My garden is finally beginning to take shape. The peas I planted months ago are beginning to bear fruit before the heat of summer gets here. Things are looking up! However, the season didn’t start out that way. The neighbor’s dog got in there and dug up all the beans and peppers, a late season frost almost wiped out the tomatoes, and pounding rain washed away the carrot seed. But the peas are flourishing.
I never liked peas as a kid, or any other green vegetable for that matter, then I started gardening and my opinion changed. Fresh peas from the pod are absolutely delicious, and I look forward to the harvest each year. Training the little tendrils into an upward growth pattern and gently guiding the vines up the trellis takes time and a little bit of effort, but it is so worth it. Occasionally, I will go out to check their progress and find that one vine has come loose and is trailing in the mud or attached itself to its neighbor and is strangling the life out of its buddy. A little guidance is all that it needs to correct its course.
If I forcibly yank its fingers off its friend, I can damage both plants. Delicacy is necessary. The tiny yet strong coils must be separated and given their own slat on the trellis. The plants have to be given a little support and space to grow into their possibilities. If I allow the one that has fallen off the trellis to lay in the mud, it will get damaged further and possibly die. It needs to be carefully lifted up and given more support and possibly tied to the trellis until it is able to regain strength and grasp firmly the supports that are available to it.
Shouting at the fallen vine to right itself and snap out of it won’t help the situation. Demanding that it show a little effort and prove itself worthy of tending, is ineffective. Stomping on it while it is buried in the muck will only succeed in further damaging the already vulnerable plant. The only choice is helping it out of the gunk, trimming off any bruised and damaged leaves, and offering support until it can regain the strength to trellis itself.
The vines that have developed an unhealthy strangle hold on each other, the ones that have double backed on top of themselves and lack the integrity to continue to grow in a healthy fashion must be handled just as gently and redirected into a fresh and vigorous way.
It’s so obvious when it comes to plants. What I need to do to help them grow. Which branches need to be pruned and which ones need to be propped up. When I look back over my own life and can see where God has been the good and patient gardener with me. How many times did he lift me out of the mire and help me regain my strength? He didn’t force me into anything, he just gently corrected and pruned the damaged areas of my life while directing me towards the Son.
When I lost my path and grabbed ahold of things that weren’t meant to be my support, he untangled my grasp and placed it on the trellis that I should have building my life on the whole time. Sometimes it hurt when he had to unknot the jumbled mess of my life, but it was worth it.
Right now, I am in a season of trying to gain patience and understanding with my own kids. To me, their lives look like a snag of brambles that I need to yank up to keep them from getting hurt. It takes all the effort I have in my body not to jump in and save the day momma style. God has revealed the truth that sometimes the most loving thing I can do for my kids is lift them up to the Son and let Him work in their lives. They don’t need me to attempt to prune branches that I think are ungainly, but are God given talents that they should try to attain.
I need to let go and pray and believe. God’s got this. His love for my children even surpasses my own.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.