It might seem strange to think of plants as companions, but some of God’s natural gifts to us since ancient times—herbs—have been mine. Their seeds have travelled with me from one home to another, and they’ve experienced the challenges that go along with moving to new places just like I have.
But once sprouted, these mighty plants—though often small and sometimes delicate—have inspired me by their example to adapt to each new and different environment. Hot and dry, shady and damp, windy and stormy, cold and sunny, you name it.
Basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, and more have shown the strength and resilience God built into them. Just as he built those qualities into human beings.
Each time I wondered if I could endure and survive in a new city with no family or friends nearby (other than my husband), let alone thrive, a few of my herbs would shock me with their abundance.
My little green gems made themselves at home wherever I could plant them: in containers on a porch, in planters hanging on a fence, indoors on a sunny windowsill or the floor, or in the ground against a building.
Studying their will to live and fully develop into the beautiful creations they were meant to be, I knew God had certainly instilled those characteristics in us! Even if we happen not to be in our favorite location all the time.
I began to see herbs that I once thought of as non-essential seasonings at best, and even inconsequential plants at times, as important companions influencing my outlook on life. When I gazed upon a thick crop of chives boldly upright in spite of torrential rain or ran my hand across aromatic dill plants standing tall after a bitterly cold wind, I understood more fully how important it was to stay focused on God’s plan for me.
What are each of us meant to do in our lives? If we give up and don’t grow because of less-than-ideal circumstances, what wonderful plans for our futures that God has for us will be forsaken?
My mint and parsley now join forces to create tabbouleh. My basil transforms into pesto for bread or pasta. From those small and humble creations of God’s, I make nutritious meals. How much more potential than such simple plants must we human beings with brains and souls have!
We can turn aspects of our current situations, whether we are completely happy with them or not, into something for the glory of God as we seek His plan.
Novels and short stories from Catholic Teen Books often demonstrate this idea:
In 3 Things to Forget, fourth novel of the Bird Face series, Wendy leaves her home state in disgrace after some foolish mistakes and plants herself in Alaska for the summer, where she learns that God is working His plan on her.
In Leslea Wahl's An Unexpected Role Josie's replanting on a South Carolina island for the summer helps her to grow into the person God is calling her to become.
In the dystopian Liberty trilogy by Theresa Linden, rather than simply save herself from the all-controlling government, Liberty listens to the inner voice that has guided her since childhood, stays where she's planted, and fights to bring this freedom to others.
In Freeing Tanner Rose by T. M. Gaouette, Tanner Rose is forced to leave her Hollywood life and is "replanted" in an unrecognizable world where Gabriel teaches her the true meaning of life.
In book 0 of the unSparked series, BREACH!, young dino hunter Isaiah never meant to be a father at eighteen--but now he is. Can he grow into this unexpected new 'soil' he finds himself planted in, and protect his unborn child?
In Corinna Turner's Elfling, after years living rough on the streets, young noblewoman Serapia finds herself replanted into a life of privilege after she finds her long-lost father. Can she grow into this old/new life?
Called to practice old-fashioned courtship, Caitlyn, in Life-Changing Love by Theresa Linden, struggles to remain where she's planted: faithful to God, her parents, and herself.
Can shy Roland in Roland West, Outcast remain where he's planted to face the challenges that come his way? He must overcome his fear of speaking out to expose the kids who've been going after the outcasts--before they strike again.
All the children at the ranch in T. M. Gaouette's The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch are "replanted" into a world where they're introduced to love, kindness, family, and faith.
Enjoy the inspiration provided by these books. Let’s all grow where we’re planted!