by Emily Conrad

I love having flowers in my yard to cut and bring in. Whenever possible, I scatter vases throughout the house, especially on the dining room table and on my nightstand. But, my new yard doesn’t have the flower variety my old one did. Instead, it boasts quite a variety of weeds.

Noticing how many were in bloom, I decided to enjoy what I could. After all, I would never be able to weed everything all at once, and even if I could, growing new flowers would take time, too. I picked a fistful of green-heavy stalks with tiny flowers, brought them inside, and plunked them in a vase.

In the big picture, their stems are stuffed with way more leaves than their tiny buds justify. However, even weeds have some beauty to them. The little yellow ones open and close their blond heads, depending on the time of day. The purple ones, the biggest blooms of the bunch, look kind of like hosta flowers. The pinkish white ones curve like a graceful head of wheat.

Flowers to cut is a goal that I’m working toward but have not yet achieved. Yet in the meantime, I can appreciate what I have today as I anticipate tomorrow.

But I have other dreams that are more important to me than flowers: writing dreams. Though I’ve been tending my writing for quite some time, setbacks and discouragements still spring up like weeds.

Sometimes, all I see is the mass of unwanted developments, but if I pause to look closer, some yield tiny flowers, benefits. In fact, once in a while, a bona fide flower sprouts up unexpectedly—one I might’ve yanked as a weed if I’d been in a hurry.

To fight a bout of discouragement a couple of weeks ago, I decided that if I must wait for my dreams to come to fruition, I would record the process. When the wait ends, I can use these notes from along the way to testify to others that God really does bring to into bloom the dreams he’s planted in our hearts, no matter how weedy and impossible those dreams sometimes seem.

Buying the journal felt like picking weeds. It felt like a willful act of hope despite my circumstances. The challenges remain, but I can still appreciate what I have instead of only looking forward to what I want. And I did find some unexpected flowers in the bunch, some positives of where I am even now.

Because I’m waiting to realize my dreams, I have a story I can share to encourage others. I have more time to develop the skills that will make my dream successful. I’m developing empathy for others whose dreams are also not yet realized, which makes me a better friend.

If you’re standing in the midst of thigh-deep weeds, wondering what’s become of your dreams, consider picking a weed. Look for the positive. Find an act of hope you can complete specifically because of where you stand right now.

Find an act of hope you can complete specifically because of where you stand right now via @novelwritergirl