Allowing Our Hurts to Inflict Hurt:

Preparing the Heart and Harvest:

We planted a garden during quarantine. Almost every day, we’d check the growth of our tiny seeds. In some of the beds, the weeds shot up before the seedling, preparing to choke it out once it emerged into the light. In some, we struggled identifying which was the seedling and which was the weed. In those planters we decided not to pull the weeds until we were sure which was which. Although, waiting had its consequences. Once the vegetation came up, the weed had already found the seeds root system and tangled itself around it. When we tugged the weed, out came our produce as well. 

            I’ll admit here…I’m a work in progress when it comes to keeping plants alive.

            In hindsight, we should have started our seeds in a smaller container at our home, where we could become familiar with what the leaves looked like, removing doubt which green thing we should pull up by the roots.

            Like our tiny plants, truth is hard to identify. These days, before truth finds its way into the light the lies are already in place. Our media tells us what to believe, and we buy into it. We’ve become followers of whatever’s current instead of followers of God. We follow a human movement rather than our spiritual Father. We are shamed if we don’t eat from the buffet of political correctness, while satan holds the fork to shovel it in. We allow our truth to grow not from the God’s Light and Living Water, but from our own limited experiences; but our truth is never absolute because it’s based on emotion and feelings.

 Feelings burn down restaurants, create violence, and shout vile things towards police officers. Emotions pull triggers, suffocate airways, and take lives. Where is truth? It’s not out there. 

 We should never allow a physical movement on the streets to conflict with the Spiritual movement within us. There are other ways to build bridges. Other ways to tear down walls.

            This is a spiritual battle that needs to be fed from God’s light.

            How do we do that? 

First we return to small containers, become familiar with God’s Word and voice, and allow the Father to tell you what to do. 

Secondly, go do it. Obey.

            The message of the gospel is the only thing that will heal hate and grow a harvest.

            God’s been speaking to me about truth lately in His word and in my life. He’s allowed me to be greatly humbled to free me of some weeds I’ve been holding onto in my heart. Sometimes this plucking process is painful. Hope you can see me cringing as I admit this. 

            Last week, I sent a text message to my best friend about my childhood friend Liz. I’m ashamed to admit the text was not nice in nature—it was downright ugly. Immediately, I received a text back.

            “Tam, I don’t think this text was meant for me, but it sounds like you’re talking about me. If it is me, we should have a talk and clear the air. Sounds like your upset with me.”

            My legs turned to jelly. I fumbled for a chair.

            I reached for the phone and called her. “Liz, my text was about you and I’m sorry.” 

            I put the text into context of what my friend and I were discussing, but it didn’t matter. There was no excuse for it. I told her it was me not her, my spirit was in a funk, and I’ll have to get it straight. 

Then, I hung up. Leaving her wondering what just happened.

Growing up, Liz and I went to the same Christian school. If you didn’t attend the church of that school you felt less than or excluded. Liz attended. I didn’t. That in itself wouldn’t be a big deal, but throughout my life Satan has built this distrust towards women assault by assault, hurt by hurt. A distrust that started in elementary school. 

 Throughout it, I’ve learned to question women’s motives and I’ve kept them from getting too close at times.  Even now, I’m more comfortable in a room talking with men than women. This is the mess I’ve become. 

Last year, Liz and I were reunited. I invited her to the farmhouse for a visit. I’d been writing a memoir and praying about publishing. God reassured me He’d provide the bridge for that to happen.

            One morning during Liz’s visit I’d just opened my eyes and heard clearly – not audibly- “She’s the bridge. I’m providing Liz to be your bridge.” 

            I shot up in bed and turned to my husband. “God just told me Liz is the bridge!”

            “That’s good.” Jay smiled. “I wonder how that’s going to happen.”

            “No, I don’t want Liz to be the bridge! Anyone but Liz!”

            I pleaded with God to be reasonable and send someone I was closer to, someone I trusted if it had to be a person—especially a woman. 

A day after I sent that biting text, God showed me I’d become the very woman I’d distrusted throughout my life. He’d allowed that embarrassment to provide me the opportunity to clear the air with Liz, and I didn’t take it. 

After a sleepless night of feeling the Father’s push for me to call her back, I did. I spilled the seeds (sort of speak). I told her everything what I felt as a child, what’s gone on in my life since, including that God told me she would be the bridge. (She probably thought I was crazy)

            When I finished Liz stated, “Maybe the bridge thing doesn’t have to do with your book, but your healing.” 

            While the enemy works hard to help us build walls of distrust, God will always provide the tools to tear it down. We need to ask ourselves who will we allow to influence our lives more. The wall builder or the freedom giver? 

It’s our choice.

            In my case, God has given me several close girlfriends that have chiseled away at my wall. For the last four years, He’s even plopped me in the position of leading a women’s Bible study. That’s just like Him isn’t it? He’s a good God and doesn’t want us to become enslaved to our own hurts and injustices we’ve had to bear. Those hurts only allow us to see through that peep hole of our point of view and can cause us to exhibit the very behavior and attitudes we resented from our inflictors. 

  

       If we don’t get rid of our walls, we will never effectively share the harvest from our own gardens. 

            I’ve been away from the farm for a bit. I imagine the garden needs tending. The weeds are growing up higher than the vegetables. Today, I’m so thankful we serve a Master Gardener who plucks the weeds in hearts and tears down the walls of minds to ensure the harvest He’d planned and planted. 

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (Jesus speaking,  John 15:1,2, and 4 English Standard Version)