33 years of being a Christian, I have bloomed, and I have also felt ugly and overlooked. One thing I have learned is that neither is permanent – so I don’t get all puffed up when I’m blooming, and I don’t despair when I’m in a downward slump. Just like God made that plant, He made me, and He’s got it all worked out in the end. VICTORY!!

  135. I think God uses us as encouragers of others. To tell others how we see them blooming. That can be pretty powerful. Right now I am partnering with a friend so that we can be just that, gardeners for each other!!!!

  136. Live courageously in the arms of grace. I’m budding. Not sure what it’s going to be yet. Getting excited again. Praying for a good crop. No, an amazing crop.

  137. I’m blooming…overflowing…and yet am so thankful for the wilderness He led me through to reach this time of blossoming.

  138. It’s amazing how many messages God sends your way. Just open your heart and eyes. See what is around you.
    Blessed Be

  139. There is beautify in all of us waiting to bloom. Over the last few years I have been able to grow and heal from an abusive 14 year relationship and now I notice the beauty around me that has allowed me to bloom.

  140. My life is full of blooms – new house and renovation….and God is filling places in my heart with healing instead of pain. =)

  141. The little bud that you see after a long dark winter is what I am feeling like right now. Our family has been through lots of heartache and turmoil in the last 10 years. We are still under the same “ugliness” as the story referred to, but our hearts are beginning to change. We have always loved the Lord, but He has been patiently waiting for us to submit our wills to His plans. Maybe we will come out as beautiful fragrant blossoms.

  142. I actually feel like I’m right in between! Not quite blooming, not quite stuck in the same place. But I guess that’s how each change happens: we start slowly, painfully sometimes, and only when we look back do we see the process of blooming that was at work the whole time… thank you for the reminder!

  143. Bianca, what a great post today! After a long battle with depression, and a few setbacks after that, I can finally say I am seeing the signs that I.Am.Blooming. :)This entire year God has shown me some amazing things about my worth, and His unfailing love. What an awesome place to be in.

  144. This is a beautiful post. Thank you.
    If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I would have said I was blooming. The Lord has brought us through so much, and we have seen Him use us because of the specific trials we have been through. In the past few days, though, life has been incredibly hard. I have a chronic illness, and I have barely been making it. For today, I can’t bloom. I’m just trying to keep my roots grounded in the Word of God. Blooming can wait until next week!

  145. Blooming in the rain after a storm- last nine months filled with some very real challenges for our family-through it all, God has shown His mighty and amazing love for us.

  146. I would say most of us follow this same amazing plant as we grow in Christ. I know that for many years I felt ugly and overlooked and Now I am blooming to my full destiny with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  147. I believe I’m blooming as I trust God in new ways to use me where I’m planted.
    It’s exciting to watch him direct my steps one at a time!

  148. I am thriving on the changes in my life currently. Though not exciting or profound they are truly me. I love the changes… the ‘blooms’ in my life if you will. Change means growth, but growth does not come without some pain, perseverance, and perhaps some fear. I seek daily to let my pain scream past my fear… and bloom into who I am truly meant to be.

  149. Wow!! Such a good post! I was reading that verse yesterday and was thinking about what it really means to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Right now I feel like I’m in between both. It’s kinda hard to describe.. it’s a trying time, but I know in God’s timing fruit will grow and so will I. Praise Jesus!!

  150. I think I’m getting ready to bloom. I was talking to a friend today about how much “stuff”–both old and new–I’m working through. It’s challenging, but the Lord is SO faithful in helping me through it!

  151. I think I’m getting ready to bloom! My faith has become a living, breathing, integral part of who I am and I’m not so afraid to show it and share it now. God has blessed me, continues to hold me and daily puts me exactly where He wants me. And I am loving it!

  152. I feel like I’m currently growing but not blooming as I sit here, longing to be in the country God has called me to work in but knowing it will be at least five years until I’m out there on the field! But I’m trying to see these years as an opportunity to lay down the roots that will be needed out there and in later life!

  153. Thank you for this! It really was something I needed to hear. I too hope that one day I will bloom. It has been a rough road and I hope that God will turn these times into a beautiful bloom of some sorts! It has been great to read the comments–so encouraging!

  154. Right now I think I am still waiting to bloom. “Overlooked” is how I’ve been feeling for a while now. Hopefully I’ll have my chance to bloom soon, but if not I’ll just keep growing.

  155. I want to be blooming! I feel more neglected though… time to fertilize the ground of my heart with the Word. 🙂

  156. Growing and blooming and lying dormant–all in one! Every day is something new and different.

  157. I love this entire post! I’m definitely still growing…waiting to produce something beautiful. Life has been about persevering for a long time. But I know I am growing towards something beautiful and this post reminded me of that. Thanks!

  158. My buds are beginning to open. In the past seven months, I’ve felt God working in my life. I know that he has great plans for me and I cannot wait to see what is in store for me. What a beautiful post…

  159. I’m with Karen right now – hoping that I’ll bloom after all this, but almost feel like I’m dying inside. How inspiring that such a “hideous beast” can bloom into something beautiful, and that the change happens so quickly!

  160. Yes, been praying and working through some uglies from the past. God has been good to listen to me and show me His answers of how He loves me, forgives me, and considers me His wonderful creation!

  161. Can you bloom and be ugly at the same time? Actually, I know I’m blooming but, have moments of ugliness. My moments of ugliness are just stumbling blocks to strengthen my faith! I know that in my heart just have to remind myself.

  162. I am leading a breakout session at a Women’s Retreat coming up in 3 weeks. Theme of Retreat: Bloom Where You are Planted.
    The last several years I have looked inside and learned to embrace ALL that is inside my heart. I have learned to experience my emotions and to deal with them, instead of hiding them in a dark closet.
    I learned to hide them and stuff my emotions from an early age due to many things, verbal, physical, mental abuse. God used the stuffing to protect me then, but He has finally helped me deal with it.
    The session I am leading is “Tilling the Soil of the Heart” where I share my story and journey with others and we talk about experiencing our pain and emotions and the intimacy with God that creates. Walking through the pain and bringing it into the light is hard yet so healing.

  163. I definitely want to bloom! This is a tough season for my life right now and I hope that I will bloom from this experience.

  164. I am totally in the in-between and coasting along happily. So excited to see what God has in store for our family to “bloom like” next!

  165. For many years I have reminded myself of all my sins and shortcomings. I have never forgiven myself for things that God has already wiped clean from my past. Today I have been set free and I am seeing the beauty in my life for the first time.

  166. My husband and I have been weeping for quite some time over our 7 year old adopted daughter whom we have always felt that ‘something was missing’. Early this summer, after a real difficult spring with acting out behaviors, our thoughts were validated that she has reactive attachment disorder. We are slowly beginning to make progress in counseling wading through the murky waters of the severe neglect she suffered as an infant.
    It is God’s perfect time for the healing to begin, for not only our daughter but for us as well. We are beginning to see a child who has been crying out for help for years become a vibrant child who is opening up to the ability of being loved and trust others. We have a long road ahead, but we will not accept things as they are, we know she can have better satisfaction with herself and life. We will continue to seek the counseling and help she needs to realize that she is worthy of being loved. We are beginning to see the waters clear at times and pray for the day that we can see through the crystal clear water to see the view below.
    Our daughter is blooming, and now it is on the inside. A beautiful work is beginning to emerge!

  167. The last few days I have felt like a flower that has been stomped on, over and over. I am beat down with daily demands. I keep reminding myself that this is nothing…it could always be worse, like I could be a woman living in the Congo. But some days it is hard anyway.

  168. Thank you for this post. I have felt so stuck in my situation now and the way out seems so far off. It’s nice to think that someday there will be beauty from the ashes.

  169. hey! we have those here in Peru! they plant rows of them to keep the cows in! they’re big and poke-y. or else it is a plant that looks a LOT like it…
    🙂
    beauty from ashes…
    amy in peru

  170. Blooming!!! I feel like I have reached to stage in my life where I feel PEACE & GRACE. I have heard my mom say “40” is a great time….you are settled. I thought yea right……well at 36…..I feel SETTLED!!!! Thank you God for showing me how to “Be still…..Psalm 46:10”

  171. What a JOY to know that my God created me just the way He wanted me…. and LOVES me as His OWN!!