My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Pruning…

Not like your fingers when you wash dishes.

Like pruning plants, pruning.

I just find so much satisfaction in this word. Because God tells us this:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-3

God will mold and shape us when we remain in, abide, or dwell with Him. He cuts off the parts of us that are not good, that He wants gone so that we will be more fruitful in life.

“But, cutting off doesn’t sound very pleasant. TBH, it sounds more sad, painful and like something I really do not want to be a part of.” But hang with me for a minute.

This past summer, God did a LOT of pruning in my life. I felt so alone. I really just worked, went to class and to church. I thought church would be a safe place… but half the time, I did not even feel comfortable because my friends at home were not really being friends at the time. (Thank God for repaired relationships and examples of how to forgive)

My dad was adjusting to his new job because he had lost the one previous to that. So. Scary.

My family also had to move homes… talk about an emotional roller coaster. I would drive by our old home and cry while listening to “The House that Built Me” by Miranda Lambert because my dogs really are buried in the yard and I really did learn to play guitar upstairs in my bedroom. I was selfish and upset that the new house did not have a room for me (so my fantastic parents had a wall built to make me a room), we have no pool or spacious backyard anymore, and other very materialistic things I had grown accustomed to having are absent from this home. (I like having a smaller home, though. Less to clean, and our family is a lot closer because of it).

Moving made me exhausted
Tuckered out. Moving made me exhausted

It was also the longest period of time I had been away from my great friends in college. Then, when I finally got back to college, I thought for sure I would catch a break from this desert I had found myself in… haha.. hah! I was wrong. I experienced losing my car (due to {expensive} electrical problems and a minor accident) for an extended period of time and losing my church here at college (due to some major division).

WHYYYY?! I did not understand at the time why God had me enduring all of this stuff.

He was pruning.

Cool thing, though, is that at Passion conference 2015 (a HUGE gathering of college students united for Jesus) my community group leader taught us that in Greek the word “prunes” in John 15 literally means cleans or to lift up.

TO LIFT UP?! Wait, what? Pruning is like cutting stuff down, but God is telling me that it means to lift up?!

Light bulb. All of these things happen so that I will learn to remain in Him and therefore bear much fruit.

I have recently watched my roommate go through a pruning process. Poor thing has had two infections from wisdom teeth, lost her dog, lost her grandmother, her car got hit, Enterprise wanted to charge her $500 for the (nonexistent) damage on the rental car, and she has experienced some kind of ear problem.

I cannot even say all of that stuff in one breath. Side note: I have also watched another dear friend here at college struggle with many tough unspoken circumstances in her life.

My roommate came into my room tonight explaining a situation that just really made her heart happy. So much so, that  it compelled her to tears (this girl does not normally get moved to tears over things). Her heart has not been happy in a long time. But this particular situation was something she would have never thought possible. It would not have been possible had all of the other stuff not happened. God is SO GOOD.  She looks back on the past two months of small train wrecks and just thanks God because He knows that she would have prayed for every one of those unfortunate events to happen had she known the end result. Going through it sucked, but God is going to do some AWESOME things in her life through everything He has taught her.

If you feel as if the life is getting sucked out of you, like you’re in a pit, or that the bad days don’t have an end… hang in there, take joy in the fact that God is pruning.

He is lifting you up.

Grenada. Love this picture because it shows beauty in brokenness.
Grenada. Love this picture because it shows beauty in brokenness.
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