I will always remember my first apartment as a post-grad. It was, for lack of a better word, a dump. But at the time, I didn’t know the beauty that would come from living in such a place.
I was in one of the darkest moments of my life when I moved to Orlando in 2011.
Gripped by the pain of serious heartbreak and devastating betrayal, my faith was completely shaken. I wondered where God was in the midst of my suffering. For months, I spilled my heart to Him – begging for answers and desperately asking for this gnawing pain in my heart to go away.
It was in that tiny, unembellished apartment on Holly Tree Court that I experienced the redemptive power of God’s saving grace. Suddenly the pain had vanished, thus, starting a restoration process in my heart that only God could orchestrate.
Several years later I had the itch to Google search the symbolism of a holly tree. What it revealed gave a profound definition for that stage in my life:
The holly tree is the only green-leaf tree that is sustainable in the middle of winter. While all other plant life loses their blush and gone dormant, the holly tree can be found still lush and fiercely green. It’s often viewed as a symbol of protection as its uniquely shaped, thorny leaves deflect harsh elements like lightning.
The Celtics say that the holly tree stands for style, dignity and grace in the midst of great challenge.
When I think of my apartment on Holly Tree Court, I no longer see adversity and dejection. I see restoration and beauty. In my darkest hour, God was there forging a path to the light. In my most hopeless moment, He was there working out my greatest hope. I would not be the woman I am today if He hadn’t revealed the style, dignity, and grace within me that year. It’s because of this moment in my life and the impact it still has on me today that I chose this to be the name of my blog – The Holly Tree.