Hope Redefined Ministries was birthed from the passion to love and support women who are faced with sexual betrayal in their marriage and close relationships.
I confess, I’m not a gardener. I WANT to be a gardener, but alas I have failed for 4 years in a row. My dream has been to feed my family of 7 and then have a basket at the end of my driveway for all of my neighbors to reap from our harvest too. Wouldn’t that be dreamy to come home from a long days work and be able to grab a few fresh tomatoes on the way to your suburban abode?
So with this “bounty” goal in mind I have been working my backyard for several years. This past year I even lasagna layered my soil as I put it to bed for the winter in hopes of having this amazingly rich soil and HARVEST. Because it’s all about the harvest….right.
So this spring/summer growing season has come and I have managed to grow 4 peppers, 9 green beans and possibly 12 tomatoes. Yes, you read that correctly…9 green beans. 🙁
This year our struggle was pests. We had squash beetles, bunnies and squirrels. Squirrels who deserve a rant all on their own but I will save that soap box for another time.
As I walked through the rows of my garden a few weeks ago and griped about the condition, I said out loud.
“Alright Lord, this is it. I’m done. No more gardening for me. I am chalking this hobby up to epic fails and will buy all my goods from the store. I’m done!”
I heard His voice whisper in my heart. “But Lyschel, you love watching things grow. You have so much joy in seedlings.”
He is so right. I do love watching things grow. I love coming out to find a new seed popping through and the height of my tomato plants increasing as we begin to cage them. I’m ridiculously giddy during this phase.
But obviously when you hear God’s whispers you sit with them for a bit and ask for more. So as I began to process what he meant by “you love watching things grow” I began to realize that the delight I take in the process is just as special to me as the dream of a basket full of colorful goodness.
So what’s your point Lyschel?
Well, I started laying this realization out over several areas of my life. I wanted to see how this delight was transferring to other places or how the frustration of no harvest was weighing on me.
Our journey of sobriety and healing was one of the first thoughts that came to mind…second to parenting.
I could see how much I DIDN’T enjoy the growth process in these other places. I wanted to have the fastest growing season ever and fast forward to the harvest. Right…who wouldn’t want that. Am I alone?
I know I’m not alone because I sit with you all each week and we wrestle in this growing season together. We cry over the seeds that don’t seem to be taking root. We shake our fist in fits or rage at the squirrel who has yet again stole something that was NOT intended for him. We walk the row in prayers of anticipation and greatness. Then walk the same ones in defeat and are ready to throw in the towel…or trowel. (See what I did there,lol).
But the growth and advancement of our healing or my garden hobby don’t happen in one season. My soil will continue to get more rich with each season of planting. My skills will get stronger with each season of fighting off the pests and my harvest will increase ever so slightly with each season that passes. It’s no different for my recovery. With each struggle I will press further into the word of God. With each slip or relapse I will bring out the tools and skills I am learning from others as I continue to work on myself. We will take better steps forward as each season passes.
See, my harvest is not guaranteed, I think that has been proven. Not in my garden or in my marriage. But its something we go in full of hope and lots of unknowns. I had no idea that the little bunny family in my neighbors yard would have sooo many babies this year. I also had no idea this sin would snatch so much of our hearts and joy.
I don’t want to make light of our stories but I do want to offer HOPE. He sees us, he hears our grumbling in the rows of despair and he knows what brings us joy when we quickly forget and focus on the results verses the progress.
I’m praying you exhale today and determine what brings your heart joy in the gardening of your marriage. I pray he whisper to you too.
*full disclosure, the photo is not my garden, lol
Battling with you,