Tilling the Soil

Life has been a bit overwhelming lately. To use a gardening metaphor, it feels like God has been tilling the soil of my heart. It’s a really good and necessary process, but it’s difficult too. Weeds with deep roots get pulled, old soil that hasn’t seen the light of day in years gets dug up, and hard pieces of earth and clay get broken. That’s exactly how I’ve felt lately.

God has been pulling up some weeds – showing me and convicting me of sin and ugliness in my life. And I feel like he has been trying to cleanse me anew from some of the deep seated junk in my heart and life. Sometimes I respond well to his prompting in confession and repentance and other times my heart clings to the familiar weeds and to my own safety. Lord, help me to let go – help me to let go of all that is not of you and all that hurts you. Lord, continue your work in me and pull out all the junk and ugliness that there might be room for new growth.

God has also been turning the soil of my heart, bringing things that have long been buried up to the surface. I feel like around every corner the past few weeks there has been a memory or a realization about my past. There have been a lot of insecurities that have been brought to light in me the past few weeks and God has often also revealed some truth about where those insecurities come from. It has been a week of epiphanies. In some ways it has also been a week of mourning. As I realize more about myself and my story and more of that gets brought into the open I also realize more about my own brokenness and the brokenness of those around me, and I mourn. Lord, help me to accept the digging that you are doing in my soil – help me to let you dig and not to try and stop you before you are finished. I want you to bring to light the very darkest places of me and teach me what I am in you. I feel weary and tired from the process already, but I want to open myself up to you, Lord. Finish the work you began in me.

God has also been breaking the hard soil of my heart. Those places that had become hardened by hurt or pain or fear, the places that I had avoided in my life and in others because it was too difficult to go there – those places God is beginning to break down. I feel my heart softening towards all those around me and unknown to me. I feel myself wanting to plant new seeds of hope and justice in my heart instead of fear, denial, or judgment. But, even as I feel that softening there is a final clinging to my old naiveté. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to be softened, that feels it will be too difficult and too tiring – a part of me that rebels and says that I am fine as I am. Lord, break me, even when I fight against the breaking. Lord, break the judgment in my heart, break the fear that has for so long ruled my life, break my tendency to avoid and run from pain in my life and in others. Help me to instead run towards those who are hurting and in need, just as you did, Lord Jesus. Give me opportunities and the courage needed to fight for justice and to bring hope and help to all those you put in front of me.

Lord, continue to till the soil of my heart, but please, Lord, don’t stop there! Begin to plant seeds in me that will spring forth into works of your glory! In Jesus name, Amen.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman

Photograph by Beth Stedman