Bloom Where You're Planted
New city. No job. No house. Very few friends and family.
When my husband and I first moved to our current city, things were looking a little bleak. My dad had always advised us to "follow the money," so when we both couldn't find a good job in the city we were living in, we followed the money and moved. Through a series of rather frustrating events, we discovered that we couldn't get a house, and the job I thought I had fell through, so we moved in with my cousins and I hunted for something new.
After a month with no success, my cousin suggested that I come do seasonal retail work at a store she managed. This wasn't my field, but it was an opportunity to work and we were blowing through savings quickly, so I took the job.
I started the next day and felt completely out of place. It didn't seem to have anything to do with my goals in life. The hours didn't coincide with my husband's schedule, so we hardly saw each other, and it was a temporary position which made me wonder what we would do next. Everything seemed so disorganized and chaotic in life. I certainly didn't feel like what I was doing had any meaning at all.
In those moments of uncertainty, the advice of a former boss came to mind. She had often instilled in her staff to ‘bloom where we were planted.’ To show up. To do our best. To look for ways to improve ourselves, others and the situation around us no matter what environment (or soil!) we found ourselves in.
I followed her advice and did my very best in that retail job - constantly smiling, remaining energetic and taking an interest in customers’ and other employees' lives. One day, while dealing with a challenging, rather angry, customer, the woman behind her took notice of my attitude and response. When it was her turn to check out, she handed me her business card and asked me to call her about a potential job. It was exactly the sort of job I was looking to obtain. Over three years later, I'm still working in that position and really believe this was where God wanted me to be. I often replay that day in my mind and wonder what would have happened if I had been rude in return to the angry customer. One choice to ‘bloom’ in that moment ended up taking me exactly where I wanted to go.
Sometimes when we find ourselves in situations that feel hard or lonely or just so out of touch with who we are, we can be tempted to feel like we have no purpose there and check out. However, that attitude robs us of potential opportunities and stunts our growth. If we will choose to remain positively engaged in life, no matter what situation we are in, we can find that even the most "What am I doing here?!" moments can lead to the very thing our hearts desire. You never know how your response will impact another person, let alone your own life. There is a purpose for you in every season of life. Choose to bloom wherever you're planted.