During the last three years, I have been “pruned ” more than all my previous 40+ years put together. Now, let me go back a little. My marriage joined me to a family well known for its pride. My husband and his brothers were the proud Hell Raisers in their home town, wanting their own children to follow in the same footprints. The pride was like a cloud that covered everything both done and not done.
Although not aware of it as a child, I was also raised to be proud. We dared not come home crying about what some other kid had done to us. Dad actually would take us to the kid and make us beat them into submission for an apology.
Several years ago, due to circumstances, I found myself all alone, except for debt and a family home. I was working 14 to 16 hrs a day trying to maintain the bills, both inherited and current. At the same time, I was determined to remodel the home by myself. My pride drove me. Months at this pace left me broken. I quickly learned what pride was doing to me.
Eventually I began to learn about the branches that the Lord would have to trim from me so I could survive. The Lord had plans for me and until I was broken and trimmed down to allow the new growth to sprout there was no way that I could grow spiritually. I would have to stop killing myself at work; I was a workaholic. I would not ask for help and that was only a part of the pride that I had been raised to think was a normal way of life.
One day, God brought a great snow storm to our little town in the mountains. I was stuck at home for a week straight. I sat for days and hours and poured myself into the Living Word, and I mean it was Living and I was living it. I had to be broken. I had to be humbled before the Lord, stripped of all the old, and pruned down to a nub.
I thought that I was a Christian and had brought up my children in a Christian home (at times). I thought that working two jobs so that I could drive my two youngest an hour everyday to a Christian school was doing what was right. But, I still recalled with pride what I had done over 20 years ago, not having gone to the hospital for three days after breaking my neck. I was proud of having survived many things that should have killed me a long time ago. But, now I am being pruned to live in the now. Today, I come humbly before Him appreciating the brokenness that my Father has done for me.
I am going to share these lessons with other women so that there may be souls, marriages, and families brought to the Lord. The pain isn’t over. Just yesterday I had to drain my savings to cover some unexpected costs. But, I will continue to give offerings to the Lord, not allowing the enemy to fill me with the spirit of fear and of doubt. God’s Son did not die on a cross that we would not have life, but have a life for and with Him. I want to live the words of the song that says, “I want to sit at your feet, drink from the cup in your hand, lean up against you and feel the air that you breathe.”
Although still being pruned, I find peace in his reassuring love and grace. Humbly I thank him everyday knowing that he is not done with me yet.
NOTE – the next Musings and Observations will follow-up Teresa’s Story