Flourish Together and Find Wholeness in the Process

Flourish Together and Find Wholeness in the Process
“God calls us to flourish together in the larger garden of His Kingdom.”  –Dorina Lazo Gilmore

 

As a lover of books and words and God, my friends often ask me if I might recommend a new Bible study or the latest book on Christian living. As a member of the online writer’s group Hope*Writers, it is my privilege to review a new release by author Dorina Lazo Gilmore.

Dorina is a writer and speaker who has authored several children’s books, has led a thriving ministry in Haiti, and recently published her first Bible study, Glory Chasers, in 2017. By February 2018, Dorina had launched her second Bible study, Flourishing Together: Cultivating a Fruitful Life in Christ.

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As soon as I saw the word “flourish” in the title, I was captivated by this study. Several close friends in my life have chosen a word-of-the-year related to flourishing, abiding in Christ, and remaining in Him.

What’s in a word?

At the beginning of 2018, I prayed about my one word for the year. Have you ever done this? I began this practice several years ago in place of traditional resolutions.

This year, I wanted to tell God what my word should be: “How about rest? I could use a good nap!” Instead, another word arrived gently in my heart through the voice of a Father who cares more about making me whole than leaving me where I’ve been. The word was simple: remain.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” {John 15:5}

To remain in Christ is about abiding, making my home in Him. Remain means to be steadfast, waiting, trusting, relying on, leaning in, bearing His yoke with ease, pressing into His rhythm, walking in His will.

Flourish in the process.

In the introduction of Flourishing Together, “flourish” is defined as: to thrive; to grow luxuriantly; to be in one’s prime; to be at the height of fame, influence, success; to prosper.

Dorina expresses that the purpose of the Flourishing Together study is to explore the process of flourishing as we learn to abide. No one can become a flourishing garden overnight.

The study is laid out in six-week segments that follow the process of the abiding life. This format facilitates women to gather in community, so we can grow and flourish together.

“When we are rooted in Christ and have an understanding of grace, we desire to reach out and invest in others. We cannot truly flourish alone because God has designed us for community.” – Chapter one, Plant

The chapters in this study bring readers through the following process: plant, prune, rest, nourish, cultivate, and bloom. I love the way each chapter begins with a devotional teaching, and then each week is broken into six days of study. Each day provides a scriptural focus with three or more guiding questions for reflection.

By the conclusion of the study, Dorina hopes that women will see themselves in the process of flourishing and find restoration in Jesus Christ.

Abide in His love.

As I reflect on my journey through Flourishing Together, turns out that while my felt need was to rest, God wants to give me so much more. He wants his children to find wholeness as we abide in Him. I am learning that sometimes remaining in Christ means to be still and rest and sometimes it means doing the work with endurance as I learn to walk with Him. Abiding means both.

One thing is clear, I cannot thrive on my own. I can try hard, but when I begin to strive in my own strength, I soon whither and wilt under the heat and pressure of life. Yet with Christ, by remaining in His love, I can flourish in all that He calls me to do.

 

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