Jesus Is A Gardener Too

I struggle with losing people. My biggest fear has always been to lose people that I love. I lost someone this year and I’m not going to lie– it’s been one of the most difficult experiences I have had to deal with.

I have been having to adjust to my life without their presence. It has not been an easy process, but it has been a learning process and a growth process.

Last night in Bible study we talked about John 15. Throughout our life, Jesus prunes us so that we can be more fruitful. Pruning can mean different things for different people; it can mean removing people from your life, places, etc. These people and places can be wonderful and awesome, but they just don’t belong in your life anymore.

My teacher’s husband gave us an example of how Jesus pruned him for his future. When he was younger, before he met his wife, he was engaged to another woman. She was a great woman, Christian, everything he wanted, but he just felt like he needed to ask God if this was right for him. He prayed about it and God gave him a sign that said it wasn’t right so he ended the relationship. He said it was one of the hardest decisions he had to make but if he hadn’t made it he wouldn’t be with his wife now (they’ve been together for about 30 years). And even after he made the decision, he still went through a difficult time. Still, he put his trust in the Lord and God directed him to his wife.

When I heard last night’s message, I knew it was for me. Looking back, I remember sitting there when it felt like everything was falling apart and my world was crashing down around me and every fiber of my being was wanting to fight for what I thought I needed– what I believed to be right for me. However in the midst of everything, this phrase ran through my mind, “Do not fight it.” And so I didn’t. I did say a few words in disagreement, but I didn’t fight what was happening. I just let it happen. I wanted to fight it more than anything in the world. I wanted to beg and plead and just show that I didn’t want this to happen– but I couldn’t. That phrase held me back from doing what every part of me wanted to do.

Do you know what that was? It was the Holy Spirit. I remember that feeling and I thought it was just me being in shock or whatnot. A lot of times we don’t recognize the Holy Spirit; we think that hearing God’s voice means we’re going to hear a booming voice speaking directly to us, but it’s not necessarily so. It can be a small whisper telling you something different than everything you’re feeling. A glimmer of hope or trust or wisdom.

If God is pruning you, you have to allow it. If you don’t allow it, you’re only going to make the process harder. If you sit and embrace it, it will make the experience much easier for you and help bring in the fruit bearing season.

John 15 gives me hope. If God is taking someone or something out of your life, He is doing it because He is going to replace it with what you truly need– what He has in store for you.

With love and grace, embrace your pruning.

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Walk By Faith

I made a big decision. I had been thinking about it for a while, with my mind pretty set on it, and I finally chose to make it official this week.

I felt like it was the right choice for me. Then, I had someone attempt to put doubt in my mind and I just wanted to know if this was what is right for my life. All of me believed it was– but I have been wrong before.

So Sunday morning as I was preparing for church, I prayed a little prayer asking God to “send me a sign” and let me know if this decision was right. During the service, Pastor was telling us about a decision in his past that he had made to go to Arizona and learn a trade. He felt as if God wanted him to go there. However, someone very close to him told him that it wasn’t the right decision. Pastor said God told him, “Listen to the Lord.” Right in that moment, my momma elbowed me. I knew then that God had answered my prayer, right there in the midst of the service.

Whenever I told my decision to my boss, I told her the whole story of how I came to it. Her eyes welled up with tears and she said, “You’re not going to believe this, but just now I heard God say, ‘She’s going to walk by faith.'”

I am. I am stepping out of the boat onto the water. I have never done anything like this before and if you asked me a year ago would I do this, my answer would have been no way. I’ve been walking closer to my God lately and I feel like this will be an even greater test of my faith.

I am filled with such excitement and joy I can hardly express it. I’m excited for my faith walk. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) God is a light unto my feet, not a spotlight ahead of me. So I’m going to have hopes and plans, but I know that I will be taking it one step at a time, with God right beside me.