Sitting at my desk as I look out the window I can see grass, trees and flowers I planted last weekend. This doesn't seem so terribly remarkable to you, I suppose, because you don't know the old view. Until last week five foot tall (probably closer to six...at any rate they were taller than me!) boxwoods blocked out the sun and my only view was the edge of greenery and the deadwood underneath.
Even before the house was officially ours we knew we had to trim them or rip them out. They were overgrown and growing out over our walkway, you had to steer clear of them just to enter our house. From the street they didn't look so bad, really. In fact some people had mentioned how the boxwoods made the house look stately.
From the walkway side they were green, full, and imposing; it wasn't until I was standing in the middle of them with my clippers that I realized what horrible shape they were in. There were lots of dead branches, dying leaves and vines choking the trunks. Several hours later they were virtually chopped to the ground and I stood staring at the front of our house. It looked SO big and open. Better than I could have envisioned and I was so excited to fill in those once shadowed gardens with flowers and plants.
And as excited as I was outside I couldn't imagine what it would change on the inside of our home. The front rooms (my office and the dining room) while nice rooms have seemed dark and less welcoming then the rest of the house. We used them, but honestly have not really enjoyed them or figured out how to live in them. With the boxwoods gone, the light pours in. The brightly colored walls and rugs take on new hues and I linger at my desk, and we even sat and talked at the dining room table after a meal!
One person even said, "I wouldn't have had the imagination to visualize what it would look like with them gone, but I love it!"
As I have begun to ponder the boxwoods I began to think of my own life...my own boxwoods.
What am I holding on to because I can't visualize life without it?
Are there things that are overgrown in my life?
Things that look healthy to a passerby, but are actually dead and gnarled underneath?
Things that are blocking out the light and prohibiting new growth?
Last year was a season of great loss and sadness in my life -- my aunt was deathly ill, we sold our old house (as the neighborhood became someplace we didn't want to raise our children), I had a couple of health scares and the end of year was marked with my Aunt's death and funeral. I had hoped (and prayed) that God would begin filling me up this year...filling in the holes left my months of stress and sadness.
Not quite. Instead, He is continuing to prune, work and dig in my soul. As though the season from last year prepared my heart for His Holy gardening gloves to do their work.
But in light of the boxwoods, I now view this season a little differently.
Can you imagine the change in my soul when these overgrown, dead things are cleared out and His light shines through? I can't, truthfully...and perhaps that's why I have never let go of the habits and thoughts...I couldn't visualize life without them. But He could.
So now I ask you...do you have any boxwoods? Don't know? Can't visualize life beyond where it is now? I urge you to ask Him to point out the things in your life that inhibit your growth and His light. Throw your arms open and ask Him to go to work!
Father, I long for a safe, comfortable life, but I know that is not what brings You glory and it is not what draws me closer to You. And what I want is more of You to pour in me until I overflow...if You have to rip my boxwoods out to let that happen I am ready and willing, and so thankful that You are able and You already know the woman You want me to become...I can't wait to be her.