About 16 years ago, I planted two peach trees. I grew up with my mom and grandma canning peaches and prefer those over store bought canned peaches. I also enjoy eating them fresh. I selected a variety that I liked and got them planted.
It takes about 3 years before you can let them bear fruit. This helps the tree to get established and grow strong as well as be able to handle the weight of the peaches. My family and I have enjoyed many years of fresh peaches and had such an abundance that we were able to share what we had with family, friends, and neighbors.
Two years ago, as I was taking care of the trees, I decided I needed to prop up the branches because they were sagging due to the weight of the peaches. These trees were now 14 years old and nearing the life expectancy of a peach tree. There was some crazy weather that rolled in and really beat on the trees. The storm came at a critical growth time just as the fruit was ripening on the trees.
Sadly, I did not get the support set up on the branches before this storm rolled in. I lost several large branches and had over half of the peaches now on the ground. I was so sad to see this destruction. However, I was able to prop several branches that had significant fruit on them, hoping they would continue to ripen and that I could save these limbs.
Gratefully, I was able to save the fruit that was still growing. Unfortunately, I was not able to save the tree limbs. This left the tree very sparse and vulnerable. It became clear very quickly that this tree had given all it had to give and would need to be removed.
During the following months, I had briefly thought of replacing the tree but rather quickly dismissed this idea. I pondered for a while why I felt this way knowing we enjoyed the crop of peaches we received every year. I came to realize my desire was to help the other tree that had weathered the storm go from surviving to thriving.
The more I thought about this, the more I realized this can be likened to us. Are we in survival mode? We have all been beaten and weighed down by the storms of life at one time or another.
Now is the time to thrive! You are enough! You deserve to be supported, heard, and seen. We must be open to receive the light and gifts God has for us. There is an abundance for us to access if we seek it out. That means looking for it, asking about it, and changing course if that is required. I had not intended to remove a tree that year but doing so opened new possibilities; not just in my yard, but in my mind.
I had bought the supports for the tree but did not make the time to have them ready for the purpose I had hoped. I lost what I had; this happens in life too. Yet, as I pondered further, the support still served a purpose. I was able to support some branches that were bearing fruit and finish ripening them after the storm. So, there was a purpose! It also opened my mind to “seeing” things that needed changing and supporting in my life. We have good intentions, instead of beating ourselves up for not always acting on them, taking a second look can help us realize that what happened was better than our well-intended plans.
There is so much to balance and support in life. We are not meant to do it alone. It can be easy to lament about the things that did not happen the way we had hoped and to keep trying to do it on our own, or the same way we always have. Is that getting us the results we had hoped for? Perhaps we are meant to walk down a different path to reach our destination. The journey is just as important as the destination. Things aren’t always “peachy”, but as we seek support and understanding we will be able to bear the weight of what we are asked to do to make our lives, our family’s lives, and our communities a better place.
For Believe to thrive, we need you! You are the good that makes a difference in the world. We believe as we work together, greater things will happen. Please join us in walking a path that brings hope and courage to each of our lives.