I never considered myself the “gardening type.” I am the girl who killed a cactus. But the flowers at our house, Napa, became my labor of love. Ry & I take so much pride in our 1st home, and especially in our landscaping. We don’t want to be “that house” with the weeds and sloppy flower beds, so we have spent countless hours trying to make it perfect.
I don’t even know the names of the flowers or how to care for them, but i just love them all. We always made sure they were watered and that weeds were minimal. Its hard to keep up with mother nature, but we gave it a good try!
THEN, something horrible happened. I went out of town for a month, and i came home, and all my flowers were DEAD. Yep, DEAD. I was devastated. I contemplated what to do. Do i leave them there in hopes that they will be revived? Do i cut away the dead parts in hopes that they will return in the spring with beautiful rejuvenated blossoms? So…..what does a girl do when she doesn’t know what to do…? She googles. Since i didn’t know what the names of all my flowers were, i researched and researched. I read on what site that if you have Annuals, you want to always trim away the old so that way you will get new blooms in the spring. That was the most promising account i had read, so being the optimist that i am, i trusted. I trusted this complete strangers advice.
I went outside with my kitchen scissors, rookie mistake, but they did a fine job, and i cut back all the dead flowers. My once beautiful flower beds now lifeless met their fate. I still don’t know if they will come back.
As i am cutting back all of my once beautiful flowers, i begin to get seriously emotional. I know, it is so ridiculous. Maybe it was just hormonal, but i think it was something deeper. I felt the sweet, sweet Holy Spirit begin whispering to my heart. Parts of it are still a mystery to me, but i will try to express the best i can into words what i felt God whisper to my heart. If this is too deep for you, i apologize, but i think there is something big here that you too can probably gleam wisdom from and i am praying you do.
As i relunctantly cut away the dead, i just felt God say, what dead parts in your heart and life do you need to cut down? It hit me so hard. Why is it so difficult to let go of certain people and experiences? It is so promising to know that when we allow God to help us by his power to get rid of the dead, that he always promises to replace those parts of our lives with something more beautiful and even better than we could have imagined. Cutting things out of our lives can be painful. It can be a long process, months, years, decades. But i know that if i can trust a complete stranger out in cyber space about cutting down by precious plants then i can trust God who i have walked with for many years to bring good things into my life, when i begin to let go of the dead things that are weighing me down.
I love this passage from 1 Thessalonians 1 out of The Message:
It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special.
Dear friend-God has his hand on you for something special. Cut away the dead, even though you may not be sure if you can trust, or you are scared it’s going to hurt, i promise you, it will be so worth it in the end. The journey is never easy, but it is so comforting to walk with Jesus. Even when i am scared, i know that he promises that he is with me and that he will comfort me.
Beauty from ashes.