The Surrender of a Little Gumnut

While on retreat, I explored my issues of wanting to be in control and not surrendering to God. In the process of reflection and meditation, God gifted me with this:

Julian of Norwich has her hazelnut in the palm of her hand which symbolizes God's love, David from "The Big Silence" BBC documentary has his pine cone that symbolized his opening up and letting go; and, now I have my gumnut.

I found it in the retreat's labyrinth before I started walking it.

I am still learning gratitude but the meditation was exploring surrender.

Give up control? Stop wrestling with something I have no control over? Are you nuts? (geddit?)

I held the gumnut to my nose. It had fresh fallen out of the eucalyptus above, it's cap still green, still firmly sealed over its flower.

The gumnut smells of home. I carry it throughout the labyrinth mediating on "Let go. Trust God. Let God."

I rub it with my thumbs as I walk and I realize --

I cannot make this gumnut flower. Sure, I could force the cap off, probably with a knife, pry open the damp, waxy petals ... As aI child I'd done that before with much smaller gumnuts, so I knew I would break some of the petals and it wouldn't be as open and fluffy as the gum flowers in the tree.

It has fallen to earth too soon, it's potential never fulfilled.

But it is God's creation. Eucalypts lose a lot of gumnuts before they're ready to open. I know, because I've had plenty of practice playing with them as a child.

God loves that gumnut, forever closed. He loves that gumnut like He loves me. It is imperfect and broken.

I can enjoy the sweet odor but I can't make it more than it is. I have to surrender...

The next day, having got the clue to enjoy God, I read a couple of psalms.

All of a sudden, I feel like I am in transition to a transformation, on the cusp of something...

And this is a fast I'll need to do again and again  ... to give up control and surrender to God ... and hopefully discover the beauty that is waiting for me to see.

A gumnut cap smacks against the patio's brick pavement.

Somewhere overhead, there is a new gum flower....

I brought them both home from retreat and keep them in my prayer closet to remind me of this day.

What symbols has God shown you in your walk with Him?

I am linking this to Ann Voskamp's "Walk with Him Wednesdays".

and with ...


  1. An issue I've been dealing with also. My grip is so tight, the loosening is almost painful.
    Keep up the God work.

    1. Lori, thank you. And I hope you keep up the God work too. I didn't think I'd be the only one dealing with this issue, so I hope it helped in some way.

  2. I love it when God gives us tangible reminders of what He is teaching us...also love prayer labyrinths...letting go is hard, so I can relate...thanks, Leanne, for a great post :)

    1. Dolly -- I love those tangible reminders -- and labyrinths too! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I have never walked through a prayer labyrinth, but have heard of them. This fascinates me.

    I have a few of these tangible reminders, odd little things that wouldn't mean a whole lot to anybody else, but remind me of a great big God who loves me. My items are:

    1 -- the front emblem of my crashed van
    2 -- a 15-year-old post-it note with the words, "Change is Good."
    3 -- A two-inch tall Snoopy figurine.
    4 -- A ceramic chicken.


    1. Thanks for sharing your reminders, Jennifer. I've found prayer labyrinths to be very special times with God.


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