building roots - a story.
It’s October. On May 5th I made the move back home to the Okanagan and the Katie looking forward into the future of fall 2019 would never have guessed she’d still be living her parents basement in October.
I made a few assumptions about living in Kelowna you see. I assumed it would be hot. I was right on that. I assumed I would be fairly decent at living with my parents again. I was fairly right about that. I also assumed that I wouldn’t find a community. Or, that it would be hard. In some ways I was right about that, but in a lot of other ways I was wrong.
The past few weeks of church have reminded me of the value of planting some roots. It feels weird to say that because I grew up in this town.
As a university student, it is incredibly easy to jump from one place to the next: that could be places to study on campus, coffee shops to test out, people to hang out with and churches too. It’s justifiable because the state of being a student is temporary. By it’s very nature, you can legitimately say, “I’m only going to be here for a few months” because you move around, from house to basement suite and back again, and things are slightly less stable than they were before you started school.
But I’m not a student anymore and the reality hit me: there comes a time to be mature and make some decisions that have the potential to impact the rest of your life. That could be where you live. That could be who you spend time with. That could be your job. That could be how you spend your money. There’s a whole host of things but I come back to community and being relational with others. This nurtures planting some roots.
And so it feels weird because while I’m getting to know this town again, I see the call to plant something good here. It takes time, it takes intentional care (a lot of that!) and it takes watering. Like checking in every. single. day. to ensure your roots are growing. If you ain’t watering your plant, you probably won’t grow. Get it?
So, the call to plant roots is ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING. I’ve gotten used to be noncommittal in the way I do things, and while I blame school for it, I also own up to letting myself believe the lies that are tacked on to growing roots.
If I grow roots, then what happens if I’m uprooted? It’ll hurt more, won’t it? It’ll be like a 50-year old rose bush being ripped from it’s home it’s lived in for 50 years. It’s a lot of work to move that rose bush, it’s a lot of work to replant it. Some leaves are lost, some buds and blooms are lost, but somehow the plant and it’s roots are still intact. It’s replanted, and it grows again.
We can’t live in a “what if” world. Let me clear - I differentiate this from planning for your future, but I don’t want you (or I) to use the excuse of “I don’t know what’s going to happen” to keep us back from growing roots that could lead to something beautiful. I always used the excuse in university of committing to things because I “never knew where I was going to be in 2 months”. While that was true, it was also because I was afraid of making a decision. Talk about indecisive.
For me, growing roots mean friendships and leaning into people that I want to know better and who I know I can grow closer to God with. No “yes” people, but “hey Katie” people, who notice my faults, notice my scars, notice my strengths and love me regardless of the puddle of a human I so often am.
For me, growing roots in this season is really applicable, not only because it’s getting colder but because after a season of rest, but it feels like it’s time to grow again. God grew me in a different way this summer, teaching me the importance of prioritizing Him in scripture and in sleep, and now I’m learning to prioritize the growth of relationships and people.
In order to grow in the things that matter - our relationship with God and each other - we must be rooted first. You must let your roots run deep and create a place that supports you.
So I continue living here and am excited to lean in more with people and places and events that establish me as a citizen of the Okanagan. A place that needs Jesus and a place that I want to call home.