November is not the perfect month to be blogging about a garden…at least where I live. But it is the perfect month to blog about what my garden DID for me. Not too long ago I found myself walking to my garden, but I didn’t go there to do my normal tending of it. I went there to sit in the dirt. I had a troubled heart and felt like dirt, so why not sit in it too? If you don’t have a garden, don’t think this post isn’t for you. Each and every one of us has and needs a ‘garden’, maybe for the sole purpose of why I needed it on this particular day. Let me explain:

My heart was disturbed

I was completely dumbfounded of how I got myself in this state. Remember, as a kid, when you got in trouble from your parents…the flush of prickly heat bursting from your heart like a firework going off? Yeah. It’s that feeling when you know you really messed up. Believe me, this wasn’t an easy post to write; in fact I wasn’t going to write it. But it dawned on me that when my human-self learns something hard and valuable, I should probably tell someone…maybe it will help them in some way. So here it goes. I unintentionally hurt a dear friend of mine…I messed up. Part of me wanted to crawl into a cave, but the other half wanted to go to a place that knew me. So I went to my garden. As I looked over the rows of flowers and herbs I wrestled with scenarios. I tried to foresee the future. I played back my actions. Why did this happen? How did this happen? This came out of nowhere! My identity jolted.

In my garden that day, my gut was a trembling mess. My heart was anxious. I paced the walking paths and hid my face from my neighbors. As I dug for a tissue I knelt down and stared at the dirt. “Dear God, forgive me. Help me see the root of this action.” I blew my nose, took a deep breath, and got my hands busy. As I plucked little weeds and churned up the soil, layers of thoughts peeled off and exposed the truth. Wow, didn’t see that coming. How juvenile. We all have our adolescent times, this was one of mine.

The answer

His presence in the garden that day was strong; there is no doubt. I felt His comfort yet discipline. “What must I do to mend this mishap?” I asked Him. As I walked to the other side of the garden, face a dripping mess, Jesus’ words “the truth will set you free” squeeze my heart. But I don’t want to tell the truth, I’m embarrassed, I said.    “If red rose gardenits freedom you seek, the truth will set you free”. After I wrestled with it for about 20 minutes, I dusted myself off and wound-up the courage to do just that…tell the truth. What do I have to lose that I already have lost? As soon as I expressed the truth-of-the-matter to my dear friend; my stomach stopped tossing, my mind stopped spinning, and I felt the imprisoned shackles unlock. I exhaled, and knew I made the right choice. Thank you.

Why you need a ‘garden’

A ‘garden’ is a place where we get our hands busy. It’s a place where we can be alone. It’s a moment in time where our soul is unguarded, where we can let it free and know it’s safe. It’s a place where we cradled the unique ability our Creator gave us. So what’s your ‘garden’? What place knows you? A workshop, craft table, mixing bowl, knitting basket, sketch pad, garage, what is it?

When we’re feeling troubled where do you want to go? Our ‘garden’ opens her arms. She knows that when we get on our knees, we need her touch. She knows we need to get busy, so little projects present themselves. It’s quiet. We’re focused. As we work, the surface looks brighter. It feels good. But as we move throughout the ‘garden’ and dig a little deeper we find a few deep rooted invasives. These weeds have been there awhile. Seeds from their fruit are ready to plant themselves. Is that what we want? The thistles on the stalk pierce our touch. We may step back for a bit, but find that if we gently grab the very thing that hurt us, we’ll then have the power to wrench and wrestle it free. Our garden understands the pain that comes with breaking free. So she prays. And because our soul is defenseless to her love, we feel the hope she prayed for. It’s in our garden where tears nourish her beauty. Where truth be told. And where strength and might persist. It’s a place to rejoice when we pull the weeds out and plant new life in its space.

Our next step

Our ‘gardens’ do more than entertain and strengthen our talents. They listen, they heal, they comfort. I’ve got some questions for you: What is keeping you captive? When are you going to do something about it? Who do you need to talk to? I encourage you to visit your special place this week. When you’re there, whisper loud enough for you to hear, and talk about what imprisons your heart. All you’re doing that day is getting the frustrations out. Then revisit your place again later in the week. Get your hands busy. And ask God for help. You may not hear anything right away, but as you live your life over the next couple weeks be aware of your surroundings, open your senses. He’ll talk to you and give you the answer.

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By CT Copyright © 2018 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved.