Growing Through the Hard Times

A little over two years ago we planted three willows in our backyard.

Weeping willows are my absolute favorite trees! I love them!

We planted one in our last house and it just took off. We wished we would have taken yearly pictures to mark the progress. So when we planted the ones here we did that.

2018
2019
2020

As you can see in the last picture, our tree on the right isn’t doing well. The tree started budding then we hit a cold spell and all the leaves died.

The branches turned black.

We cut off the discolored branches. Hoping to reserve all the energy for the tree to stay alive.

At the base there were a few tree suckers. Normally, we’d cut off them off but the tree had no leaves so we decided to leave them so the tree could get at least some nourishment.

The loss of this tree affected me more than I’d like to admit.

I thought, well, this just fits perfectly into our lives. Another loss.

This summer I watched these suckers grow taller and fuller.

My dad said, “Now you’ve got 10 trees!”

This morning as I examined the suckers I realized we really are like this tree.

Our family has experienced a loss. Such a big loss that it left us bruised and part of us dead.

While in our despair, we find ways to continue to grow.

We cling to each other.

We search for hope.

We rely on faith.

The more we did each of those, the fuller we became as we stretched toward the Son.

The truth is, we’re never going to be the same. Our lives forever changed November 13, 2017.

But that doesn’t mean we’re done.

Everyday we learn more.

We work through the unknown.

And we love harder than the day before.

We might be suckers instead of the trees we used to be, but we’re not giving up. We’re fighting to keep growing.

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