The world just celebrated holy week. The end of the story is not the death of the Savior, but the power of the Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead. So what was dead is now fully alive again!!! That is exciting news indeed!! In response to this life changing truth comes a question to my heart. What is dead in your life? If we are truthful, there are a whole lot of dead places in our lives. The Spirit of the Lord showed me a place in my life that was once fully alive, but over time has somewhat died.
My story has many places where, through circumstances beyond me, people have intentionally or unintentionally stolen something from me. Back in my story was a marriage, that did not last, and ten years later, the Lord is still redeeming things that got lost along the way. My story is no different from the rest of the world. We live in a broken place somewhere East of Eden, but God loves to redeem and restore and recreate Eden in our lives. Isn’t that why Jesus came?
One of the things that got lost in all that broken mess was my deep love of gardening. It was something I loved to do. I had a greenhouse where I started seeds, a large vegetable garden, lovely flower beds, and an orchard. I worked really hard at making things as nice as I knew how. Martha Stewart was my inspiration, and she was my guide. Unfortunately, in the eyes of my ex-husband, no matter what I did, it was never good enough. It always came up short against my ex-husband’s standards. Well, this wreaked havoc on my confidence, my health, and most of all my heart. I am the oldest child, a perfectionist by nature, and I was never good enough for him. The person that I had given myself to in marriage, always kept me down. He made sure I felt insignificant and small.
I lost a lot in those three years. Among other things, I lost my assurance that I could make a lovely garden. I lost my delight for seed catalogs and seeds, seed starter mix, the smell of tomato plants, potted basil, and sunflowers. I lost and I retreated into myself, I ran away from the things I loved. I wondered if his words were true? Maybe I was not good at what I loved to do? Maybe I was not good enough? The sad thing is, even after my divorce, I had allowed him to continue to steal from me.
I want to say this, I did not know what to do with his words, they hung over me. I was a people pleaser by nature and no matter what I did, I could not please him. I have since gotten so much healing, but I want to say, never give anyone that much power over your life!! If you are, it is a form of idolatry. And if you are in a relationship where someone speaks such darkness over who you are, break your bond with that person however you have to, and run for your life. Jesus will be your husband and his words will be life, for your heart and soul, and he will be your lover until you are well enough to be loved again by another.
How God brought all this up to me was through a gardening show I found on YouTube from England, called Gardener’s World. The host is Monty Don, and when I see him and hear him speak, I feel the love for the soil, for plants, for beauty, for fruitfulness–and for that particular quality that comes from God–someone who cultivates life. God has used this man to show me there is a way to garden, but we will forever be learning and growing from our gardens. We are not just cultivating them, they are primarily cultivating us. So gently and lovingly God is bringing back a longing for me to get my hands in the soil, and to pour over seed catalogs, and to sow and plant again.
When I started writing this, a lady from a garden club I used to be a member of, called me and invited me to come over to get some perennials she is dividing up. It is just like Jesus to romance me this way.
So the question is what is dead in your life? And what needs to be resurrected?
Well, whatever it is, Jesus is the one who makes all things new–even the dead!!!