Keeping the Faith When the Fences Come Down|The Holy Mess

As I prepare to put my house up for sale, an occurrence that is happening quite a bit lately among the contributors to this website, I decided to dismantle the garden that I’ve worked so hard to create and maintain for the last few years.

I really enjoyed the garden as it not only gave me an opportunity to work outside and enjoy nature but also to enjoy and share the fruits (or in this case vegetables) of my labor.

When the Fences Come Down

After pulling up posts, removing the fence, and tilling the soil, I was left with two patches of bare ground. The yard looked so empty.


All of the hours of sweat and sunburn and sore knees now seemed but a faint memory, and often times those were the fun parts. Creating a bountiful garden takes a lot of hard work — a lot more than I expected.

garden3A couple weeks after spreading the grass seed over the two patches of land, I noticed a strange thing.

One patch was growing beautifully, as bright green follicles were bursting forth through the cold black dirt; but the other patch looked just as it had when I first tilled the ground, without a blade of grass to be found. I used the same grass seed on each, and the patches of ground are only a few feet away from each other.

How can one patch be growing so beautifully and the other not?

The last 18 months of my life have been extraordinarily difficult, more difficult than I actually admit to others and probably even myself. For those of you who are new readers or are unfamiliar with my previous blogs, my mother passed away very unexpectedly in December 2014.

To say my posts were pulled  (metaphorically speaking) is a vast understatement. As a result of her passing, I decided to move in with my father to help him, and I basically began a brand new life in many ways.

Many of the changes have been somewhat gradual. I am only now beginning the process of getting the house ready for sale, even though I’ve been living with my dad full-time well over a year. Even though a lot of time has passed, the adaptation is still happening, and some days I wonder if things will ever feel normal again.

gardenI wish I could say I am like the patch of ground that is prospering and growing and adapting to the adjustments made; however, if I’m being totally honest with you, I am feeling more like the other.

I just can’t seem to get my sprouts to grow again! How can others who have experienced such a terrible tragedy as the death of a loved one seemingly bounce back so quickly, while I am still struggling nearly a year and a half later?

My friends, are there areas of your life where your posts have been pulled and your fences torn down? Are you having trouble adapting to “normal” life after a huge change has occurred?

I share this with you to let you know you’re not alone.

There are days I struggle to get out of bed in the morning. I’m not as funny and outgoing as I used to be in person. Thankfully, working on my blogs for The Holy Mess has helped me at least retain a portion of my humor in written form.

I am irritable with others, in some ways I feel abandoned and scared, and I am discontent in pretty much every area of my life. But… BUT… I retain the promise that all is not lost and things will improve. My grass will start growing again somewhere down the road.

Keeping the Faith When the Fences Come Down

Here are some reminders of the hope we retain in order to survive the obstacles that cross our paths:

Romans 12:12 – Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Psalm 42:11 – Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

garden2I shall not stop planting the grass seed until every last inch of dirt is covered in the beautiful green of God’s creation. There may continue to be days I’m down on my knees working on the soil with every ounce of energy I have. There may continue to be days I’m still not happy with the way things are growing (or not growing).

Yet I shall continue to hold firm in the expectation and promise of what will eventually come up – in God’s time.