Thursday, April 16, 2020

{ More About Pruning }


so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than ...

We've been having storms with some pretty high winds the last couple of weeks and when this happens there are lots of sticks, some small and some not so much, that blow off the big poplar tree in our front yard (did Y'all know that the poplar tree is Tennessee's State Tree - just a bit of trivia). I spent some time one morning last week picking up sticks and I thought to myself how God was using the storm in my own life to prune me - to get rid of the dead so I'd grow stronger in my faith. As I carried the sticks down to the burn pile, I was reminded of how God tenderly carries me. He asks me to just cast all of my 'dead sticks' on Him. I liked this image because it uses the word "anxiety" and that completely describes me!

I told Y'all that I'd try to share what God's been pruning me from. I can't tell you that I'm already there and 'new and improved' because that's not ever gonna happen to me this side of heaven. I've shared many times that I'm a people pleaser - something that I've dealt with as far back as I can remember. It began in my childhood and I just never have seemed to be able to outgrow it. Add that to being an overthinker and you have yourself a full of anxiety, heart palpitations, stressed out, overeating, wishing things were different, asking God WHY and never getting the answer she wants....old lady!  I realize I obviously have a very unhealthy need to be in control - to know what the outcome is going to be - to feel like I'm seen and understood and validated - and since my love language is words of affirmation - well,  I have to rely on God to meet that need, too.  And, I in no way have control over what others do and say and think - it's up to God to take care of them.

I love reading just about anything that Tony Evans writes and back in February, I re-read one of his books and here's what I jotted down in my journal. 

"co-dependent people use others to fix what is broken in themselves - 
they look to others to fill their own emptiness - 
they have a people stronghold"

And, here were his suggestions, some of which I've truly taken to heart and implemented into my own life.....

1. Think on God and His Word!

2. Seek ways to have fun things to do that I enjoy - not what I think somebody else would like.

3.  Pay attention to how I talk to myself - DO NOT put myself down - affirm positive things God is doing in my life - build up, don't tear down (I believe Ephesians 4:29 is meant to apply to how we speak to ourselves, too, not just others!)

4. Let go of the need to control - situations and people (this one is gonna take some work, Y'all)

I'm sorry to have written a novel - I just wanted to share with my friends a little about what I've been working through. I HOPE these suggestions from Mr. Evans will be a help to someone else, too. 

💜💜💜


7 comments:

  1. All good stuff that we all need to hear and review in our own lives. Thank you for being open and honest and sharing these things with us, as it may be just what others are needing just as much as you. For myself, I know that I am not really a "people pleaser" kind of person. Sometimes I wish I were more that kind because it might make me more sensitive to the needs of others around me. Sometimes, people like me, tend to think we can handle things just fine by ourselves and that we don't really need other people so much. That can be just as bad as being a people pleaser, because we get too focused on doing it "my way", and sometimes we miss the blessing that God has for us by allowing others to do things for us and with us and also doing things for others. My self-reliance also can make me not rely on God as much as I should and think I can handle it without His help. He has proven to me over and over again, however, that I cannot do that. Without Him, I would be unable to cope with the things that "life" throws at me. So, there needs to be a balance between these two extremes. Together, we can help each other meet somewhere in the middle, with God in control and right there by our sides. Thank you for stirring up these thoughts today. You are a blessing to me.

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    1. Oh, no, thank you for pointing out that we're all different, but still ALL in need of our Savior - and that we need each other. I know He made each of us with our own unique personalities for a reason! I feel more like myself than I have in quite some time, since I've starting sharing my heart again!

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  2. This really spoke to me this morning-thanks so much for posting! These are areas where I know God is working with me-anxiety, trying to control everything and being unhappy that God is not "fixing everything" the way that I want it! It's painful but necessary pruning in my life.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  4. Love all your suggestions, something we all need to do. Number 4 really spoke to me because He has had to 'prune' me more than once over that issue. I think I've finally got it and my life has been so much better. So thankful He loves us enough to keep on pruning!! ((hugs))

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  5. Deb, I think we have all been there in some form or another. Women, especially, sometimes feel the need to please everyone. We are all works in progress and praise God for His patience, grace & mercy! Good post, dear friend!

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Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24