Last year on my birthday, Adam bought me a fiddle-leaf tree. It was exactly what I had wanted.
But almost immediately the tree seemed to die. I replanted it in a self watering pot, I added fertilizer, I moved it from window to window trying to find the “just right” amount of light for this fragile little life.
But nothing seemed to work. The leaves just kept shriveling up and falling away.
I was so frustrated that I couldn’t save this tree.
Then I found out that my husband had betrayed me and this tree became a metaphor for my life and marriage.
I was trying so damn hard, and nothing was working.
No amount of effort on my part was enough. For this tree or my husband.
On September 10, 2016, 3 days after I found out about the affair, I posted this picture on Instagram:
With this caption:
“I wanted this tree for so long. I’ve feed it and watered it. I’ve looked for advice, researched, nurtured it. But all I’ve ever been able to do is watch it slowly die. Now the question is, do I wait until this plant is really for sure gone, all signs pointing to death, or do I free the pot of all the rot and prepare it to hold and cherish something new.”
Obviously, I was talking about divorce, not gardening. Do I give up on this dream? Or do I give it one last go?
At one point I told Adam that this tree had become my E.T. plant. Remember in that movie how the flowers became a barometer for ET’s life. They shriveled as his body was studied by the scientist but sprang back to life once Elliot saved him.
Well, I felt like this tree was my marriage-metaphor, if the tree died it was a sign to leave, if it lived it was a sign to stay. I wasn’t really being serious when I said this to Adam, but my husband got up, walked over to this sad little plant, and prayed for it.
He prayed for my tree.
It was sweet.
And not much has changed.
It did stop dropping leaves, but it’s covered in brown spots.
The poor thing looks terribly sad. I suppose we do as well.
And then this morning I noticed this:
I believe I spot some new life. We have ourselves some tiny, fresh growth.
I discovered this beautiful pop of green on the same morning that Adam was asked to lead his men’s Bible study for the first time…
and I don’t believe in coincidence.
When Adam came home from his Men’s group I grabbed his hand and led him over to show him the new life. To which my husband smiled and said, “Oh wow, Do you remember that I prayed for this tree? That’s a good sign!”
And it is a sign.
A sign of life.