Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Palm Tree by Rebecca W. Waters

It's with great pleasure that I introduce you to my author friend, Rebecca W. Waters. She's a fun and friendly, intelligent and serious author. Today, she's sharing a story that happened soon after her husband's death which may encourage you. 

But be sure to check out her books and links at the end of the article and also her personal links. 

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, the will flourish in the courts of our God. They will bear fruit in old age. They will stay fresh and green. Psalm 92-12-14

A few weeks after my husband died, a woman from a counseling group prayed with my oldest daughter and me. This woman we didn’t know began whispering prayers of God’s tender mercy over us. She prayed for our healing. She prayed for our family. She prayed we would feel God’s presence and power wash over us as we went through the grieving process. Alli and I held tightly to each other’s hands.

Then this stranger left all of the familiar rhetoric behind. She prayed that whenever we were torn or hurting or when a painful memory threatened our trust in God to waiver, that He would bring to our mind “the image of a…uh…” she struggled here. “The image of a …uh…a palm tree,” she finally said.  A palm tree? Really?

With the final “Amen” the kind woman hugged us and wished us well. “I have to tell you,” she said. “I don’t know where that palm tree image came from. Is there any significance?”

Alli and I looked at each other. “Well,” I began. “We’re from Florida and Tom loved the beach.” It was
weak. We all knew it.

As we climbed in the car to head home Alli and I started to laugh. “A palm tree? What was that about?” I’ve never been big on “signs.” We shared the story with my two other daughters and that Christmas my children covered my Christmas tree with palm tree ornaments.

But palm trees seemed to pop up everywhere; in paintings, on buildings, in books.  Then, one Sunday our preacher talked about having a palm tree kind of faith.

“God designed a palm tree with the interlocking kind of cable work that goes all the way up and deep in the ground.” He talked about how the palm will withstand hurricane force winds and never break.

I know. I’m from Florida. I’ve see palm trees bend nearly to the ground in tropical storms without breaking or becoming uprooted. Unwittingly, I think that woman who prayed with us that November evening was praying for the same thing. A deep-rooted faith…a trust in God that is flexible enough to bend and not break when the storms of life come at us with gale force winds.

Two years after my husband died, my youngest daughter, Kay, sat in the kitchen of a friend. A painting of a beautiful palm tree hung above the table. Kay shared our story. She talked with her friend about resiliency and deep-rooted faith.

Kay’s friend had a “rocky past” and as my daughter Kay spoke of her own relationship with Christ, tears slid down her friend’s face.

“How incredible the odd mention of a palm tree could lead to deep conversations about trust in God who I’m able to see as good despite losing a dad I loved dearly,” Kay told me.

How incredible indeed. But then, so is the God we serve. May your faith be deeply rooted and when you’re faced with crisis, may God bring to you the image of… a palm tree.

Rebecca Waters’ freelance work has resulted in articles for Chicken Soup for the Soul, the Lookout Magazine, The Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, and Home Health Aide Digest. Prior to publishing her first novel, Breathing on Her Own, Rebecca was a college professor and speaker on the Ohio Writing Project circuit.
Here are the full  links:

Breathing on Her Own

Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing
My blog, A Novel Creation can be found on my website

Thank you, Becky, for sharing your book with us today! 

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