I was not born with a green thumb. My dad, however, was a different story. In the very rear of our property, he had the most amazing garden and a small greenhouse, he also had a way with flowers and our yard always looked amazing, but that gene was not passed down to me. In fact, I am so far from a green thumb, that recently I was gifted a potted plant with Gerber daisies – my favorite flower – and I have had a mini celebration every week, congratulating myself for keeping it alive another 7 days, there have even been a couple of weeks where I have been so beaming with pride, that I actually shared my accomplishment via text with picture proof that it is still alive and well! And just to reinforce that absence of plants and flowers in our home, we have a 13 year old dog, that when I brought the plant home and placed it outside our back door, he saw it, and stood at the door growling and barking at it, protecting his people from the strange alien outside.
I do enjoy cutting grass and weed eating, because there is instant gratification as the mower makes it was up and down the yard, leaving the trail of mulched grass clippings in the width of the mower path. However, weeding by hand is not in my wheel-house. Because of my lack of green thumb skills, I have been known to pick what I thought were weeds, when in fact they were the beginning of something beautiful, and the opposite is also true, leaving weeds, because they had a pretty flower on them. I really am a disaster when it comes to lawn care and maintenance.
The other day I was speaking with a friend, who mentioned she had been outside picking some weeds, and some of the weeds were easy to grab and pull the root out, while others the root was so deep and strong, when she went to pull it, the top of the weed ended up in her hand, and the root remained deep within the soil. The moment she mentioned her experience, it created a conversation with how that is so reflective of our lives.
We all have some roots, some deep seeded hurts, some agonizing regrets, some shameful moments in our past too painful to speak of, we also have some embarrassing moments, some ‘’I wish I hadn’t done that, but I won’t let it define me” moments, some life altering, forever redefining our identity moments, some words spoken over us that carry no weight, and some that can damage our spirit for life and they leave a path of destruction for the rest of our days. But my dear friends, I have some great news, it doesn’t have to be that way! If we will allow Him to, God can be our master gardener, He can take the roots we have buried so deep, and gently remove them to create something even more beautiful than where we are right now. He desires to see us set free from the lies and the accusations and the shame and the hurts, that have so long defined us, the roots that have taken up residence without being invited.
John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”
My experience to this point in my life, has been one where it is easy to hand over the ‘roots’ that aren’t too painful, that don’t create tears and more hurt when I think about them, the weeds of life where the root comes out easily and pain free when tugged on. Do I experience freedom when this happens, of course, but it is not life altering, it just makes my steps a tad bit lighter. But what about the roots that I don’t want anyone to know about, or the ones buried so deep that I have forgotten are there, but I know still impact my decision making, whether consciously or sub-consciously.
One of my deepest roots, is the root of rejection. It was planted deep within me at a very early age. A root that defined itself based on the responses and reactions I received from those closest to me when I was growing up, defined by how my performance as a kid in school, on the ball field, in church, my choice of clothing, literally everything I did or didn’t do, was in direct correlation to how loved I felt I was or wasn’t. The conditional love that kept me living under a microscope of an unattainable measure of perfection. Where I was never quite enough, always needed to strive just a tad harder, and no matter how well I did, there was always a way I had been a disappointment. Over the last few years, I have slowly begun to release this root that has forever defined me and has crept its way, like a life choking vine, into all my relationships. I am beginning to realize this deep seeded root created a self-deceiving control, that ruined relationships closest to me, yet every time another relationship became strained or shattered, rejection reared its ugly head, simply reinforcing that this was my lot in life. The lies planted above the root that were believable enough, to keep me from digging deeper, to receive life changing freedom. The lies of never good enough, consistently making mistakes that drive people away and will I ever be good enough to have a relationship, dare I make that plural, that I so crave, that is not built on expectations, or performance, but just because I am a human.
This root, my friend is deep. However, for the last few years, I have experienced Him gently till the soil of my soul, allowing His light to shine in a place that was as dark as night. I am beginning to see how this root has affected so many of my choices, good and bad, has defined so much of my life in direct opposition to what He says about me, I have experienced His unending grace and grace from those in my life that I cherish, as I walk this journey to restoration, I have chosen to meet this thief that came to kill, steal and destroy, head on with the Truth of His word. But as any weed does, it is relentless, it continues to push through the places that are reserved for the beauty He has created in each one of us, it is the one thing that whether we are gifted with a green thumb or not, will continue to grow and we have the choice to water it or allow the master gardener to do His work.
Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
He promises victory over the roots that have defined us.
He is waiting with arms wide open to heal the gaping wounds of our past
His grace and love run deeper than any fragment of a root left behind
No matter the damaging root that has taken up residence in a place reserved for Him and His Truth about you, there is freedom – choose to grab that root, pull it all out and grow beautifully where He has always intended for you to be!