Thursday, August 11, 2022

A Journey Through Adversity


By: Donna Bucher

An unusual plant came into my life during a time of adversity. A few dear colleagues gave me a beautiful dish plant garden when my precious granddaughter, Indigo Evangeline was stillborn on January 11, 2016.

I kept the plant in my office as a reminder of their love and support for me. Truly a lovely garden containing three plants; a Boston Fern, an African Violet and a Peace Lily. For anyone who knows anything about plants, while all lovely plants, they were never meant to share a home with one another.

Yet they happily co-habited for many years! Then the overcrowding took its toll. Knowing I must separate the plants into individual pots or lose all three, I still put off the task.

My hesitation stemmed from my past experience re-potting plants. Rarely successful, I feared losing these plants; the symbolism of the occasion meant too much to me.

Finally working up enough courage, I brought the plant garden home and took a chance.


After re-potting all three plants, I took two of them back to my office. The Boston Fern initially looked a bit unhappy, but immediately perked up after about a week and has since tripled in size. The Peace Lily initially looked great, but within two or three days began a downhill slide.

 Almost every leaf turned brown or had brown spots. It looked wilted and despite everything I tried, seemed destined for demise.

I held out hope with time, the plant might turn the corner. Softening the soil, careful watering, and proper light contributed to a complete transformation over several months.



As I observe my Peace Lily now, I marvel at its health and beauty. While the plant may not be so unique, its journey to wellness drew a few parallels in our joint journeys through adversity.

The following truths are a few of the parallels found in my musings over lessons in adversity from a dying plant. Although simplistic, they offer a profound impact when viewed through Romans 8:35-39


“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Romans 8:35


Adversity is often unexpected. Neither the Peace Lily nor I expected the adversity we faced.

Adversity makes us uncomfortable. Though crowded with the other plants, the Peace Lily grew comfortable; "uprooting" it brought uncomfortable surroundings. The death of my granddaughter brought pain, confusion: upheaval.

Adversity brings change. For the Peace Lily once uprooted and re-potted, things had changed. For me, the stark reminder hit home: Death always changes a life.

Adversity may bring suffering. For the Peace Lily, the process of re-potting resulted in the loss of vitality and many leaves. I experienced not only the loss of my precious granddaughter, but the loss of an expected future, current joy, and my own vibrancy for life.

Adversity leaves scars. Just like my Peace Lily still has leaves scarred by brown spots, I carry the scars of adversity.

Adversity requires compassion. Requiring more than the cursory care of every day houseplants, the peace lily required the intentional attention to small details for nourishing and strengthening in time of weakness. Likewise, I needed self- compassion, and attention to good self-care, to weather my grief.

The scars of adversity speak of hardship, brokenness, pain. But they also demonstrate courage, perseverance and healing.


No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39


My journey through adversity taught me while adversity brings hardship and change, it also brings new life. Adversity forces us to move from a place of stagnation to a place of personal growth. Truly God showed me the way to peace in adversity was through acceptance and trust in His perfect plan while resting in His unfailing love.

What is most diffcult for you when journeying through adversity?

Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


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  1. Donna, it is amazing the truths which came from having to transplant these various ones. This >> "The scars of adversity speak of hardship, brokenness, pain. But they also demonstrate courage, perseverance and healing." Amen. When I think back over my life and view my "scars", they do not hurt any longer but remind me of the grace, mercy, and faithfulness of our God.

  2. Joanne, you are so right, with time most scars no longer hurt, but they still speak of God's grace and mercy in times of adversity!

  3. When journeying through adversity my biggest challenge is keeping my focus on where it needs to be... trusting HIM and not in my own plans.

    Good article,my friend.

  4. You know, that is my biggest challenge too! I get so focused on my desired outcome or finding a "way out", I miss the comfort and intimacy of His Presence. Sometimes it can be a step by step process of re-centering and asking Him to be my vision. Thank you for sharing your struggle!


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