Several years ago, my friend, Rita, gave me a potted plant as a housewarming gift. She jokingly wagered how fast I would kill the pothos plant (it happens to be one of the easiest plants to care for). The plant not only lived, but it also thrived, and I enjoyed sending photos of my healthy plant to my friend each year on the gift’s anniversary.
Then came COVID-19, and my cancer recurrence this spring. As the world shut down, my plant seemed to mirror the world’s bleak outlook. It withered. Its leaves yellowing and dropping. Rita, and practically everyone else who witnessed the plant’s sad demise, urged me to throw it away, but I simply could not. This poor little plant is speaking into my life, I thought. I saw myself in this beautiful yet ailing gift of life.
“Do not let your heart be troubled.” John 14:1
Never give up.
I considered tossing out the plant but giving up on it felt as though I was giving up on myself and my own battle with cancer. I watered it and added soil. Despite any signs of its recovery, I pressed on with its care. I watched, and I waited. During this time, I faced surgery and tested positive for COVID-19. I recovered from the coronavirus only to face post-surgery complications and a delay in starting radiation treatment.
I don’t always understand BUT I trust His plan.
I felt so alone and isolated, both physically and emotionally. My fears of COVID were only exasperated by my compromised immune system. But I found a steady source of encouragement through family, friendships, prayer, and daily Scripture.
And my plant.
Amidst my darkest days, fresh green shoots began to miraculously emerge from the soil. After more time, care, and nurturing, new leaves began to unfold. Each leaf was by itself beautiful and sustained.
As radiation treatment takes its toll on my body, my spirit and faith remain deeply rooted in the decision to not give up on that little plant. To not give up on me. And with each day, I find strength and trust in the Lord to take care of me, while each day brings beautiful new shoots and vibrant leaves.
“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. -Psalm 16:8, NLT