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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Hammar

Where We Are Doesn't Have to be Where We Stay

I have a thing for barns.

Most weekends, back roads are our choice for getting to soccer, and if I’m lucky enough to be a passenger instead of driver, I gaze out the window, watching for these weathered, resolute beauties.

It’s because of this practice that I notice the silo. And the tree.

First I see the white farmhouse with its porch.

Then I see the red barn behind it.

Then, the silo.

And inside the silo grows a tree.

Full limbs of dancing leaves pour out of the top of the cylinder, stretching in all directions, celebrating the unencumbered space, full sun and open breeze. Like fireworks bursting forth in revelry, this tree’s branches wave, announcing their freedom.

Every time our route to games takes us by it, I anticipate seeing it. Every time, I’m struck anew by the hope its cascade of limbs offer. I imagine myself a guest to its victory party, clapping to acknowledge its hard journey to get here.

Long before it sprouted above the edges of that silo, the tree’s constant work went unseen, as it quietly strained towards the light. This tree’s dance above the silo its reward for a determination, its drive to grow pitted against its reality. This tree pushed for what it could see above.

We have a choice, don’t we, of what we see in our circumstances?

In what we feel about where we’ve been placed?

I’d like to think that if I was planted in a dark, cold silo, that I’d focus on the light above me, that I’d feel its pull. I pray that I, too, would cling to the kind of hope this tree offers, as it shouts its teaching: What we’re surrounded by doesn’t tell the end of our story.

Where we are doesn’t have to be where we stay.

Our ability to push through and past and beyond hard landing places is possible when we focus on what’s above us. The light — His light — invites us to heal, to grow, and yes, even to bloom. When we follow that Light, we meet a freedom that stretches us beyond the places we’ve been keeping.

Have you been planted in a dark place?

Are you straining to grow?

Our faith and growth come not from where we’re planted, but in where we’re looking.

I’m on a bit of a stretch-out-of-the-silo journey myself. God is walking me through healing and deeper understanding for seasons I had tucked away, far back in my early reach-for-the-sun years. This tree speaks to my heart of the hope we have in our Creator to always meet us when we look to Him. If we invite Him to, He will grow us and stretch us toward His purposes for us, no matter the place where we begin. I hold onto this tree as a reminder of this truth.


  • Where are you struggling? How might you change your view, to look up? What steps can you take shift your focus to growing toward the Light?

  • When can you set aside time to talk with God about your struggle? How can you invite Him in, in a new way, to guide you in growing, even in dark places?

  • If you are looking for a resource to help you meet God in your hard places, please see below for a free devotional.


Are you interested moving towards God, to be closer to Him? Are you longing to hear Him speak into your struggles? I've created a FREE five-day devotional (45 beautiful pages!) called, “Closer: Five Days to Hearing God Louder.” Each day features teaching on one posture and a guided journaling section to help us practice taking steps toward hearing God louder in our every day. Subscribe here for your free copy.

1 Comment

May 21, 2021

Oh, I love this. What a beautiful picture of stretching toward the light. ✨

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