The beauty in store

I was reminded by a dear friend recently about the story of how God prunes us through the example of a story she read.

The story I'm sure you might have read or heard goes like this. There was once a little tree and an older wise tree. It came about that it was the time for the farmer to prune back the tree's. The little tree was quite terrified of the large pruning scissors but the older tree just lifted up his branches and let the farmer work away. The little tree then begins to ask questions to the older tree about why he wasn't afraid and the answer the older tree gives is this. "I'm not afraid of the pruning process because in my many years of being here, the farmer has cut back branches that hinder me from growing and from getting sick." My friend then gently reminded me that this is how the Lord works. He gently prunes away the dirty and filthiness that I carry deep down so that my heart can grow without being held back.

I have been thinking of this story since she told me. Why? Because sometimes I think that we don't always understand why we are given certain circumstances to walk through and I don't think we truly will know til we reach heaven's doors.

I have been thinking a lot about circumstances that we have walked through as a family. Specifically with Toby's tumor disorder and chemotherapy. Maybe it's because I have seen those I love have to walk through this recently or maybe it's just me now coping with it. I don't know.

In the deepest parts of my soul, I look back and I'm not sure how we made it through those first weeks and months. I mean to be a new mom and caring for a child who was sick and would need chemo for months, how does one even get up in the morning? As I look back at how little he was and all the appointments, scans, and needles he endured I just get teary eyed. A dear friend asked me how did I survive those months, watching as my little one endure medications and labs weekly. My answer to her was this. I survived by putting one foot in front of the other only by the grace of God. It was his strength that held me up, his arms that wrapped around and comforted me as I screamed and cried out to him for my dear son's life. His peace that surpasses all understanding that filled my soul in the deepest parts and let me know he was there. It wasn't me, not one bit. It was all Him. My Father who loves me so much and saw all my pain and hurt and sat and held me and wept alongside me. He was there in the deepest dark thoughts I had that I would never write or speak out loud. He was there as I wrestled with the why? He was there when I just couldn't even think past just the one task ahead. He was there.

It has been these things that I know as truth that comfort me even when I look back. As my friend told me that story the other day of the pruning, I thought maybe the Lord used that experience to tell you my story. To share my heart with you and let you know that you aren't alone if you are walking through that right now. Like I said, I don't know what he was doing in the process of that. Yet, I do believe this - that God uses circumstances in our life to teach us and to open our eyes to things that we would have not otherwise seen. I think that he ultimately uses them for his glory and that at least is my prayer.

So as I look back and share a little more of my story with you, I want you to know that the road ahead is not easy. The weeks ahead that you will walk my dear friend will be very difficult but know this - you will never be alone in this journey.

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