Updated: Feb 3, 2022
By Jillian McWhirter:
Many years ago my sister, Lynn, came to visit my family and me. Lynn had a green thumb, which I did not. Of course, she spotted the empty flowerpot on my front porch and asked me to take her to the flower shop. There, she picked out some bulbs that she said would bloom into beautiful yellow tulips.
She planted all the bulbs, and sure enough when the season was right, they bloomed. I was so proud to see the yellow tulips open every day and close at night. The next season, they bloomed again, and again—I loved seeing the beauty of nature. Then they stopped. I tried to help them, but it didn’t work. I forgot about them and went on with life.
My brother-in-law and I started our own company, my daughter was growing up, and I never thought twice about the empty flowerpot. Until one day I looked outside and saw some green poking through the hard dirt. I went outside and looked closer. The flowers were starting to bloom after ten years of nothing. I thought, “This is crazy. How could this be happening? Is this a sign from God? What is he trying to tell me?”
A week later, everything changed with the pandemic. Our small business had to close down due to the stay-at-home order. I worried about my employees. How would they pay their bills, take care of their families, and when would we be able to reopen?
Yes, we were all in this boat together, and I saw acts of kindness all around. My sales reps even comforted me by telling me it would all work out; but I still worried. I researched different states' unemployment insurance for independent contractors—as our reps lived in different states—but I found little information.
As I paced the floor, I stopped and looked out my window. A yellow tulip had bloomed, and it stood strong. Others would be blooming soon. I went outside and took a few pictures and sent them to my sister, who couldn’t believe it. After ten years, the flowers blossomed again. Lynn said it was a good sign that everything was going to be alright.
I truly believe God helped those flowers to bloom and to bloom at this time to tell us to stay strong, have faith, and everything will be better, that we are growing too.
Raised in Mississippi, Jillian McWhirter moved to Paris and New York to pursue modeling before moving to Los Angeles to start her film and television career. She has written numerous feature film scripts and has published over thirty educational books that are used by health and safety organizations all over the United States.
Read Elizabeth Gracen's interview with Jillian McWhirter here.