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But the Godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.
- Psalm 92:12-13
I don’t camp. I glamp (if I have to). I don’t run. I power walk (mostly indoors because... weather). And I don’t do yard work. I once killed a cactus (which I feel is a talent in itself). I tried to like gardening and working out in nature. It felt like a good thing to enjoy, but years of pulling weeds out of my mom’s gigantic garden left me with dirt under my fingernails, grimy hands, and apathy towards growing a green thumb.
That was my job. Pulling up the weeds. My brother got to drive the lawn mower (not fair) and my sister got to skip out most of the time due to her crazy schedule. And me, I would sit for hours, or what seemed like hours, in the dirt, covered in mulch, picking at the weeds that were trying to take over my Mom’s sea of flowers.
She would sit with me, my mother. We would do it together and she would always tell me, “You have to get to the root of the weed, or else it will just grow back again and it will continue to choke out the good flowers.” As a child this annoyed me because it meant digging down into the earth to uncover a nasty, sometimes stubborn root.
What once annoyed me I later found to be one of the best pieces of advice my mother ever gave me.
WE WERE CREATED TO FLOURISH!
But the world can so often get in the way and plant weeds (or lies) that choke out the roots of the good flowers trying to be all they were made to be. We need to uproot our weeds so we can be all God made us to be. So our flowers (our strengths, talents and gifts) can flourish for the growth of God’s Kingdom.
If you have chosen Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life then you have chosen to build your life on the good soil He provides (Matthew 13). You have decided to let Christ make His home in your heart, letting your roots grow down into God’s love, for that is where we find our true strength (Ephesians 3:17-19). But the roots of our past and even our present don't just go away. They take up residence in our garden too because this side of Heaven good and bad exist at the same time, but because of Jesus we don’t have to let our past overcome us. It doesn’t get to define us any longer. Because of what Jesus did on the cross we can uproot the weeds of our past in order to be all God has made us to be.
We are empowered through the Holy Spirit to stop just maintaining our weeds with clippers, but rather uproot those nasty things and plant something good and true in its place.
For we reap what we sow ( Galatians 7:7). What we plant in our hearts and minds (past, present, or future) will come out of us through our behavior (Proverbs 4:23). That is why it is vital we deal with our junk. If we truly want to be all God made us to be we can’t let the circumstances of our past mess with the goodness of our future.
The weeds in our garden all have these nasty roots. The weeds are not necessarily the main issue. They’re a result of something much deeper. For example, the weed might be that you restrict yourself from eating certain foods and work off all the calories you put into your body, but the root is because you fear not being what the world expects you to be. We reap what we sow. The weeds are just a reflection of something much deeper, which is why we can’t just maintain them, we have to face the root of the problem.
It will be hard work, digging up the roots. It will cause us to sweat. We’ll get dirty and we will feel past hurts all over again, but the process of uprooting the weeds of our life is well worth the tough journey. This is coming from a girl who really hates getting dirty.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this, facing the roots of my past was challenging. There were times I wanted to run or hide the nasty weed back under the ground. Letting the world, my community really see the yuckiness hidden deep within was not a fun experience, but it was worth it.
Bringing light to the darkest places of my heart brought me deep-rooted, Godly friendships I never expected to find. Looking at my weeds in the face revealed a strength inside of me explainable only by God. Choosing to get rid of the weeds, the lies, the hurt, the darkness once and for all showed me the identity I was created to live out.
Because of our fallen world, weeds are always going to try and take root in the garden of our lives, but with Jesus we can take on those weeds and get to the root of the matter. Satan is a brat with seeds of weeds in both hands, so let’s do the dirty work and remind him he doesn’t get to mess with our lives any longer. In Jesus we are victorious and because of Jesus we can sock it to the devil.
There was a season of my life where I spent every day working on uprooting some deeply planted roots. In the midst of it I wrote the poem below.
I feel like I’m drowning
I can’t catch my breath
That all I’m searching for
Is an unrealistic reality made up in my head
To know freedom
And know you get to have it everyday
Is a gift so undeserving, so loving
And yet I turn it away.
I know what’ll I’ll lose
And I know what I can gain
If I just keep on digging
Eventually these roots will be the cure to my pain.
But at this very moment
I don’t feel strong enough to fight
I wish I had never told anyone
Willingly giving up my ability to hide.
I’ve already slipped
And I know what’s below
A place I promised I would never go.
It’s lonely there
And the people unkind
Yet I hear the monster calling
And I’m starting to believe his lies.
He knows me so well
And I let him get to me every time
I simply play the victim
However, the decision is always mine.
He takes over all my senses
Makes me feel out of control
Then he twists it in my brain
Saying control is your ticket home
He gets me to a point of uncertainty
In who I am and where my confidence lies
He steals my words and my breath
Leaving me striving for a person I can no longer find
I don’t want to go back there
To repeat all I’ve done
But these roots are making me face
The very thing I’ve been running from.
is not my favorite place
I buried it deep
Hoping to forget the decisions I made.
Avoidance isn’t courage
And it certainly doesn’t last
It covers it up for a while
But weeds grow fast
You can pick at them all you want
But they’ll always grow back
Unless you pull up the root
Revealing the hurts, pain and the strength you lack.
God will never force me
To follow in His ways
Even though His heart breaks
He’ll continue to wait
I can choose to have a bunch of weeds
Or a garden full of hope
I can keep trimming up green strands
Only to watch them re-grow
Or I can work hard to dig up all the roots
Clearing out the land
And I can invite my Gardener
To help me grow new fruit instead
1. Do you have some deep-rooted weeds from your past you need to deal with? Bring light to them right now by writing them down or speaking them out loud.
2. What is a truth from God’s Word you can plant to replace the weed? Write it down below.
3. Write a prayer to God asking Him to reveal any weeds you are letting grow in your garden.
Father, You are good. You are the ultimate gardener of our lives. You plant flowers of goodness that enable us to flourish and be all You made us to be. Thank You God for empowering me with strength through Your Holy Spirit to uproot the weeds of my life. Help me God to choose the hard thing and face the roots of my weeds. To dig as far down as I need to, to uproot the plants that are not of You. I want to be who You designed me to be. Help me desire that more than anything in this world.
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