The recovery process is often described as like “peeling back layers of an onion.” Each new season produces a harvest of discoveries. Sometimes they make our soul blossom like a flower; other times they’re like a drought withering our insides with pain, sorrow and regret.
I like to think of these ‘seasons’ as a pruning process. Watching my husband lovingly care for the trees and plants in our garden, I’m reminded of what Jesus said:
“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 15:1-2)
Before I was introduced to the ‘Gardener,’ my life was kind of like a mess of weeds. God began to cut away at my addictions, co-dependencies and fears. Once it was all wrenched away, the exposed bitter root was SHAME. The fear that I was just a ‘bad seed’ was buried so deep underneath my addictions and defense mechanisms that without God’s pruning I would have dared not look.
But dare I did look-because I was naked. And it was love that stripped me; love that broke my heart; love that lowered me; and love that lifted me up again.
I believe God can take away our shame, but the pruning away of everything we’re ‘not’ can be a messy painful process that seems to get worse before it gets better.
“For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth…” (Kahlil Gibran-The Prophet)