“New Life”

New Life

5th Sunday of Lent

Written by Brittany Holberg, as part of a series of Lenten reflections, “The Mustard Seed”. Click HERE to view the full booklet of her writings.

"New Life" 1

Several weeks ago, we planted cilantro seeds in our garden, and a few days later it began to rain. Not a light rain, but torrents of freezing rain that came down in sheets. One of my first thoughts was that every seed we had planted would be washed out, so I began to pray and ask the Lord to protect those little seeds. After the rain had passed, I went back out and, trudging through the mud, I went to the very place we had planted. I began to search to see if any of the tiny seeds had maybe washed to the surface, in hopes I could plant them back in the soil. I wanted to give them a chance to germinate and begin to grow. I saw nothing in my search so I began to pray again, “Father, you know where they are. You know where each seed has ended up, and I ask that you nurture them where they are. That you bring life to them.”


In that very moment as I was standing there, He opened the eyes of my heart and revealed to me how the muddy mess I was standing in is no different than the world we live in. Just like those tiny seeds, we so often get lost in the storms. We find ourselves buried in our own self-centered desires, and our hearts harden to His voice. I came to a point in my own life where I hated everything about myself. Hated who I had become. I hated my life. My Savior knew exactly where I was, and He came for me. He spoke life into me and filled me with a desire to follow Him. A desire to know Him deeply. A desire to leave behind all I had ever known.


A few days ago, I was tending to some of the other plants we have planted, and I noticed something pushing up out of the soil a few feet away. Although small in size, it was unmistakable. Rushing over, I got down on my hands and knees in the dirt and discovered several little plants that had sprouted. On the very tip of one of the tiny leaves was the remains of the seed’s hard shell. It had broken open and life had burst through.


Because of our Savior’s death, we too may have life. True and abundant life in Christ. Not the mud and mess this world offers us, but life filled with purpose. When we give up our own ways and follow Him, we too burst through and begin to live the life He died to give us. His struggle was real. He too felt anguish and despair in His humanity, but in His divinity He knew what He must do. He knew what His death would bring. The life that would come forth and the glory it would bestow upon us all. Like the sun drew my tiny plant from its hard casing and it burst through the surface of the soil, so too does the Son, our Savior, draw us to Him in new life. 

Brittany Holberg is an Oblate of the Sisters of the Morning Star. She is a resident on Texas Women’s Death Row.

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