Jemima Gleeson

I’m thinking about gardens… which makes sense being that this is the theme for the Selah Women’s conference this year. 

I’m looking out my glass doors towards my backyard which- in spite of it being cold here in Australia, is beautiful, and green and receiving warm winter sunlight. For all intents and purposes it just looks like any other yard or garden. But although it’s similar in look, colour and size to the other gardens on my street- it’s not the same. No one else on my street has the same yard as me. In fact, no one anywhere has the same yard as me. Maybe they have some of the same plants and vines. Or have some of the same trees. But my garden is my garden. Your garden likewise- though it may have similarities to others on your street or in your neighbourhood- is unique. 

Just like your life. Just like your story. 

Sometimes the things growing in our lives are things we planted there deliberately. Maybe you’re the type of person who plans out their garden patch- deciding exactly where things will go. You’ve planted the things you want to see grow, you’ve seeded in the right season and you’re waiting patiently for the harvest. 

Sometimes there’s things growing in our lives that have been planted there by someone else. Perhaps carefully seeded thoughtfully, but sometimes carelessly seeded, thoughtlessly. These seeds- cast without regard, can create a messy bramble in an unwanted space. And maybe it’s grown big enough to block your vision, and you just can’t even see past it anymore. It’s right in your line of sight, everytime you glance out your window to dream- there it is, obscuring your vision.

Maybe there is a garden bed desperately needing new soil and an overgrown corner filled with weeds. We‘ve all looked at those areas and wondered if the task is too great and the reward too little. It feels like starting over would be the easiest bet- just mow the whole lot down.... And yet despite the blisters that come from ripping out weeds and pruning back dead things, we usually find that once we face it and start removing what needs to be removed, there’s joy and triumph in the work… as well as the opportunity to plant something new and fresh, where there was only ugliness and chaos. 

Selah conference this year is going to be celebrating the Garden that is our lives. I can’t wait to hear your story- the unique, the beautiful, the overgrown, the messy. We are going to gather together, encourage each other and wait in God’s presence. It will be real, and challenging and life giving- because that’s what happens when we gather in unity in His Presence. Come as you are dear ones, let’s do this together. 

Can’t wait to be with you all again.

Jem x