Isaiah 48: 18-19
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
This S U C K S
I think we can all agree that pruning B L O W S. No need to sugar coat it. Pretty sure no one wakes up and says, “hey, you know – today would be a great day to take away all the things and people I really like and care about” – whether we think it is good for us or not. Pruning is painful but is also necessary. If you follow our blog, you may remember me writing a few months back about how I literally lost EVERY piece of who I thought I was (**keyword thought, we will come back to this). If you missed it, catch up here.
In the blog I referenced earlier, I told you all that I was not fully on the other side of all of the challenges I was facing. This is still 100% true. At our Bibles & Basketball staff retreat, we took the Enneagram Test (which I highly recommend).
In case you’re wondering, I am a 7 (aka the BEST, lol jokes…sort of 😉 )). Anyway, the Enneagram analysis describes your personality as a whole, then tells you how your personality is as a Christian. It describes what you are like as a “healthy” Christian seven, an “autopilot” Christian seven, and an “unhealthy” Christian seven. When I read mine out loud, we laughed HARD because we could all feel the accuracy in the description. Talk about conviction, a real punch in the gut, amiright?
After, this we went around the table and expressed which level we felt we were on. Based on the descriptions I believed myself to be between an autopilot seven and an unhealthy seven (don’t judge me). I share this because through pruning we are supposed to be in a season of growth, it is OK to have ups and downs as long as we are AWARE, willing to listen to God and learn.
If I would have taken this test at the beginning of the summer, I would honestly say I was 60% healthy and 40% autopilot. BIG difference to where I was 3 weeks later at the time of the second test. Why? My sights on God and my faith were distracted by the EXACT things that God was trying to prune me from. I had made so much progress and relapsed in one weekend.
Who Did I Think I Was? Serious Question.
I had stopped drinking completely for months. With one drink, my entire life spiraled and it did not stop. Don’t get me wrong, I was “happy”, it was fun, and I felt like “myself” – my “true old self”. Finally, something that felt familiar during this uncomfortable pruning season, but spiritually, I knew I was falling back into the same trap. Meaning I would have to endure the pruning process longer…uh big PASS – “I’m good luv, enjoy”.
Feeling guilty, I had God on “Do Not Disturb” for a good two weeks, did I just catch you judging? Thought we were passed that. The entire time I felt something pulling at me and I knew deep down I could not run forever. I finally had to come to terms with where I was spiritually and make the choice to allow Him to continue pruning me and my life to do His works. We can try to keep doing life our way, putting ourselves in messes and digger deeper holes for ourselves. Or we can submit to the Lord and His will for us. I feel much more confident in life knowing God is under control and has everything providentially planned compared to when I am winging it.
WIDE LOAD! Make Way, Baby!
As God prunes us, we make way for the NEW that he is doing in our lives. When we continue to dwell in the past (hurts, failures, what once was, or even the “fun” stuff), we do not leave space for God to do a new thing or HIS thing in our lives. We do not leave space for Him to bring those dead branches to life.
I tried to do everything on my own volition for so long and I FAILED. While it was “fun” – what was I truly living for? Who was I when I had no foundation? These were things I had to face and questions I really had to ask myself. I am still working on these answers, but I feel so much better knowing I am no longer living life on a whim with no direction. The Lord is in control.