Nate's Tree

After Nate passed, we were given a gift certificate to a local nursery. We put thought into where the tree would go and what we wanted. But when it came time to actually purchase a tree everything seemed so overwhelming. We spent what seemed like hours searching the nursery for the perfect tree. The thought of picking out a tree in Nate’s memory was quite a daunting task. We walked around the nursery forever looking at different shrubs, flowers, and analyzing every tree that was there! Finally we picked a willow tree and a red crape myrtle, since red was one of Nate’s favorite colors.

I am so concerned with what I look like from the outside. And will I blossom in to what you hope I’ll be. Yet you are so patient just to help me see that blooms come from the deeper seed that you planted in me.

This was a hard winter. The winter that would not end and brought storm on top of storm from December through April! There was an ice storm that hit us in February that was unlike anything I’ve ever seen! I remember sitting without power, feeling helpless, wanting hot coffee… and heat, as I stared out the window just gazing at the ice. Then I saw Nate’s willow tree so heavy from the ice that it had bent over and literally the top was touching the ground. I began to cry, slipped on boots, and walked down to see if I could help the tree. With a mere touch of the branch it cracked so I decided not to touch it for fear the whole tree would break. Walking back up the driveway feeling helpless, I realized I was very attached to this tree and began to pray for my strength and peace as I worried about that sweet tree hoping it would survive this storm and this crazy harsh winter as a baby tree.

Some times it’s hard to grow when ever body is watching. To have your heart pruned by the One who knows best. Although I am bare and cold I know my season’s coming. And I will spring up in….in Your faithfulness.

Our sweet tree survived the winter and is beautifully enjoying spring. I was so happy as I watched this tree through early spring just beginning to show its beauty. We’ve taken care of Nate’s tree, watched it, staked it, loved it, and somehow feel oddly connected to it now.

With my roots deep in you I’ll grow the branch that bears the fruit. Though I’m small I’ll still be standing in the storm.

Last month, at church, I first heard the song, For Your Splendor Lord by Christy Nockels (quoted above), and was stunned by its beauty in so many ways that I wanted to share it. Every word reminded me of myself, our family, our story, and of Nate’s tree. When I think through the story of Nate’s tree I think about our journey as well. I may be small but I am still standing through the strom because of the deeper seed that was planted in me. It is hard to grow and be pruned but it is in the journey that we learn to trust the One who knows best. I trust that He is bringing us joy through the storm that we journey through.

All My Love,
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