Over the past year, I’ve began to look at the world around me, especially nature, and been inspired at how it applies to my life. My favorite comparison is how God can bring so much beauty through brokenness. Flowers are hit down in a storm but grow despite their circumstances. Butterflies go through this chaotic change in tight darkness but come out more beautiful. Coal under a lot of pressure turns into a diamond.
I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs in my short life. But I am so inspired by nature to keep going, to continue on despite what life has thrown at me. I may be trampled on, but I want to grow, I may go through tight darkness, but I want to come out more beautiful then before. I may be under a lot of pressure but I will be that diamond in the rough. Through Christ, I want to become something a little more then amazing.
My point is, I love nature and the beautiful world God has given me and how I can relate to so much in it. Through this past year of standing in awe of all that surrounds me, I’ve been attempting to write into words what I see around me and how it applies to me. Usually that comes by way of me taking a random picture and later realizing how inspiring it was. That is how I got this short inspiring story.
A little about this picture and short story (I don’t know what else to call it) I took the picture in May of this year while walking through Columbia University with my brother and friend. We went through this short path of a garden area and the door stood out to me. I turned around and snapped a picture and later went back and wrote up a short quote which I later posted on Instagram. It was a couple weeks later that the quote and picture were still on my heart, so I sat down and typed up more details about how this simple picture spoke to me.
Without farther bunny trails, here’s my favorite inspirational short story: The Door.
The key to door was on a leather band that hung around her neck. It was tucked away, nestled close to her heart so that at all times she could feel the cold silver against her skin. She kept it hidden so that none may question about it, though some did pry when they saw the door. But she tried to keep most from the door.
She let all who enter into her life be allowed to roam the many trails that led through gardens of stories from her life of building this garden. Vibrant and breathtaking plants and rare beauties she had collected over the years were showered over her guests. She loved to love those who entered her life and she had many compliment her on the beautiful fountain of “a heart of gold” that she had.
The work she had put into this garden was 23 years and counting, but she was proud of how it looked. It was seemingly weedless, unless one stooped to look closer. She knew there were flaws in everyone’s garden, but she didn’t let it stop her from continually building her home into something more beautiful everyday.
The trails of her garden heart spoke of thriving life. She tried to share what she could with those who she walked with, sharing past choices to stop weeds, fertilize the ground or patiently waiting for the flowers to bloom. But many people who ate from the fruit trees or smelled the perfumed blossoms didn’t actually know the amount of work she had done.
But few did get that chance. There was a select number that she took by the hand and lead towards her brick walks. She knew the way to the heart of her garden, though it was a maze of trails. There were few that got to go deeper then others, few that began to see how the light of the sky would dim of color, or how the bright greens would fade to black, or how this was void of pretty smells and sweet fruits.
At last, at the end of the trail would be the door. With some, she would simply stand there, hardly daring to breath. With others, she would boldly step forward though her heart beat wildly within her chest. Ever so slowly and quietly, she would take the key from her neck. She placed the silver key into the lock and slowly turn until a soft click was heard.
And slowly she opened the door to them. She allowed them into her secret garden, the one that her new garden surrounded entirely, but was blocked by a high brick wall. No one could pass over, no one could see in. Only this door, with the one key she held close to her heart, could allow anyone to see into her past, into a place that she had shut out from everyone.
Many of those who enter would see the wilted wildflowers, stepped on by people who took the key and tried to use her garden. They would see the shriveled up fountains that no longer had laughter but tears. They couldn’t even begin to count how many mistakes were made in this garden, how many weeds choked out the once growing bushes. They would read descriptions of suffering that cracked the ground and up the sides of walls. Evidence of a fire marked her walls, showing she had been burned deeply. They would see nothing beautiful in the dirt, ash and darkness of this part of her garden.
But very few would also see the beauty of her secret garden. They would see the attempt of buds on trees, they would see the area’s that were beginning to heal, the cracks that had been patched back together and painted in white. They would see the deep red roses, those they have thorns, still are eye catching. They would hear the song of small crickets or see the form of cocoons holding future butterflies. They would see the potential, the next steps and possibilities.
And some, some could see why she kept this garden. Though she had lost so much, though she had been hurt, burned, scarred, wounded and tramped upon, still she fought to live and love on. Though she had a past that was dark, mysterious and even haunting, she had made a choice to move on.
She had chosen to move beyond the mistakes and brokenness and she decided to build something beautiful with her life. She wanted to share her world with others. It had taken a long time and she wasn’t anywhere near being done. But she was one step closer then others with the very fact that she was moving on and building something beautiful from the ashes.
What she loved the most about her visitors was they never judged her for how she use to look. They never tried to hurt her already delicate heart. Instead, they rejoiced in all she had accomplished since the moment she locked up the door. They prayed and praised God with her for all the paths and new gardens He was helping her grow. And she loved that they loved her even more after she had shared her deepest secret with them.
And every time she stepped out of her secret garden. Every time she closed the door and put the key in the lock. Every time, right before she locked it tight again, she would pray that one day she could leave this part of her garden unlocked.
And one day she will open the door to all.