Growing Tulips in the Lows of Life…

This time of year I’m always intrigued by the tulips in my front flowerbed that pop up and open with seemingly little effort or notice to the cold. In Nebraska we have temperatures that dip below freezing in the evenings, sometimes until May. There’s a reason I typically don’t plant any flowers or garden goods until around Mother’s Day weekend and that’s why!!

…But those tulips, which showed up a few weeks ago, are hardy little showstoppers and never seem bothered by the cold. They’re a perennial flower (meaning they come back on their own each year) and always, without fail, they make an early entrance, almost with a wink and twinkle to their petals, as if to say, “welcome Spring.” And then just as quickly as they appear, the petals gently but persistently drop off one by one, leaving only their tall, green leaves to admire over the Summer months—just in time for the salvia and mums to continue their gradual growth journey which last until Autumn.

For myself there’s much to be learned from the tulip, in all of its charm and bravery.

I’m taught that beauty can blossom even in the coldest of times. When my feelings long to utter cries of despair I can rise up against them, drawing strength from the Lord…I don’t need to wait around for more comfortable circumstances or a more favorable environment, much like the tulip doesn’t wait around for the temperatures to warm up and the sun to shine without clouds blocking its view. The tulip plant, instead, obediently listens to God’s cue and at just the right time it burst through the chilled ground, forward and up. What a powerful way to display God’s work of art.

Photo credit: Christianfaithfellowship/Facebook page

Colossians 2:6-7 (see above) reminds us we have the opportunity and choice to grow—even in hard times. We don’t need to sulk or become dormant, regardless of how cold our world gets. Rather we can lean into God’s goodness, relying on His direction. We place our hope and trust within His flourishing garden of mercy and grace and experience growth.

Within my own personal, mental battle there have been many times where I’ve felt like simply wilting away. But the truth is, wilting doesn’t come that easily…a flower or plant must be overlooked and ignored for a period of time before the wilting process begins. And for us as God’s people that’s just not how God plans our days.

Despite our lowliest times, when we feel forgotten, He shows up and whispers to our heart—through the reminder of a comforting Bible verse, a call from a friend, a word of encouragement from a family member, the whimsical fluttering of a butterfly’s wings, the light shining through our windows at the dawn of a new day. He is in all the details, working it all for good and for His glory.

I was recently reminded how important it is to push forward and do the fun things even if my feelings were telling me otherwise. A few months ago I was at a time where all I wanted to do was say no to everyone and everything, but instead I made the choice to disregard the negative and to say yes. To say yes to a couple of 4-H pigs. Yes you read that right! Pigs are a first for us, a completely new experience on our little acreage but had I answered out of satan’s efforts I would’ve missed the blessing that has followed. And boy has it been entertaining, educational, and downright amazing.

Tiggs and Clove

Though I’m still in the ups and downs of anxiety and depression I’ve just said yes again…yes to another new adventure…yes to a trio of Nigerian Dwarf goats and I can already feel the anticipation of God’s favor growing as we prepare to bring them home next month.

Sometimes, when we know something is good, harmless, and right…the best thing we can do is say “yes”…even if our emotions long to urge us in the opposite direction.

Feelings (or emotions) aren’t always reliable, and when they’re negative we must counter them with truth and positivity. Every. Single. Time.

Just like it may not be in the most desirable interest of the tulip to push through the sometimes still freezing ground, it does so anyway at the will of God, and there is so much beauty wrapped up within its little colorful body as a result. If we want to be a people following in God’s steps may we be encouraged to do likewise.

Author: alimw2013

About For His Purpose~ My name is Alicia and I'm a thirty-something year old who loves Jesus. Only through God’s amazing grace and mercy I have been redeemed from past regret and shame. Reading His word has allowed me to look past Satan’s forceful lies, to see myself for who Christ says I am in Him. Through writing I have learned why I made the choices I made in my younger years and I now have a better understanding of why I desire to love God like crazy these days. Despite my daily failures, God remains faithful always. I am reassured of His unconditional love for me by every ink-drop spilled out on paper, each committed prayer as I cry out to Him, and deep understanding reflected through reading His word as truth. Yes keeping a blog will make me vulnerable to others’ opinions- there will be some who don’t understand, some who may criticize or judge, but on the other hand if just one piece expressed through my writing grabs someone’s attention and directs them to God, then pouring out my heart in a blog for the world to read is worth it. I choose to glorify Him alone through words streaming across a glowing screen. And it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t reveal the fact that I’m incredibly quirky; I’m my loving husband’s best friend, my vivacious kids’ craziest cheerleader and spiritual trainer (3 John 1:4). I love anything farmhouse and rustic style. I think cupping a warm coffee mug in the palm of my hands is more satisfying than the contents within. I share a common obsession with my husband for the mountains, but I would (without a doubt) settle for waves crashing against my legs at the Atlantic Ocean just as well, and I almost always have a Yorkie curled up on my lap while writing. *All photos are photographed by and therefore may not be stored or photocopied in any manner.

28 thoughts on “Growing Tulips in the Lows of Life…”

    1. I love when He doubly blesses us with similar messages like that..oftentimes He even goes beyond a double and really multiples a message to really make a point!! I’m excited to read your post!


  1. A very encouraging post Alicia. I asked my wife if tulips would grow here, she said yes but we don’t have any yet. I know what you mean about pushing through even if depressed or lack the energy to tackle another project. Pigs huh?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have 4 brothers. Two have raised goats. One had 120 goats and the other over 700. Lots of stories there. They are both into other things now. 3 sounds manageable with good unclimbable fences.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow that’s a lot!! Yes here’s to hoping our tall fencing is tall enough and that I never get a call from the neighbors telling me to come get our goats off their vehicle!!😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the encouragement, my friend. A few months ago, the Lord allowed someone(s) in my life that I wanted gone. I just could not see the benefit of them in my life, in fact, they came with chaos. But when I came to the point of saying, ‘Thy will be done’. The Lord showed me, that I liked my comfort and that comfort didn’t allow me to love and embrace others as I should. Thank you for this timely post


    1. Haha true!
      I responded to this once but misunderstood 😂 so I’m re-responding!
      But yes guess metaphorically that could mean that even the good things in life need to have their boundaries too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Feelings aren’t always reliable. So true. Have battled feeling regarding saying yes to something. I think positively about it but often find myself grumbling. I realise that sometimes it it is a process to overcome the enemy’s efforts.
    Thank you Alicia for this lovely reminder and the pigs look cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ya you’re so right, we can even say yes to something good and then still even end up grumbling. We must pray to look at it through God’s perspective when that shift our focus, but goodness can it be hard to get out of satan’s grip. We need to draw close to the Lord so He will draw near to us..everyday!! (James 4:8)
      Take care Manu and thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A big YES to all you have written!! What you said here recently happened to us: “Sometimes, when we know something is good, harmless, and right…the best thing we can do is say “yes”…even if our emotions long to urge us in the opposite direction.” My husband and I were going to a funeral but it was held at our old church, a place of great hurt and pain for us. Then five minutes before we were to leave we found out that the perpetrator of our pain would be there. It would have been easy to stay home but we went, and it was such a blessing to us that we did that. Blooming is possible in the hard times if we keep our eyes on Jesus. Thank you for turning your hard times into such valuable lessons for all of us, Alicia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤️Patty…Thank you so much for sharing your experience, sorry for your loss as well. I love this beautiful truth you said, “Blooming is possible in the hard times if we keep our eyes on Jesus.”
      He truly makes the impossible, possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Little sister I am so proud of you for continuing on with Jesus in times that are challenging.

    So you have pigs and goats. What is next? Maybe Llamas? Llamas can fight off the coyotes that will come around to try to eat the pigs and goats 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ANOTHER wonderful post, Alicia. LOVE the tulip analogy. The pansies in our deck planter teach the same lesson. One morning in March, I was sure the overnight cold had done them in. They lay rather limply over their foliage. But true to garden center’s wisdom, they perked right up as the sun warmed them. The Son of God warms us, doesn’t he, “working his good and his glory” (just as you say), and we find ourselves perking up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should get some pansies, I don’t think I’ve ever had them but I do know them when I see them!

      I love what you said about the Son of God warming us. Beautiful comfort!❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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