Nubby Root Shoots: the precious value in unimpressive beginnings

End-of-Internship Reflections:

When I came back to Grand Rapids a year ago, I arrived with a very specific mission in mind. A mission that was so clear yet obnoxiously ambiguous and mysterious: grow deep roots. I got the concept but, in all honesty, “que?!”.

Yes, deep roots grow through dirt, quality dirt and they grow with water, just the right amount of water, they grow in sunshine and they grow in proper space and time. But, the thing is I’m not a plant, and although I appreciate analogies, I had to eventually get some solid direction.

When this internship at the Boiler Room showed up on my radar as a place that would carry these ingredients of growth, I was stoked, but also very nervous. The excitement came with the faithfulness and provision of God to lead me, and the anticipation of just how far I would come by the end.

But deep down inside I also knew that sometimes God doesn’t move as quick as we’d like, sometimes the roots have everything they need to grow and they grow, just… at a microscopic level. Sometimes, actually, oftentimes, it’s not the most impressive on the outside looking in.  Growth, I’ve learned ebbs and flows and from that discovery, it dawned on me: this growing deep roots thing, really has a lot to do with time, not so much “speed”.

My assessment of the internship is that it has provided

-          Good soil, solid biblical teaching.

-          Water from fellowship with the trinity and community.

-          Sun exposing of sin patterns and false gospels, shining nourishing light into those areas with good things: identity, gifts, and passions.

-          Space, room to be me, freedom to move towards God’s dreams in us and grace to make mistakes.

-          Time, embracing every season with faithfulness and patience.

So, what do I have to show for it? Some pretty unimpressive nubby root shoots yes, but more so a heart that is committed to the time it will take to go deeper. A sobering awareness that my God is worthy of it all, no matter how unimpressive the outcome may be.  A renewed passion for the humble decisions of the heart to be faithful and patient.

  • Faithfulness// constant, loyal, qualities of stability, dependability, and devotion

  • Patience// able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious

I’ve been struck by the many scriptures that implore us to “bear fruit” in EVERY season. Faithfulness and patience just so happen to be on that list of spiritual fruit. This is how I know God’s spirit is working in me, because as a branch, I can do nothing. But I can do one thing and that is to abide in the vine. All of that being said, I’m very grateful for the work God has done through this internship and the way it has impacted me.

Some other ways I’ve been impacted:

-          The concept of being an orphan, slave, or son. I had many orphan and slave tendencies mixed in with Sonship that I realized are not God’s heart for me.

-          Witnessing the faithfulness of this family to God’s word and to each other. Growing up in a pretty toxic environment in my family and the area I grew up, I had a longing to peer into the home of a stable healthy family and see what it’s supposed to look like. I was able to do that this year. Even through messiness, I saw honor and love stay intact. Super healing for me. "

There is so much value in each and every season of our lives, I invite you to join me in reflecting, to take inventory of the value that has come, or that you believe will come in due time, from the unimpressive beginnings in YOUR life. Feel free to share in the comment box below!