Hope Is Everything
Tuesday, November 7, 2023 by Kate Lynch
Have you ever wanted to give up on your dream because life got messy? Or you didn’t think you deserved such a miracle?
Many years ago, my maternal grandmother, who lived in New Jersey, gave my half-sister’s grandmother a bulb from one of her most cherished plants called a spider lily. Years later, at ninety-one years young, she flew out to see me in Connecticut and brought me a bulb from her spider lily. Little did I know this plant would bloom every six years, but only if the conditions were right.
Life was busy then. I had three young boys under the age of twelve active in sports and after-school activities. I planted the bulb in some potting soil and forgot about it. During this time, my husband started his own business while I continued to press on with my writing. I got up every morning before sunrise to write, even if it was just a few pages. Writing for children has been my dream since I watched my mother at her Smith Corona typing her stories in the wee hours when I was a kid. I couldn’t imagine giving up on what had been placed in my heart.
Meanwhile, I watered my spider lily once a week (if I remembered), along with reminding my kids to brush their teeth, do their homework, and pick up their room. My neglected plant may have bloomed, but I was too busy to notice. My poor spider lily craved my attention by drooping its leaves weekly. My writing also craved my attention, but I was too busy to dedicate the time it deserved.
After our boys graduated from college and found jobs, my husband and I decided to sell the house where we raised them and move to our forever home. We settled into our home by the sea where I set up my new office and dedicated myself to my writing, and where I thought I had just the perfect place for my weary plant to thrive. One day, I noticed my spider lily had produced its own offspring. So, I re-potted each one carefully and lovingly. I gave the new shoots more space to grow, I added organic elements to enrich the soil, and hopefully just the right amount of light for them to bloom, and I waited.
I finally felt like I was where I need to be to thrive. One day, I saw an email about an online Christian conference that interested me, so I signed up. I thought this is where my heart is. I felt a calling to write faith-based fiction for children.
On the first day of the conference, I noticed a heavenly smell. I thought, where is this coming from? It happened. My spider lily had bloomed! And not one plant, but the other two as well. It began as a group of delicate slender buds that burst open to graceful star-shaped blooms, with tendrils reaching out. It felt like an amazing coincidence. We were both blooming!! All my plant knew was that if the conditions were right, it was time. I felt that way, too.
Six years felt like a long time to bloom, but not for the spider lily. This miracle gave me a new perspective that led me to a place of gratitude. I thought of what I had been through in the last six years, and how much life had changed. Six years ago, I struggled to keep a household running, forged ahead with my writing, and fought for everyone’s health, and well-being during a global pandemic. I’m grateful to be where I am today and to see my cherished spider lily thriving, too.
Sometimes, we can feel like we’re in a semi-dormant stage in our lives. We wait patiently for our moment to bloom. We need to give ourselves room to grow, enrich our lives with organic elements, like listening to God for guidance, open our hearts to faith, and trust our light will shine when it is time. All we need is patience and the right conditions to blossom into something beautiful. There’s Grace in the waiting, and I hope when my own grandchildren grow up, that I pass down what my Grammy gave me, Hope.