Calling,  Creativity

Believing the lie

For thirty-something years, I lived under the incorrect assumption that I didn’t have a green thumb. Growing up, my experience of gardening had been limited to pulling weeds. So, in my young-adult life, I never bothered with a garden because for me all it represented was hard work for little return. Because weeds always grew back.

I believed the lie that I was no good at gardening. I firmly believed I would kill every plant I touched, so it was best for everyone involved if I didn’t even try.

What changed this for me was when my husband collected fruit trees from a family friend’s deceased estate. Everything had to go and there were numerous well established yet potted fruit trees that no one had the stubborn determination to shift – cue, my beloved husband. If there’s one thing he and I have in common, it’s our stubborn streaks. So, he set to it and dragged each hefty pot onto a truck then off again and into our backyard. We ended up with an apricot, lemon, and pear tree, and two nectarine and fig trees. We even inherited some Australian native wisteria, Hardenbergia comptoniana. What I was pleased to discover was that with a little effort, we could harvest from many of the well-established trees. Some remained in pots, others were set in the soil, but all of them did surprisingly well considering they lived at the house of a woman who thought she could kill a cactus.

Since that day, my son and I spent countless hours in the garden. He’d happily pick flowers for me –  which was so sweet – and would even choose a small potted plant as a gift for me when our family visited the Bunnings garden centre or a nearby nursery. I started showing him plants like mint that he could help pick then hold in his dimpled hands, sniffing its fresh sweet scent. He’s not afraid to get dirty and, most importantly, he doesn’t associate nurturing new plants to life with hard work, but rather the joy of getting all muddy, wielding the garden hose, and making a good old mess. And hopefully, at the end of it all, we will enjoy some sweet homegrown fruit and herbs.

But my experience of garden life lately has caused me to question what other lies I have believed about myself. What limitations have I placed upon myself because I believed a lie that has been ingrained in me from childhood experiences? What lies do I believe that the enemy has whispered over my life? Lies like you’re not good enough, God can’t use you, you have nothing to give, you might as well not even try…

Perhaps it’s the lie that what I’m writing now could not possibly help another human being. Or that recording these discoveries is self-indulgent, rather than a testimony to the work the Lord is doing in our family’s life.

What if I continued to believe the lie that I was simply no good at gardening? I would miss out on the joy of watching things grow and propagating and germinating and finding peace in that natural space. Then again, perhaps lacking the art of gardening isn’t the worst lie of these to believe. But how could other lies affect our family’s future? What if we chose fear over faith? What if we were too afraid to step out and take that leap into the unknown and believe that God will provide for us? What example would we be setting for our children?

Call it maternal instinct, but I am determined, and I refuse to believe any of these lies. Instead, I will rest in the truth of God’s Word which says I can do all things through Christ. And that, my dear friend, includes gardening.

For if you embrace the truth, it will release true freedom into your lives.

John 8:32 (TPT)

* photo from Unsplash

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