A Burden for a Bouquet
By Tammy Hopson
The wooded trail led down a hill about a half mile to an old abandoned house sitting in a field. The field was still mowed from time to time by an old farmer that lived nearby. Beside the house stood a great old oak tree and by the looks of it, it had weathered many storms.
This place had become sacred to me. I walked down there many times just to pray underneath the tree and talk to God. Sometimes I went to read and other times my children would follow along giggling and chatting as they coaxed our dog to chase them down the trail. When they were with me we always seemed to walk a little further and continued on the other side of the field and through the pines to the shore of the French Broad.
But on one particular summer day in June, I went completely alone. Life had gotten out of hand and it felt like everything was falling apart, my marriage, my finances, my family……everything. Overwhelmed, I headed down the path that led to the old oak tree. I walked slowly as everything was wrong and all the things I could not fix churned in my heart. I knew I just had to give it all to God. I pictured the oak standing in the field, its arms reaching high into the air as if it too was reaching for its Maker. I remembered all the times I went down to pray and felt that God had heard me every time.
Soon my feet were running down the hill and towards the tree. Hot tears poured out of my eyes and down my cheeks. I had to get there fast. It was as if God was waiting for me there. Once I reached the bottom of the trail I fixed my eyes on the big tree and ran underneath it. Falling on my knees I cried out loudly. I don’t remember the words I spoke but I knew God was listening. I stayed there with my face in my hands and poured my heartaches out to Him. Soon I felt His Spirit lift the heaviness from my heart. Oh, what a marvelous feeling! My cries had reached His ears!
Standing up I wiped my face and turned to go back home. Suddenly I noticed the field. I had not seen it on my way down. I was too focused on the tree. But as I turned to look, I saw before me a million white daisies. The field was covered in blooms! As far as my eye could see there were beautiful daisies everywhere! The field was a blanket of white flowers! My heart gasped. Tears began to flow again and I could hear in my heart the words “I will bring you beautiful things.” I believed then without a doubt that those daisies were a gift, that God had commanded the daisies to bloom, especially for me! I stood for a moment in awe of the glistening white flowers. Then with my heart filled with joy, I ran and scooped up all the daisies my arms could hold! I was taking these home! I walked back up the hill, my arms full of flowers and my burdens at the foot of the tree. Once I reached the top of the trail I saw a man standing in the yard and I shouted to him as I held the flowers high in the sky “Look! I just traded my burdens for a bouquet!”
For several days after that, the daisies sat in a vase on my kitchen table reminding me of my walk to the tree. Since then many years have passed but God has always kept His promise to me. He has brought me blessings and beauty.
I have noticed an abundance of daisies this summer. Through them, I know God is nudging me and reminding me that when my heart is heavy if I will bring my burdens to Him, He will lift them from me and provide in their place…..the joy of a bouquet.
“How much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:11
Tammy Hopson has been a Mitchell County resident since 1992 and lives in Red Hill with her family. She is a mother of six children and grandmother of 14. She has been a member of Hoyle Memorial Christian Fellowship in Lawndale, NC since 1992 and helps lead The HMCF Youth Group.
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