She put the finishing touches on dinner in their small apartment as she waited for him to return home from visitation. It had been 2 years since they were married. She still wore the joy of a newlywed as she set the table. When he arrived, she greeted him at the door with a kiss. He handed her a surprise: a single leaf. He and their pastor had visited the home from where this lone leaf had come. He was excited to tell her about the potential held in this small green oval! His eyes lit up as he told her the leaf was from a unique and rare plant, the night blooming cereus. This desert plant only blooms once a year, and then, only at night. But when it does, it sends a beautiful aroma from its bright white exotic blooms which quickly fade by sunrise. His passion for plants bubbled over as he extended his hand. A little puzzled, she smiled and gently took the leaf and planted it in some soil in a old coffee can.
The single leaf lived in their home week after week, eventually growing young shoots off from each side. She watered it month after month, careful not to neglect this special plant her husband had been so excited about. She kept their two growing boys away from its fragile leaves. The months turned into years, and the night blooming cereus seemed more like a dream than a reality as she looked at the insignificant, sprawling plant still sitting in the corner. Every five years she transplanted it as it outgrew its pot. There were times she wondered if he had imagined those special blooms he spoke of on the day he brought the leaf home. Though she had only his word to go on, she continued to care for his prize plant. She even brought it with them when they moved across town. She trusted that he could see what would become of this tiny dream though she could not.
Finally, after 17 years of care and attention while tending it, the night blooming cereus bore a handful of crimson buds! The couple was ecstatic as they waited patiently for the blooms to finally open. She smiled as she thought about all those times she almost gave up and tossed the plant in the trash. This long anticipated event became a yearly tradition, something they looked forward to each fall.
Since then, death has separated this loving couple, and she longs to be reunited with him and her sweet Jesus. She lives alone, passing the days busying herself around the house. Her life has changed in many ways without him here, but she still cares for his night blooming cereus, only now, she waits alone for its fragrant blooms. She treasures the plant for more than its brilliant white flowers and tumbling green leaves. It reminds her of him and the many years they shared, the life they built together, starting with one small surprise. A single leaf.
Growing your husband’s dream
The story above is about my grandparents, and I have been thinking about it a lot the past few days. There are several lessons that the Lord has shown me from my grandmother’s devotion. I am far from a pro at any of this, but here are a few things the Lord is teaching me. He is so gracious and longsuffering with me!
1. Dreams start small
In the story, he knew that single leaf held the potential to become a grand and beautiful plant. Your husband’s dream may seem out of view right now. It may be in the “single leaf” stage. But, give the Lord and your husband time, and you’ll find yourself amazed at the beauty that can blossom from one small dream. Where are you in the life-span of your husband’s dream? Is it just a single leaf? Are you on year 16, still waiting for it to blossom? Are you looking back over the years rejoicing at the beauty He allowed you to enjoy together in life? No matter what stage you are in, you can know that God brings beauty to those who give their lives to Him. Don’t underestimate your role in growing your husband’s dream, no matter how big or small. Rejoice where you are right now.
2. Dreams need care
Imagine if she had dismissed his plant as unimportant, or forgotten it as the years passed. Ladies, we dare not brush aside our husband’s dreams for God. He was born to serve the Lord, and God puts within him dreams that we can help nurture and grow. We must not pressure him with our petty needs and distract him from his holy calling. Instead, we must care for the things he cares for! We can pray. We can encourage. We can help. We must choose to be actively involved in growing his dreams. That plant in the story didn’t just survive on its own for all those years. Care about his dreams.
3. Dreams take work.
She had to transplant the flower when it outgrew its pot. She watered it. She moved it to their new home. She relocated it to the front porch as the sunlight changed with the seasons. She covered it at night with blankets so it wouldn’t be damaged by the frost. If we are going to grow our husband’s dreams, we must be willing to work. It will take extra responsibility on our parts. It may mean moving across the country, or across the world. It may mean seeing him less often and sharing him with the ministry. It may mean tucking the kids in bed yourself while he is working late. It will require sacrifice and it will be difficult at times, but it will be worth it! Be willing to work for his dreams.
4. Dreams take faith
She wasn’t there on visitation that night. She didn’t see the original plant in bloom. All she had to go on was his word. Wives, we have a sure Word that we can trust! We must go to God’s word when things don’t make sense. We can trust that our husbands are following God even though the way seems unclear. Let God build your faith in Him through your husband’s dream!
5. Dreams become treasures
She would have missed out on such a precious treasure if she had thrown the leaf away the night he came home. She could have given up waiting for it to bloom. Think of all the memories, all the nights spent sitting beside the plant together, all the sweet moments of conversation and friendship that blossomed from that silly little leaf. We will miss out on so many of God’s blessings if we don’t grow our husband’s dreams. Invest today so that you can enjoy God’s treasures tomorrow.
I am still in the early stages of this growing process. Much of what I’ve written is in faith that is yet to become sight. But when I look back over the years if God allows, I don’t want to hang my head in shame and regret for what could have been. Instead, I want to rejoice at the wonderful things He has done!