Today I turn 20 years old, and I am bathing in the nature of my entire being. I am retracing the steps I have taken in this past year and immersing in the beauty of my journey.
As I grow older, I tend to engage in a moment of stillness to I reflect on the woman I have bloomed into. I think about the petals I have lost and gained, and tread back to the core of my soul to ponder over how they have added to my greater being. Every year, I use visuals to display what I believe the theme of those 365 days were. This year, I welcomed patience and faith through meeting myself in the depths of the woods, and that is where I uncovered my theme: Willingly Wilting.
Being in this place, encompassed in the arms of Mother Nature herself, I felt what I had felt in this year of being a 19-year-old woman. I saw myself in the trees that stood tall, but were naked to the human eye. I saw myself in the wrinkled leaves that decorated the floor of the woods. I connected with myself through the cheap afternoon chirp of birds arising from their mid-day naps. I heard myself in the distant rushing of a stream splashing over rocks that resided in creek beds. I heard myself in the rumble of tires on asphalt along back roads. These were beautiful to me, and they reminded me of myself.
I was in the middle of my wilderness, learning how to fall in love with myself all over again despite the cold winters that settled in or the storms that flooded my soils.
My year of 19 was a year of stillness in the midst of chaos. It was a year of calmness in the face of adversity. It was a year of learning the strength of blooming in the midst of welcoming an autumn season where leaves fell and flowers withered. I needed to be here, in the midst of this placidity, to be reminded of the importance of serene moments.
I willingly allowed myself to wilt. Some of the petals that I tried to hold onto for so long weren't meant for my garden anymore. I allowed the doubts, fears, toxic weeds, negative habits and pessimistic tendencies to wither. I became aware of every leaf that fell and was carried away by the wind. Seeing and feeling myself evolve taught me the significance of stepping away from all the fear and pain that I knew and allowing my soul to blossom with no restrictions.
In the bosom of my wilderness, I uncaged my spirit and set myself free. I welcomed the splendor of the untamed essence of my being.
Wilting was something I was fearful of until I comprehended its genuine principle. It wasn't just merely an act of losing things; I was making room to produce and expand the woman at the heart of my soul.
Though I believe I still have wilting that needs to be done and weeds that still need to be removed, I have found beauty in the process of finding soil in preparation to plant my seeds. I have found beauty in recognizing the fortitude of growing amid a process of withering.
19 has been a year of reclaiming my pieces and going into 20 years old, it is time for me to dwell in them full force. There is nothing like stepping deeper into the powerful woman God has molded me to be from the genesis. I am taking in all of who I am. My flaws, my imperfections, my strengths and passionate forces all have an important role in shaping me. In knowing that, I have learned the importance of falling in love with my wilting just as much as I fall in love with my blooming. I have learned that I am a strong tower either way.
You may be in a stage where you feel like you're wilting. Things are changing and just are not the same as they used to be. You may be growing distant from people or old habits may be wearing thin. I challenge you to broaden your perspective, and find the beauty that your wilting stages hold.
There was this quote in a book I read that said "Anytime you reject a part of yourself, you're rejecting God's wisdom and sovereignty in creating you. God enjoys you and loves you at every stage of your development." I hold that dear to my heart and know it's a truth everyone needs to hear. If God can enjoy and love you at every stage of your development, then so should you.