It's called the Montana Knapweed. I took pictures of it like crazy on our family retreat in August... it was everywhere. My husband looked at me with that smile that says he thinks I am crazy and asks me, "You know that is a weed, right?" I nod and smile back, "Yup... and aren't the dandelions pretty too?"
Yes, this purple tufted beauty is not just a weed, it is a noxious one wreaking havoc all over Montana! Yet I am fascinated with it and it's wild beauty!
Four months later I sat, thinking about that beautiful weed and how much it reminds me of the feeling of familiar.
It can grow like a weed in our lives. Beautiful and almost graceful. It can spread and take over. It affects our attitudes, our outlooks, our willingness to step outside of our little spot of familiar... it can get in the way of God's intentions for us.
Like the nutrients being robbed from the soil where weeds take over, so, too, the nutrients of true joy and peace are robbed from our lives when Familiar is in control. It kills all other potential for life and growth and other varied beauties.
Familiar isn't a bad thing... when you don't let it control you. But I found myself controlled by it. Like the campground and the Knapweed.
I was frustrated that I couldn't fit familiar into all the unfamiliar places I was finding myself. And, as if that wasn't bad enough, my agitation heightened when I was faced with realizing I may not have my version of familiar anytime soon!
But God opened my eyes. He helped me to see a need to pull the weeds. To find ways to embrace new surroundings, new routines, new people... everything... and love every part of it for what ever time it was destined to be my familiar.
I have been learning NOT how to cram "familiar" into my space, rather, how to place myself into a new kind of familiar and to know there is ONE familiar I always have... my Father.
Maybe it all sounds like gibberish or ramblings, but this missionary mama's journey has been a rocky road, bumpy all along the way. The sun has shown and the rains have fallen... at times, nothing has looked the same. But every step and turn, God hasn't changed. His voice is still there, his arms still around me, his Guidance always abundant.
Letting go of familiar brought my heart such peace... such joy... beyond anything I could have imagined.
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; ...7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. (Selah)
Psalm 46:1-3, 7
I pray you may hold tight to the only Familiar worth holding onto, letting peace and joy fertilize the ground on which God has you planted... however long he has you planted there!
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