The Pain of Pruning (and I’m not talking about my plants)

Have you ever been in a season of your life when everything seems to go wrong and is painful? That’s how this last year has been for me and my family.  It felt like everything my husband and I touched just went the wrong way. 

My poor husband has battled chronic kidney stones every since he was 18.  He’s had more than 40 surgeries and only Lord knows how many he has passed.  This last May one of his surgeries had complications and both of his ureter tubes got strictured closed, so he wasn’t able to pass any urine and he went into acute kidney failure.  And everything went downhill from there.  Tubes in his back going to his kidneys so they could drain, going septic twice (super scary!!!), and a reconstruction on one tube and they had to move the bladder so it would reach. All over the last 5-6 months.

Needless to say, he wasn’t able to work so we went from a two-income family down to one. His employer didn’t have short term disability and we are still working on the long-term disability.  So, add money stress on top of health worries.

My mental health issues really started to surface and started to have health issues of my own.  I had a hard time focusing at work, irritable and no patience, anxious and worried about EVERYTHING! I couldn’t get out of my own head.  There were days all I could do was cry and not want to get out of bed.  And yes, there were times I didn’t even want to live anymore.  I was spiraling quickly and couldn’t find a way out.  Luckily, I found an amazing counselor who is helping me through my anxiety and depression.  If you are suffering from anxiety and/or depression please go see a counselor ASAP to get help! And while you are waiting to see them call a friend/family member to talk to. You are NOT alone!

I kept thinking I would get better. I could pull myself out of this.  I can do it on my own.  I don’t need help.  I am super woman.  Oh boy…the Lord had other plans for me.  He humbled me to the point I was crying on my closet floor, begging Him to take the pain away. 

It felt like I was invisible, that no one else could understand what I was going through.  And that God wasn’t hearing me.  My sisters, listen when I say to you, HE HEARS YOU!! But if he had pulled me out of my funk right then and there I wouldn’t have learned anything and started to change.  Because He didn’t answer right away I learned:

·       To humble myself and ask for help – HUGE for me!

·       How to take care of myself and getting the counseling I so desperately needed

·       To start standing up for myself and what matters most to me

·       To be more mindful and less wasteful with our money

·       To slow down and be in the present moment

·       Learning that these really were mental health issues and to seek help

·       Was given the time to do things I really love and discover/rediscover my passions and desires for my life

I thank God for His perfect timing.  It isn’t always easy to accept, but there is grace in the waiting.  He is pruning us to become something greater than we can even imagine.  If I had known what I would have to go through to get to this point, I would have said no thank you.  But then I would continue to live in misery.  God wants us to have a joyful and abundant life.  And in order to have that He has to remove what isn’t working for us so we can have new growth, something more beautiful. Then give glory to Him for the miraculous ways He works in our life.

I am so grateful He takes the time and energy to prune me so I can be more like Jesus every day.  I want people to look at me and wonder what’s different about me…that way I can tell them it’s Jesus. He is the vine and I am the branches. He takes care of me and I can rely on Him to make me stronger every day.  And He can rely on me to go and share His love with others.

I would love to hear how this resonates with you.  Leave me a comment below.  Please share with anyone else who might need to hear this word.