The Raspberry Resurrection

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Bethany Suckrow -Raspberry Ressurection5The early spring was colder and rainier than previous springs we’ve had here in Nashville. Winter was more intense too—six inches of snow in January broke a ten-year record for this southern state. One gloomy afternoon in late April, I wondered aloud about the weather and what it meant for the coming summer to the women in the flowershop where I worked.

“It’s going to be a Blackberry Summer,” one of them said. “These cool temps will be good for the berry bushes in a few months. Just you wait.”

I smiled, hopeful about the berry vines my husband and our housemate planted when we moved in, nearly two years ago. We were disappointed when they yielded no fruit last summer. Did we plant them in the wrong spot? Was the soil too hard? Maybe they just needed a year to acclimate to their surroundings, grow some roots and steady themselves against the fence in the backyard.

The cooler temps eventually gave way to the notorious Tennessee heat and humidity. Tiny green knots of fruit tinged with red appeared on a day when we weren’t looking for them. Just this afternoon, I walked out to the backyard to find a single raspberry, bright and proud, all by itself. I tugged, but she clung to the vine. Almost ready to pluck, but not quite.

If it’s cliché, I don’t care: I am the raspberry bush.

Maybe you are too. Maybe we all are.

We uproot ourselves, in more ways than one. From places, yes, but also from beliefs and ideas. Inevitably, there are seasons where we mistake the lack of fruit for failure. We wonder if we’ve planted ourselves in the wrong spot, or if the soil is too hard. We resent the brutal seasons, the relentless cold and rain.

What we really need is time. Time to acclimate. Time to mature. Time to grow roots.

It’s as much about the outward signs—financial stability, career progress, personal achievements, and healthy relationships—as it is about the inward stuff: faith, hope, peace.

It’s about what we believe to be true of ourselves, as people.

When everything gets uprooted, when we endure the hard seasons, can we come back to life?

Can we grow from it?

Are we capable of transformation?

The answer is always yes. The variable is time.

If you’ve uprooted yourself recently, and are looking around at your life and what you see is a barren wasteland, hold out hope. Maybe you moved to a new city, like me, and it’s taking a long time to feel stable. Maybe you’ve done the painful work of pruning back a lot of harmful beliefs and feel completely naked. Maybe you’ve removed yourself from a harmful environment and don’t know where you will put your roots.

But here is a truth ripe for the picking:

You are a resurrection waiting to happen. Just you wait.

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Bethany Suckrow
I’m a writer and blogger at at bethanysuckrow.com, where I shares both prose and poetry on faith, grace, grief and hope. I am currently working on my first book, a memoir about losing my mother to cancer. My musician-husband, Matt, and I live in transition as we move our life from the Chicago suburbs to Nashville.
Bethany Suckrow
Bethany Suckrow

Latest posts by Bethany Suckrow (see all)

Bethany Suckrow
  • Thank you for this offering of hope-words.

  • This offers so much hope. This has been a season of pruning for me. And while I know that it’s good and for the best, I also find myself tired and not wanting to do the work anymore. Thank you for this! This gives me the encouragement I need to keep pruning and growing.

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

    • Thanks for your comment, Keri. Hoping you find peace and strength through this pruning season.

  • Helene Burns

    Beautiful words to inspire hope and resurrection in the waiting place. Thank you xo

  • Abby Norman

    This is all true, and my favorite part is this “I don’t care if it is cliche” yes! YES! I am so over caring if it is cliche because Oh LORD this is so true!

    • The cliche in me honors the cliche in you. Haha. Love you, friend. Thanks for commenting. <3

  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    This is so beautiful Bethany. You are such a favorite author of mine, so gifted and so wise. God has been repeatedly giving me the message of “roots” lately, and this is another confirmation that I need to explore that. But I love your message of hopeful possibility in barrenness . . . that a day of bounty is indeed coming! I am suddenly reminded of a beautiful story my mother penned in one of my books about wild strawberry seeds she had received from her Russian penpal. She planted them in a most unfriendly hotter-than-hades Midwest environment. And miracle of miracles! Months later, those ruby red berries appeared. (Think of all it took to get them to Mother and how hopeless it seemed that they would ever bear fruit). It’s been years since I read the story, and I’m not sure the main point she made — probably about an unlikely friendship across the miles– but I think it’s another demonstration of your wonderful point. I have been in a barren season for a long time, so I just want to thank you this day for your promising post, a post of hope, joy, beauty, and promise. I’m taking it to heart!
    Love
    Lynn

    • Thanks for your sweet comment, Lynn. It means a lot to me!

  • Saskia Wishart

    I feel like so many of us have been trying to find our way through changes and at least for myself, there is an Internal pressure to have sorted it all out. I find value in this simple reminder: to give it time. So thank you for that Bethany.

  • How beautiful. I LOVE that you said, I am the raspberry bush.

  • wow, thank you for this. I’m a year into a new city and wishing settling was a quicker process but cycling through the seasons for the second time is easier. The pruning harmful beliefs also resonates! Hopefully I’ll bear some fruit soon – maybe I’m starting to but definitely still green!

  • Beth Watkins

    I’m a long believer in the harder the winter the sweeter the fruit. Though, in winter, sometimes it’s hard to even fathom the spring. Thanks for this.