Guest Post Spiritual Growth

The Emblem Of God’s Perfect Timing by Christina Hubbard

She beckoned me across the ocean with a hope: “The cherry blossoms will be in bloom.” I scraped together Delta miles, withheld new clothes and fast food, saved change so I could see them burst open. When we need deep renewing, we cling to hope symbols.

I imagined my destination: Seoul, Korea, the spirit of a city as a balm of beauty, pink, resurrecting me from pinched nerve pain. From my fearful heart beating anxiety. From being stuck between my passions: teaching my children at home and being a writer.

Cherry blossoms would be my rebirth.


Pink means love, of oneself and others. It also means, “the best condition or degree.” And my condition was bleak. The pain in my body, a manifestation of my soul. The fear that rose to the surface: never becoming the woman I was meant to be.

I was lost in the debilitation of a suffering heart and I begged God to ease the aching. Some days I could not grip my pen, to write out the throbbing, the weakness of the nerve constricting my hand, reminding me I was not superwoman. Surely, the pain would die if I could only experience spring.

So this time last year I flew to Korea to escape the cave of winter.

The cherry blossoms promised to come. I followed their scent

Wandering the city, my friend and hostess led me across miles of pavement, lined with trees reaching their twig fingers up between skyscrapers and palaces. They weren’t trying to force their loveliness. They grew roots underground, expectant for their time. But we kept hoping and waiting for the blooms to ravish us with their splendor. 

In a park we found a shrub that fooled us for a moment. I wrote out the lovely disappointment:

I wait for inspirations to come

In the night

Like the purple-sticked blossoms

Surprising our eyes

In palace garden,

The scent carrying us to thin, shrouded bows,

Unwrapping our defenses

As they revealed themselves

Undressed to the chill air and our hot breath, 

In turns, 

Suffocating them. We only wanted to breathe in spring

And savor. 

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One night we peered at the cityscape from a tall-windowed apartment. Tiny lights, red, yellow, and white dotted the view in dusk’s retreat. Standing there, I felt the evening’s peace creeping over us.

One or two cherry blossoms made their entrance in the corners of our landscape, a canvas, slowly bearing blots of color, almost like paint, purple-like in the dimness, barely bursting. Later I wrote in my journal:

“Until we give ourselves over to the adventure, we will never know the fullness of being in a place and letting it tell us what it needs to say.”

The blooms never came, really, not like we expected. My longing for perspective and resurrection came, but in long periods of rest and recovery, in Korea, and later at home.

It came in unexpected sickness and Sabbath rest, in surrendering to the journey of waiting and letting God love me in a season I didn’t understand fully. 

Spring did not come shooting forth with answers to my suffering or next steps for my life. It made me wait.

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Glory pink came to Seoul just days after I left, I am told. When I stepped into my yard back in Kansas, peony-like tulips dotted the shade garden. I realize now, a full year later, they are the same color as the lights we saw over the great Korean city: violet, crimson, gold, and snow. Tonight, one or two will open under the stars, emblems of God’s perfect time.

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Christina Hubbard is an author and poet who shares about identity, worth, and the messy, amazing creative life. Her goal is to help others find God’s imagination in their own lives. She lives in Kansas with her husband and two kids. Her latest projects are Five Ways To Love Like You Mean It and the Dreamcatcher Series. Find her at: Creative & Free.







  • Rhonda Bolling
    2 years ago

    Beautiful. I love that your longing for perspective and resurrection came despite the full-bloom timing.

    PS: That would have been as hard to leave there without seeing the cherry blossoms in full bloom as it would be to come to Alaska and not see a bear, whale or eagle (or maybe even the Northern Lights).

    • Christina Hubbard
      2 years ago

      I agree, Rhonda! If I ever come to Alaska I’ll make sure you’re my tour guide. 😉

  • Lindsay
    2 years ago

    What an awesome testimony to God’s timing, never what we expect, but always perfect. I’m glad you found your way.

    • Christina Hubbard
      2 years ago

      Hi, Lindsay, yes, even when our expectations fall short, there’s this beautiful grace. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

  • Your words are exquisite. I love what they teach about waiting. There are so many seasons of waiting in my life that hurrying the cherry blossoms seems to be at the forefront instead of coming home to the tulips already waiting for my return. God’s perfect timing. Full disclosure: My husband and I had been trying to have a child for almost a year and we had already given up. I know that doesn’t seem like a long time. Some people wait longer, but we were at peace with letting that go. We are about to turn 37. We just found out about baby Cisneros alive and well in my belly. My first thought was God’s perfect timing. The season of wait didn’t last long, but still he needed me to wait. Your words are eloquent and they remind me of every season in my life where I need to just wait. xoxo So glad you linked up to Open Mic Monday. It is a pleasure to have you, mi hermana. Have a blessed week.

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