Bottom Line: Be gentle and allow yourself time as you heal from abuse!
As a child, I hated working outside. Raking leaves, weeding, mowing was all gross and not fun. It was a job. My dad always told me, “When you get older, you will love working outside.” He was wrong. Working outside has always been something I did because it needed to be done, period.
Balance my intense dislike for outdoor work with my absolute love for nature, and you have an unusual equation. I love nature. I love breathing in fresh air. I love the wind, sun, stars, and rain. You name it; nature is my passion. Sitting in nature is a gift!
This week I have been looking at my yard. It is that time of year when weeds try to emerge faster than grass. I knew I needed to pull some of the weeds before their roots became too strong. This morning, I set a timer for thirty minutes and decided to get rid of as many weeds as I could during that time.
While pulling weeds, the Lord spoke to me about healing. Here is what I learned.
First, each weed is different.
When fighting monster-sized weeds with deep roots, I needed to loosen the dirt around the weed and then attempt to remove the weed by the roots. If the root was too deep, it impacted the dirt around it, also. However, when working with a weed with a small root structure, I could simply pull the base, and the root would come out.
Second, pulling weeds requires gentleness and takes time.
If I quickly pulled out a weed, I would likely not pull out the root structure, and the weed would return. But when I slowed down and was gentle while wiggling out the root, most of the time, I could remove the roots.
Healing from abuse is much like pulling a weed.
The weed, or problem, shouldn’t be in your yard. It is something that as you look at your life, you probably wish it were not present. But it is. If you are brave enough to face your need to heal, you must walk into the yard, shovel in hand, and be willing to spend time removing the weed knowing each weed will be different. You must apply gentleness and work on areas surrounding the weeds that have taken root. You must face the challenge for small amounts of time and then take a break. Most importantly, you must believe that the work matters. And, sometimes, you might need to accept that despite your best effort, you won’t get the entire root of the weed. It will grow back. However, when it does, you will have even more confidence facing the weed because you have removed it before.
If you are healing from abuse, I encourage you that your efforts matter.
Today, I pulled a few weeds. Those areas of my yard are healthier than they were before I started. Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged because you have a big yard. Instead, celebrate the area that is healthier now than before you started. Finally, realize that when a weed is removed, the area will be different possibly more vulnerable than it was before. But in the freshly turned soil, new life will grow.
You are immensely important. Your life is designed to flourish. You are beautiful. It is hard to look at weeds and pull them, but your healing is important enough to do it. You are worth it. The weeds are not the story of your life. Your story is created by the decisions you make. And each day, you can decide to work, pull weeds, and invest time into returning your life to the beautiful creation God intended it to be.
You may also read about Move from Abuse Victim to Survivor.