This season of my life God is pruning me pruning a word that seems to get a bad rap. When googled the term means to trim, cut off, cut away usually plants, the benefit being the removal of dying branches and stubs, usually to make room for new growth and protection, whilst protecting your property (plant) and passer-by from damage. It deters pest and animal infestation and promotes a plant’s natural shape and healthy growth. So, in essence, to be pruned as a human being means to be transformed for the better, to be changed mended into the best version of your natural self. Though the process in which this comes by is through taking away the things that prevent your growth, it’s been said quite often in sermons and books that pruning is a necessary part of growth, but if your anything like me then you know that such a statement, provides no comfort and no clarity as to why it happens.
In my journey with Christ in this thing called life I have experienced various stages, the first can be best described as a honeymoon phase. God was something I always knew but his presence was something I never really felt until the honeymoon began, and I was able to dig deeper. This stage was and still is wonderful, I can love on the Lord ask and receive, get lost in him, but what I soon discovered was that with every marriage for the relationship to last the honeymoon stage must never end. But similarly, like every marriage, there are trials and tribulations and as the years go by you discover more of your faults, but with a good marriage, such discovery only improves the relationship as it provides a focal point on what you need to improve on.
This is where I am with God as he prunes me, I discover more and more of who I am and my faults, the good the bad and ugly. So that’s what this post is about this long-winded introduction was just to alert you that this may trigger your perspective, it may even make you not want to begin a walk with Christ (if I’m being honest). But one thing for sure that I can guarantee is that if you are still alive able to read this, then like every good marriage, good friendship, good relationship, a walk with God a relationship with Christ is something that you will never regret starting and one that will transform you forever for the good.
So, where do we begin, the pain of letting go and letting God? My personal experience of letting go have included, letting go of money, love (or what I thought was love), friendships and even the recent my plans for my life.
Letting go of Money
It’s best, to begin with, the one that throws people of Christianity and being involved with the church, the topic that triggers everyone once it’s mentioned in conversations. Your neck stiffens your jaw clenches at the sound of the word money, as you subconsciously weigh how much you have and essentially how much you believe your worth in comparison to the person talking about the topic, as you can carefully assess whether you should be open about your wealth or dare lack their off or remain ambiguous with the pompous “I don’t like to discuss money” attitude.
Regardless of which way you swing, everyone will have to discuss money at some point and guess who cares more about your finances than you, wrong not the government, God, God cares more than you about what you do with the money HE blessed you with. No this isn’t a post to convince you to give money to churches out of your will as we are told in the bible in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 God blesses those who give freely and not out of obligation, as the purpose of giving is a posture of the heart and really has nothing to do with what you give more so how you give. So, like many, I included when giving we are not always cheerful, especially at times when we may even feel like our giving is pointless or even asses what we could have done with the money we just gave. This mentality is something that God has been teaching me how to let go by cutting off this branch from my personality through pruning, Which to me when reading the definition of pruning is quite comical how amazing God is as from a young age I was a persistent giver, I would always share my snacks in school as a child, I would give even to the point that I have nothing. But over the years, I saw and experienced that giving to such a detriment leaves you susceptible to leeches people looking to take advantage of this, which ultimately led me to be overly conscious of how much I give. A mentality I am glad God is changing as I enjoy the joy of giving and being the solution to things.
Since I have let go of money, I have seen God transform not necessarily my finances as of yet but just everything in my life, my mind is freed from worry, when I let go of money or just give to others, my spirit lifts, I focus on helping and not myself, freeing my mind from worry. I tithe now at Church, something I once thought was used by way pastors and priest as a way to extort money from people, but thank God I received deliverance from this mentality, and now I see giving money to church as me giving back to God what he first gave me and contributing into the vision God has for his people. In the bible the story of the Israelites or for those the movie, Prince of Egypt, the story went that the Israelites where enslaved in Egypt, left all they had trusted in Moses vision and fled the land of enslavement, they had to give up everything for the vision God showed them, though they later complained. If they failed let go of the comfort of their possessions and belongs, they would have ended up dying in Egypt enslaved missing out on being God’s chosen people, the bible would be completely different, they would have allowed the thorns to grow in their life’s story, failing to cut it off by letting go of their lives and possessions in Egypt.
Letting go of love (or your perception of love)
Love is an emotion that I never quite understood, from a young age I quickly discovered that I was an empath meaning I can apprehend the emotions of others in other words if you feel the pain I feel the pain if you feel joy I feel joy. My first discovery from childhood was when I comforted my mother who was crying over the possible disappearance of my eldest brother and sister (a story saved for another post), and whilst she cried I felt a deep sense of pain in my heart seeing her hurt in such a manner, a pain as if I was the mother. But instead of crying my mum loves to proudly recall this story, I prayed (yeah) I prayed comforting my mother in my arms around about five years old reassuring her that they will be found in Jesus name assuring her that she need not cry. And just as I proclaimed and declared in Christ’s name, they were found the next day. Now I am aware that such stories seem like once in a lifetime occurrence, but the bible is pretty clear about this power that we ALL possess yes, even you, if you believe in Christ and command a mountain to be moved it will be( Mark 11:23).
So letting love go for me has been a pretty distressing part of pruning for me, as a person who is an empath, letting someone I love go is hard especially having the dreadful adult conversations to end said relationships you believed would last forever, because of a God that might be real or might not be but you have chosen to believe in (just being honest) told you to. Such as situation can be especially difficult to explain and accept. I was on a plane making my way to Bali, it was my 21st birthday, I peered out the window as I was about to embark on my first ever solo holiday, my heart filled with butterflies for the adventure that awaits and my spirit filled with despair, as it dawned on me that my long term now ex-boyfriend won’t be celebrating my birthday with me this year. As I entered this milestone age, the prospects of being single didn’t faze me but the crippling picture on my former loves face as I explained to him, that I must be alone for this season and pursue God remained entrenched in my memory. Haunting me like a terrible camp horror story. Brushing off my emotions I choose not to dwell on it, smiling to myself and looking out into the clouds I whispered to myself it was the right thing to do.
See in the pursuit of God sometimes we come to the end of ourselves, having to let go of our former selves and put on the new (Ephesians 4:22-24). A process that is all so easy to say but so hard to live out, in times of transformation you must first be isolated and in the process of isolation things must be cut away, those things won’t only be physical but include emotional attachments, they too must be uprooted. And as I walked out and still in some regards am walking out this season, I found truthfully a dislike for this thing called pruning the not knowing aspect of a relationship with Christ completely tripping me up, causing me to shout at God, throwing my hand, head, and body to the wall (LOL) no literally. I began to go through a phase wondering if God was real because to me it made no sense, I found a man that I love, a task that seemed near impossible to me in this economy and God tells me to break up with him. Ladies, fellas, imagine just deep it, someone who was willing to wait, and God says Nah cut it off. Least to say, I was infuriated, frustrated and quite befuddled. But as I dug deep with God, he started to reveal to me that what’s more important than love is a man after his own heart and me becoming a woman of God befitting for such a man.
Though the lesson of letting go of love is one that I completely disagree with, I do believe, well I have come to believe and understand that in this walk with Christ it isn’t about what you want or how you feel. But more about taking your eyes off of yourself and looking at the bigger picture, seeing what God is trying to do, how he’s trying to uproot anything that could cause you infestation and ruin your growth. The bible talks about seeds and planting a lot and only recently have I began to understand what it means when it says that there is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3 1-8), as in the many seasons of my life especially this current season of pruning, I’m beginning to understand the importance of seasons and the necessity of pruning, harvest, and farming. See, God has been showing me in all this pruning and cutting that I essentially need to return to the garden (garden of Eden) before the temptation of the serpent, when Adam would walk with God, talk with God. I learned in letting go of love, that there is a love so great that surpasses that of human comprehension and that’s the love of the Lord, whilst I thought I was letting love go, the reality and what God knew and intended all along was that I was allowing true love to begin manifesting in my heart and soul, allowing God true access to my heart. Not as a second love but as my first love, I was returning to the garden, this time clothed with the finest robs of love, grace, and humility. God was cutting off the branch of independence to produce the growth of true dependence on him.
Letting go of people
Letting go of people in this culture is glorified as the ‘in thing’ to do with cancel culture at an all-time high, the attitude in society is currently, ‘drop everyone out die alone’ (okay and exaggeration but still). So, when your walk with God causes you to leave friends you cared about behind, the whole mentality of cutting people off will spin you completely causing you to second guess your faith. But letting people go, is sometimes a necessary part of growth in the bible God told Abraham to let go of his first son Ismael, abandoning him someone who he had an emotional attachment to as a father, I can only imagine how heartbroken Abraham must have felt. But he remained faithful to God and let him go, and God blessed his other son and all the descendants of Abraham, had he not been faithful in letting Ismael go he would not have received the blessing God had prepared for him. This story reminds me of the sacrifices that we must make in this walk with God, sometimes we will be called to let people go, this may be because such emotional attachments are preventing us from moving forward in life.
Letting people go, doesn’t always have to be with bad blood, this isn’t an opportunity to go out and just dismiss people and be reckless about cutting them off. The process of letting go is not only for you to demonstrate your trust in God, but also reveal your heart, the concept of letting things, people, love and money go can lead to pride in your heart towards what you let go. But letting people go, isn’t only about the advancement of you, but also the progression of who you let go because God loves us all and leaves no one behind.
Letting go of your plans over your life
Letting go and letting God can be a daunting experience, because not only do you let go of things you let go of yourself, your ideas, your plans and your vision for your life. The way I see this is to imagine you’re on a flight the plane is moving rapidly, the pilot makes no announcement there isn’t any indication of what’s going on, the seatbelt sign is still off. You stop the air hostess to ask what is going on, and her response is “why are you asking me,” no one says anything, and the flight continues, looping through the air. Peeping out the window, you see the plane hovering over the sea, and it lowers still looping in the air, your seat shakes rapidly, your body flings side to side. You scream “what is happening’! Everyone looks at you and says nothing and you panic and just then the pilot’s voice finally comes through on the microphone and you try not to scream with joy, and he says that you have landed at the destination safely. That is what it feels like for me when I trust God.
As dramatic as that may sound, trusting God I will admit now if you have never been told is not like reading a (malarkey) horoscope prediction of how your day is going to be or what the stars say about what meal you will have tomorrow. It’s brutal but ooh so worth it, the difficult part being getting over yourself and your plans and full submitting, after that it’s like the greatest love story, filled with laughter, joy, rush, excitement, some tears, some downs but wonderful ups. I can say all this from my own personal experience and current journey of letting go of my plans that, it is truly a love story not the cliché type but the classics the Notebook version called my life with Christ a tale about a young girls journey to freedom and internal love. From even making it to university despite several odds, to completing university with a Law degree despite being told that I can’t , to graduating with a 2:1 beating the odds of depression and anxiety that was coming for my neck, to even moving to china this year on a journey that God told me to take, facing crazy things and discovering myself all over again. To letting go of attachment’s be it friends, family, partner, my journey so far in pursing God and his plan is a daily struggle, to be completely honest I don’t like it at times, as a rational thinker, sometimes God’s plan’s through me off, because I dwell thinking how sway? But even with my tiny second guesses God always shows me that trust is better than doubt and to move on a maybe from God is better than staying on ayes from myself.
Ultimately to let go and let God, I will summarise looks like this imagine a rock in a slingshot, in order for the rock to go really far, pressure must be applied to the band holding the rock and the more pressure is applied the further the rock will travel. So, pruning, letting go and letting God, is pressure being applied to you, to see do you trust God are you willing to allow the pain, societal pressures of letting go prevent you from obeying God. You decide, be obedient even with the pressure mounting up and be purpled further in live into the great destiny that God has for you. Or crumble under pressure not obey God and allow yourself to settle because you refuse to let go and let Go have his way. Up to you.