Over the past several weeks I've been working in the garden and the yard. We are working on the appearance of things outside, as we love spending summer evenings in our backyard. I've planted perennial flowers and plants that will (hopefully) return season after season and spent a considerable amount of time pulling weeds. Not only to prep the flower beds for planting but also to clean up the yard. Pulling weeds alone, makes such a huge difference. Any and every time I pull weeds, I always think about sin. Weeds serve as a reminder for me about my need for Jesus.
Think about it. Weeds don't require care. They just root themselves deep in the ground and thrive until they are pulled up. Isn't this true about sin? It so easily entangles.
In this season, as we wait for God to grow our family it is easy for sin to take root in my heart. This doesn't require any work at all, but it shows up and rears it's ugly head. It produces bitterness inside me and allows me to see just how messed up I truly am. I don't have it all together. Yes, I said it. I struggle with envy, jealousy, pride, idolatry, fear of judgement, control, self image, believing my plan is better than the one God is orchestrating. Weeds. Sin. Keeping me from true freedom. Keeping me separated from fully experiencing Christ.
My friend Wynne often talks about freedom on her blog. She said that freedom starts when we become aware of this "thing" that gets in the way, that gets in between us and God. After all, we have to see what God wants us to be free from before we can be freed. The Spirit has helped me identify my "thing." I desperately want a family, I want children. This desire is not a sinful one until it so easily moves from a desire of the heart to a thing of worship. An idol.
In the garden, once you find the weeds and remove them, there is room for flowers. Room for freedom. Jesus tells me that the truth will set me free. 'Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the SON remains forever! So if the SON HAS SET YOU FREE, YOU WILL BE FREE INDEED!' Freedom is all about Jesus. He gives it to those who seek Him.
What I'm realizing is that my pursuit of family is found at the heart of my God. Just like flowers (at least in the desert of West Texas) require much care, so does my relationship with Jesus. I want to experience the richness and freedom of living life in relation with Him. I require the work of the gardener's hands, just like the flowers. I have to water and feed my garden in order to enjoy the lovely color and fragrance it was made to offer. So I'm asking God to cleanse me of my sin. I'm pressing into Christ so that I might experience the full measure of freedom found in Jesus.
We are official!! That's right, as of Tuesday, we are licensed foster parents in the State of Texas! Everything is complete and we could receive our first placement(s) any day now. We will let you know when that happens! Until then, we wait.