Oh, how I wish I took before pictures of our yard! The several of you who had been to our former rental house will hopefully remember so you can appreciate its transformation. I know nothing formal about yard work, but I am not afraid to get my hands dirty and try….and try I did and was so pleased with the results. Whoever lived there before loved some ivy! I pulled up 8 big lawn bags full of that stuff…along with a few more bags of leaves, twigs etc.
I kept thinking I should have a lesson from all of this…I knew there were so many analogies, but none jumped out at me until days afterward. I glanced out the window and looked at the small flowerbed I created to the right of the front door. I stopped and thanked God that we could have something so pretty to enjoy vs. the overgrown bush and ivy that had previously resided. I walked away from the window and that is when it hit me!
All the bags of tangled up messy ivy (mind you pretty when maintained and controlled) represented my life at that time.
I had been feeling very amiss. God revealed to me that the messy, jumbled up ivy was a comparison to my life. Pulling the ivy was a process and it took me many trips to the yard to get it completed. In fact, I had been outside every weekend for two months or so doing something.
I don’t know if you’ve ever dealt with ivy or something similar in the yard, but once you grab a root, it seems to keep coming. And when that one is pulled up, you repeat the same process, and repeat and repeat and repeat. Ok – you get the idea.
The point is that it was a process. It did not happen overnight. The ivy also did not overtake the yard in one night. It was probably months of neglect and lack of trimming and cultivating. I sheepishly and almost embarrassingly admit that I have slacked off in my own life.
While I have still prayed and had quiet time, I began to feel I was getting nowhere. I actually began to feel like a hamster on a wheel, running and running, but not really moving. I am sure we have all been there (may be now) where we felt like that, so you know it’s not fun. This is the place where hope begins to wane, and that is scary place to be. I am a big proponent of hope…without it the people perish as stated in Proverbs 29:18. The Message version describes it this way:
“If people can’t see what God is doing,
they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
they are most blessed.”
I realized that I had gotten very busy doing normal life things, but in that I had begun to neglect much needed rest. I am not talking about sleep at night, but more about a state of mind and overall well-being. When I did find a quiet time where the kids were sleeping, I had a hard time sitting still and focusing…and an even harder time trying to hear what God wanted to say to me.
While I still don’t have it all figured out (do we really ever?) I am in a much better place and have made some much needed changes. Things like reading my Bible nightly, back to me and Jonathan’s plan to have the two of us (and Ayla) memorize Bible verses, and me to know it’s ok to sit down and relax or type a blog or whatever it may be that I need to do.
I encourage you as well to hang in there. Maybe, like me, you need to seek out some counsel and prayer and get really honest in front of God. You might just be surprised at the results of what some good old-fashioned prayer and talking will do.
And if you feel you don’t have anyone, message me. 🙂 Just remember that God is always readily available and will never let us down.
God – I pray very seriously for each one reading this that You would pierce through the darkness and reveal Yourself. I pray for light and peace to envelop each person. Thank You for hearing us and bringing resolution to each situation. Amen.
Talk soon, MG