The problem with my busy life is I seldom find myself on the back porch with a decent cup of coffee and an open Bible. I did that today, for just a moment. I listened to the birds, watched the dog chase squirrels, and marveled at the beauty of the first open blossom on our Magnolia tree.
At first glance, this is just a blossom. But just like people – we all have a story. Let me tell you how this blossom came to be and how it relates to your life.
The Blossom’s Story
You see, for years this beautiful spot in my backyard was a vast tangle of vines, so much so that we didn’t even know this Magnolia tree was trying to grow. But because of the vines, there was not sufficient light getting to it, so it stayed small and insignificant.
One day my Dad decided to hire a crew to start chopping down the vines. The mass of dead trees, leaves, and branches overtook our front curb, but the crew just kept on bringing them around from the backyard.
When the crew went home, the backyard spot looked sparse – almost sad. I wondered if this little area would ever look good. The city brought out it’s wood chipping trucks the next week and the old dead branches were gone.
If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
John 15:6 HCSB
That was two months ago. Today I walked outside and saw this:
My Cancer Story
Last October I found myself at the doctor’s office due to abnormal bleeding (TMI? Maybe so, but it’s worth telling if it gets you to go to the doctor if this happens to YOU.) The doctor ordered a sonogram of my abdomen to see what was causing this. My uterus was abnormally large, it’s walls abnormally thick, and the look on the doctor’s face told me a story I didn’t want to hear. He ordered a biopsy because I had all the markings of early stage Endometrial Cancer. My insurance was awful, so I waited until January to get the biopsy. In the meantime, I lived in fear of what might be growing in me.
January came and I had a D & C. The biopsy of that showed a lot of precancerous cells. The Dr removed most of the cells; we decided to wait and see what happened.
In April a sonogram showed new cell growth. In May I had a hysterectomy that went 2 hours overtime. I’m writing this as I recover from an open abdominal hysterectomy instead of a laparoscopic procedure. The doctor had to take out an ovary because he found out it was tangled when he got in there. He also found a massive amount of precancer cells, fibroids, and adenyomyosis.
When I walked outside for coffee this morning and remembered how this garden spot used to look – it reminded me of my insides – ugly, tangled branches that were literally going to kill me from the inside out. And like the yard crew cutting down the vines to let the Magnolia tree grow, if the doctor hadn’t cut out the bad places, I would have failed to thrive, or even ceased to live.
The Gardener’s Story
(Stay with me. This is where it gets good.)
Since October of last year I have had interactions with countless old friends and relatives. In every instance I found myself faced with someone with whom I’d had conflict. Sometimes the conflict was inflicted by me, sometimes by them. In each case we have come to a new understanding. Either I got to make ammends in some way, or they finally apologized and made ammends in some way with me, or we simply parted ways. These included people who had mentored me or whom I’d mentored. They included my ex-husband, my sister, a cousin, my bio-Dad, friends, enemies, people I’d harmed, you name it. Even myself.
The more often this happened, the more I began to realize that these moments were orchestrated by God. There have been too many to have been coincidental.
It’s as if my life were the overgrown garden spot and God was pulling up some relationships by the roots and throwing them to the curb, or carefully exposing and pruning them so they could grow and begin to thrive.
Even my relationship with God and with myself is thriving. I’m walking with Him – daily. I’m remaining in Him, which makes all the difference.
“I am the vine; you are the branches.
The one who remains in Me
and I in him produces much fruit,
because you can do nothing without Me.”
John 15:5 HCSB
The best part is – God has planted a new friend in my garden and has re-planted someone I have missed for a long time. You both know who you are.
Even the Cancer threat is gone. Pruned.
Pruning hurts (like my recovery) and requires me to be still and rest – but it is so worth it.
My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.
John 15:8 HCSB
I don’t know what your story is. I don’t know what God is doing in your life, but I’m praying today that you’ll be still, remain in Him, and let him prune out the bad and expose the good so that your life can blossom.
Don’t know the God I walk with? Just send me a private message – I’ll introduce you.