Roots Down Deep.

For as long as I can remember trees have always fascinated me.  I love the grace with which they swayed in the mind.  I loved watching them survive and change throughout the seasons.  I LOVED listening to the wind whisper through their leaves while on the golf course.

Trees have always fascinated me.

It shouldn’t surprise you then that over the past few years God has spoken to me a lot through the image of a tree and the idea of roots down deep.

 


When I moved to New England there was something that happened within me that I could only explain through the picture of the transplanting of a tree.  Transplanting a tree takes a lot of commitment, forethought and follow through.  The roots of the tree have to be pruned the season prior to transplanting, a new hole must be dug and prepared, the plant must be positioned correctly and will need adequate care after the move.

What I found in my move to New England was that although the pruning was uncomfortable and the move was restricting and hard, once transplanted I finally had room for my roots to dig down deep and the ability to bear more fruit than I thought possible.

God had been purposeful both in the preparation beforehand but also in the where and the when of transplanting me.


And now, 2 1/2 years after I was transplanted I could see that my roots were deeper and my leaves were fuller.  And yet, there still seemed to be areas where there wasn’t much fruit, areas where there SHOULD have been fruit.  I began to ask questions of why I act and respond certain ways in different situations.  Questions of why I struggle with certain sins.  Questions of why I wasn’t seeing the type or amount of fruit as the care and conditions should see.  These questions birthed from a place of believing that there was more for me than I was seeing and that this “defect” had to come from somewhere.  The asking wasn’t consuming but I was becoming convinced that there had to be a reason why, there had to be a source, and God could show me.

And so, a year ago God began to answer.  And it was through the picture of a tree that God answered me.

God showed me, that I had become a stable tree.  My roots were deep and my leaves were healthy but there was an area that wasn’t seeing it’s potential.  He showed me deep into the root system, to the very beginning.  He dug down deep and revealed that sometime in the infancy of my tree a strong weed had taken root and that it had wound itself around my roots and pretended to be a part of the tree.

The weed hadn’t hindered my trees overall root strength or tree healthy but it caused areas to go without nutrients and to produce less fruit.  It wasn’t that anything was wrong with me and it wasn’t anything I  had done.

But it was time for something to be done.  My roots were deep enough and I was strong enough to survive the deep work that He needed to do.  If He had tried before I wouldn’t have been strong enough.  God needed to dig down deep and separate my true roots from the impostor.  He was going to rid me of the weed forever so that the areas that once lacked vitality and fruitfulness would now bear all the fruit that was intended.


Over the past year that is what God has done.  He has gone deep to rid me of the weeds.  And as He has worked He has also continued to speak to me about Roots Down Deep.  It is only if I will allow my roots to continue to go deep that I can withstand His rooting out the weeds deep within.

Growing up in the desert I was always amazed at the depth of roots some plants (and weeds) could produce.  The lack of water forced their roots to go deep.  The easy nutrients were found above but the life sustaining ones were found deep down.  Even in the driest of times, if you dig down deep you will find the nutrients for life.

The work is hard and painful and is taking time but the results I can already see and are worth it.

The only way to survive being transplanted, survive the weeds being dug out of life or the dry seasons that inevitably will come is to have roots down deep; to go beyond the easy and momentary to the eternal and everlasting.

If you have struggled with why God would wait to deal with or heal something in your life, I hope this image gives you hope and strength.  It is God’s love that waits as we become strong enough and it is also His love that goes deep to rid us of those weeds.  His timing is perfect.  His ways are eternal.  His love goes beyond even our pain.

Will you trust God and allow your roots to go down deep?  Will you push past the momentary and trust the Everlasting.

Keep trusting but don’t stop asking and believing for the fullness of His healing and love.

 

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In the Midst of Tears

I know a lot about tears and crying.

The first 12 years of my life was spent crying at least once a day. I cried every day in elementary school on the bus on the way to school.  I cried not because I was lonely, no one “hurt” me, and my family loved me but despite that all I was a depressed individual.

10 years ago I gave my life to the Lord and things changed.

Over the past 10 years I have cried often enough, in a different manner, but crying all the same. Crying is my default response: when I am sad, when I am hurt, when I am angry, when I am surprised, when I am happy, when I am dealing with conflict, etc.

In the past 22 years there are a couple of key things that I have learned about tears and crying:

1) Crying hangovers are the worst… your eyes get puffy, your head aches and your whole body is sore.  This is what I imagine either the after affects of getting in a fight or being hung over would feel (I have never done either of these things).  Thankfully there is a remedy… take some advil, drink a lot of water and get enough sleep.

2) Your default reaction is usually not what you need in the moment.  When I cry I try to hide, I move a away from people and I try to be alone.  This is not what I need because I end up rehashing whatever it is that made me cry in the first place.  I become more hurt, more sad, more angry, more…. I need someone to process through the emotion with, to speak out what I feel and to be able to come to a healthy conclusion.  Sometimes I need a physical person, someone mature enough to walk with me throught it and other times I need to go to God.  But I should not be alone.

3) All crying is ugly.  I don’t mean that you are ugly or that crying is a bad thing but it’s just a fact.  There is no such thing as a pretty cry.  Oprah Winfrey would disagree with me but let’s all be honest… when we cry it’s ugly.  We wonder why we don’t look/feel/sound like the women in the movies.  Let’s face it this is the reality of crying: snot, tears, make up run off, large sobs and incapacitating intakes of breath, etc.  When someone asks you what is wrong, it takes about 3 times as long to explain the situation because you have to pause to catch your breath and you have to restart multiple times due to the repeat outbursts of sobbing.  So all in all, crying is ugly.  You will just need to accept it and embrace it.

4) Tears can be the beginning of healing. (Note: not all crying can lead to healing, I cried successfully for the first 12 years of my life without it leading to healing)  When your emotions are healthy, when you are allowing yourself to feel, mourn and process you are moving in the direction of healing.  God works through tears to heal the soul, to cleanse your emotions and to bring you to healing.  It takes time, sometimes it hurts more but in the end it brings you wholeness.

Tears are something I know a lot about.  When I was younger all I wanted was to never cry again because there was no purpose to my tears.  But there is a purpose to my crying and there is health in my tears.  I am better able to experience life, to express myself and to move into healing when I allow myself to cry.  Don’t be afraid to experience the tears and move into healing.

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