The benefits of a garden are more than growing pretty flowers and organic vegetables. A garden serves many purposes, but on this particular day, it served a HUGE purpose I didn’t see coming. Walk with me into my garden, this just may be the best-kept secret to peace, gratification, and an anxiety antidote.
The garden draw
There is something about flowers and vegetables growing in your very own garden. The benefits of a garden beam from our yards with vivid colors and luscious greens. The garden is so soothing to the eye, it draws me to be a part of that picture. If my garden looks peaceful, maybe if I go to it, then I will become peaceful?
Let me ask you this: where do you go when your heart is a mess? I hope that place is a haven for you and not somewhere toxic. Our hearts need tenderness and embrace. Whether that be a cozy corner in your home, a decorative closet, or the bathtub for a long soak. Depending on the season, my safe place is my garden.
In 2018 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? That was my attitude. 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’ for gardening, maybe for the sole purpose of why I needed it on this particular day.
Dirt meets dirt
I was completely dumbfounded by how I got myself in this state. Do you remember as a kid when you got in trouble with 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. My doing screwed up a valuable friendship. 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 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, I didn’t see that coming. How juvenile. We all have our adolescent times, this was one of mine.
What blooms from dirt is beautiful
His presence in the garden that day was strong; there is no doubt Jesus met me where I was at. 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, facing a dripping mess, Jesus’ words “the truth will set you free” squeezed my heart. But I don’t want to tell the truth, I’m embarrassed, I said.
“If its 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.
The benefits of a garden
Gardening is a task where we get our hands busy. Our garden is a place where we can be alone. It is a moment in time where our soul is unguarded, where we can let it free and know it’s safe. A place where we cradled the unique ability our Creator gave us. So what’s your ‘garden’? What place knows you? A woodshop, craft table, mixing bowl, knitting basket, sketch pad, kitchen, garage, where is it?
The benefits of a ‘garden’ no matter what place that is, will take you to peace and to resolution. It’s there where we can be raw, where we can lament, and feel safe. It’s the garden that serves as a therapy session, to think through our struggles, to problem solve, and let go of what’s holding us back.
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 a while. 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 within our gardening where tears nourish her beauty. Where truth is 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.
Benefits of a garden conclusion
Gardening does more than entertain and strengthen our talents. Our gardens 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 of 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.