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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Dandelion wishes

These don't come true, but hope grows when I trust God

Photodisc / Henrik WeisI loved dead dandelions when I was a kid. Lazy, late summer days would send me scouring the yard for a perfect, puffy globe of silvery seeds. Holding the thin green stalk in front of my face, I’d close my eyes and make a wish. Then I’d take a huge breath—if I could scatter all of the delicate seeds with one long blow, my wish would come true.

If only it were that easy.

Several years ago, my husband and I packed up our lives and moved to a new state. At the same time I gave up a career, birthed a second child and assumed full-time responsibilities at home. I was apprehensive and alone.

How could I put all of the familiar pieces of my life back into place? I knew I couldn’t simply pick up a wispy weed and blow on it. So I forged ahead, determined to find a way. Despite all my striving to rebuild life as I had known it, nothing seemed to happen.

Then one prayerful day I was blessed with perspective: I felt like I was dying because for way too long I had been refusing to die. I had forgotten that it’s the seedless stalk—spiny and bare—where true promise lies.

“Truly, truly I say to you, unless a seed falls to the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).

So I took a deep breath, blew out hard and watched all my plans drift away with the wind. The Spirit carried seeds of sadness to fertile ground where God tended them with love.

Trusting in God’s word, I discovered freedom in now-relaxed efforts of praying, breathing and sitting still. And as I watched for God’s loving design to emerge, I found tender green shoots of hope in my heart.


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