In the Orangery

by | Sep 28, 2020 | Bold in Faith, Transitions

“Jesus, I surrender myself to you – take care of everything.”⁣


// The Surrender Novena⁣

I come back often to this place, one of my favorites in DC. It the “orangery” of the famous Dumbarton mansion in Georgetown. When it gets cold, the flowers and citrus plants from the garden are brought in here for protection against the harsh winter. In the springtime, the flowers are taken back outside and into the sunshine.⁣

For over 200 years, this room has sheltered flowers from blizzards, rainstorms, and hail. The plants are lovingly picked up and placed here for shelter, and then moved back outside when it’s time for them to return. ⁣

Could you imagine being one of these plants, sitting in the sunshine, and then getting picked up and put in a room for a few months? If it was me, I would probably be a little grumpy. I wouldn’t understand why I wasn’t out in the pretty garden, surrounded by the butterflies and bunnies. ⁣

Okay, I’m pushing this analogy pretty far, but if those flowers just took a moment to appreciate the dreamy room they’re in, as the snow falls and rain pours down outside, I think they’d be enchanted by its beauty. I think they’d be so grateful that a kind gardener moved them into such a pretty space to ride out the winter. ⁣

A lot of times I think we get picked up and moved into unexpected places like these pretty lil flowers. And, because we can’t see the whole picture, it’s easy to get frustrated about the lack of control. But what if we just believed – truly believed – that God is trustworthy? What if we really, completely embraced the truth that He is good and He is fair and He is working for our best? I don’t think we’d be frustrated at all. ⁣

If God’s got you in the orangery right now, rejoice. If joy is hard to find, here’s a hint: it’s found in surrender. I invite you to pray the Surrender Novena, one of my very favorite prayers, and to experience the overwhelming joy and peace that comes when we can trust that God is good.⁣

“Jesus, I surrender myself to you – take care of everything.”⁣

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Jane Kennedy
Jane Kennedy

Jane Kennedy lives in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and works in criminal justice reform. When she’s not working or writing, she’s probably catching up with friends on FaceTime, getting lost in Rock Creek Park, quoting C.S. Lewis, or trying to recreate Salt and Straw ice cream at home.

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