Emerging from the soil
By Ariane Williams
To emerge means to move out of or away from something and come into view. There are times when we do not have a clear focus on the view; we stay tucked in a soiled place. Life has been unexplainable during this season of revelation and change.
Just the other day, my mind became a fog. As I sat on the bench under a tree, something caught my eye and grabbed my spirit. The shell of a cicada was attached to the tree. Then, childhood memories of finding the shells of cicadas in my grandma’s yard approached me in this new season of revelation and change. There are times when things from the past will travel to you, but it is how you approach it in the new season that determines how you will emerge from the soil. As I inspected this empty shell, the Holy Spirit began to download words into my spirit: protection, patience, presence and power. It is time to emerge from the soil to shape your shell.
Although you may not see them, cicadas are around you. There is a process that is taking place under soil while you wait. You may not see the opportunities in this soiled place, but when you start to break through the soil, you will be able to complete your assignment. Cicadas shed multiple times during the maturing process. While you are in this place, there are some things that you are shedding as your shell is taking on a new form. Cicadas stay in waiting, deep in the soil, for 17 years before emerging. You are getting ready to emerge. Sometimes, you must dig in the dirt and just stay there: maturing in the soil.
We sometimes move ahead of God to get a “cheap view.” When the time is right, you will step out of the soil. It is then that you get an “expansive view” because you were waiting in the process. God was preserving you, and now it is time for you to emerge. People will inspect your shell but may never know the extent of your shedding, and that is OK. The only thing that they need to know is that you emerged from the soil and so can they. I had no idea that the cicada was on the tree, but it was there. You may not understand everything that is taking place in the soil, but God is there.
Despite what it physically looked like to others, Esther became a queen. Despite what it looks like, you are getting ready to emerge from behind the curtains. God organized this season of revelation and change so that He could get you to shed some things that you have been holding onto from your past. While you are going through this process, the Holy Spirit will be in the soil with you: teaching you and preparing you. He is getting ready to push you up so that you can break the surface: emerge.
Originally, I was focused on the circumstances within my mind, and the shell of the cicada was there the whole time, yet I did not see it. What some may find ugly and has no purpose, I found intriguing, perfect form with a bold statement, “I was here.” We can hear cicadas making noise while they are mating. It is time for you to make some noise with your gift. What we model now will be proven by the shell that we leave behind. Some may feel like cicadas leave behind a mess; their shells serve as fertilizers to “boost plant life.” Are your fertilizers seeds of change that will boost the future? Do not become afraid of emerging from the soil in this season. You have been in there long enough.
Ariane Williams is a teacher, minister, published author and liturgical dancer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.