I have recently gone through quite a bit of change and turmoil in my life. I basically had a mental meltdown back in July. (I don’t like saying ‘nervous breakdown’ and it is not a true medical term anyway!) I had gotten to a point where nothing in my life was working. I had pushed myself to the MAX in so many different areas, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, in my relationships and in my career. My body finally had enough and said NO MORE!
My Life at a Standstill
I had to take a medical leave from my job. I could barely leave the house, much less go to work. I couldn’t even go to Walmart by myself! I reduced other responsibilities I had. Luckily my kids are mostly grown, so they can take care of themselves most of the time! I stopped just about anything and everything I was doing. Pruned it away.
I had to start working on my mind as well. I had some pretty messed up ways of looking at things.
- I have to do all that is expected of me
- I have to do it if I want it done right
- My way is the best way and therefore the only way
- I have to keep up a front that I am ok
- I had to look the part of the professional role model all the time
Notice that these thoughts are all based on the big “I”. As I started pruning these things away with the help of my psychologist, my hubby and much prayer, I realized that alot of these thoughts were based in…
And, although I like to joke about this, I have had to REALLY learn that there is a God, and it isn’t ME.
I am NOT all powerful.
I CANNOT do everything.
I AM NOT Superwoman.
So, I am pruning out these thoughts… although I do find it is an everyday struggle!
Now that I am beginning to feel better, (more on that in a minute) I am also starting to prune away in my physical surroundings. I had surrounded myself with a lot of STUFF. I think that lots of stuff is another way of hiding. I am tired of hiding behind ANYTHING, so I am pruning away my belongings. Getting rid of the extra, the stuff that doesn’t add joy or value.
Want growth? Gotta prune!
Now, I am no gardener, but I can tell you this, pruning is necessary for growth. If vines and trees and bushes are not pruned properly, they can never grow to their full potential.
In the Bible, in John 15, Jesus is portrayed as the gardener. As the Gardener, he examines each and every branch and twig in our vines to see if they are healthy or not. We also need to take this role in our lives.
Examine your life. Ask these questions–
- Am I fruitful in this area?
- Or am I just spinning my wheels?
- If I rid myself of “this”, could I better use my time over “here” instead?
Prune, or be pruned!
And, personally, as a Christian, I believe that if we do not make these adjustments to our vines on our own, the Gardener will bring or allow things into our lives to do the pruning for us. That, is what I feel happened in my life. I had let many things get out of control, I had weeds and vines all intertwined and had allowed quite a mess!
But I think that the Gardener was sitting back and saying, “I have SO much more for you. There is such great potential for you, but you cannot see it with all this overgrowth.” And so PRUNING was required. I had no choice at this point. I was at the end of myself, and so the pruning began.
Cutting away those things that were unhealthy for my mind, soul and spirit. Clearing away the brush so I could see the open sky waiting for me. Chopping out completely the limbs that were diseased.
Was it painful? Absolutely.
Was it humbling? You better believe it. You see, before, I had quite a plant growing. I mean, I had vines going every direction, and it looked liked there was growth and life there, and then it was all cut away.
Now, however, I have hope. I know that the Gardener only wants the best for me. And instead of that mess I had, with his pruning, and my new growth with his guidance, I can grow into something more like this, with beauty, and the opportunity to see and do so much more than I could have before.
Am I there yet? Nope. I’ve got a lot of growing to do. I’ve gotta make sure I am doing the right things for the right reasons. I have make sure my thoughts don’t get skewed again. I need to add the right things to my life for the right reasons. For now, this is how I see myself.
Have you ever been through the “pruning process”? What are some things that were pruned away?
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