Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Garden

Three years ago, my very precious friend, Kim Bushore-Maki opened the door of Shakti in the Mountains, a place of rest, growth, and simply being for women in our community. If you do the math, and you know me, you will remember that at that time everything in me hurt all the time. Domestic assault and self destructive choices had left me a very broken, very scared, very worthless feeling woman. I have known Kim for years since my time at East Tennessee State University and the Take Back the Night program. That is a story for another day...I digress. So, I know she saw how much of a mess I was, but what is beautiful is she saw a strength in me that I did not know existed yet. Over and over again she offered open doors and hugging arms to me. Most times, I found a way to escape, feeling too unworthy of that kind of love and acceptance. She did not, however, give up. Spring came and they decided to start a garden, flowers and herbs and veggies. Once again Kim reached out to me. While I felt completely worthless, I was good with growing things. I would spend hours and hours in my yard, planting and replanting, rearranging and making things grow. I would buy half dead plants and trees growing sideways and find a way to get them growing as they needed to. That I did well. When I saw the need for plants and people to help get things growing, I got very brave and I went. I spent hours and hours digging up extra plants of mine and moving them to Shakti. I would sit and turn dirt over and over, pull weeds and anything she needed because in those moments I was not a victim, I was not all the terrible names he'd engrained in my mind, I was not worthless, I was someone who knew how to make things grow. I can honestly say that during that time period, that place was my only place of rest. I didn't know it then, but I was growing too...
Fast forward a couple more years and I'd been set free from the things that bound me, but it cost me a great deal, including my home and my garden. As spring arrived this year I have simply ached for the ability to dig my hands in the dirt, to watch things grow. My precious Stephen saw that, and bought me the most beautiful bonsai trees. I have spent hours and hours on them and am so grateful for him seeing that hurt in my heart and reaching out to me to find a way to make it better. I love you for that Stephen. Anyway, so tonight was the 3 year anniversary and after I ate, I walked around outside and suddenly I realized, wait, there's my lilies, there's those hostas, there's this or that plant that I had brought over years earlier. In that moment, wow, tears flowed freely as this ever so beautiful voice said to my heart, they aren't lost Jessi, they were moved to a safe place, a place of healing and growth, to a home where many other women who have hurt just like you can come and heal and rest and grow too... Wow, I love God's timing,

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