Spiritual Pruning: Part 2

I’m of an age that my body has taken to growing warts. One of my sisters calls them barnacle warts, but since I’m not 100% sure that mine are like hers, I have simply named mine “old lady warts”.

The first one showed up on my right leg. When it got annoying, I went to my doctor and had it frozen off. Holy freaking cow, that freaking hurt!!! Plus, I ended up with something that resembled a large blueberry on my leg for about 3 days until it healed to the point I was able to cover it while it finished dying. So unpleasant was that experience that when one showed up on my face (temple area), I decided to go after it with natural remedies. Months and months and many more months passed, but in time I managed to kill it with a combination of ACV and Lemon essential oil. Yup, I slowly burned it off my face!

“How many other dead things are you putting up with.”

A whisper of the Holy Spirit

Then I got one on my arm, then on my other temple… and so on and so on. It seems my body has become an ongoing war-zone for the fighting off of old lady warts (OLWs).

In my post Spiritual Pruning: Part 1, I mentioned a conversation I had with God (via a journal entry) that had significant impact on me. I’ll share that entry with you in a moment, but for now I’m reminded another journal entry from earlier in the year. It was the moment God showed me I had been tolerating, tending to, and nurturing dead things.

"Nurturing the dead things" www.puttinghopetowork.com
“Nurturing the dead things” http://www.puttinghopetowork.com

This was back in March, and for months I had been rebuking and treating a particularly annoying OLW on my backside, aka bum. [Because my hope is that you will continue reading my blog posts, I did not paint a word-picture of Miss Hope’s bum (whew!) but instead of Miss Hope tending to and watering a dead fruit tree. Your welcome!!] Anywhoo, this backside OLW was in the process of dying (I could tell by the feel of it), but it wouldn’t get off of me! And on this particular day, while showering for church, I noticed yet another OLW. *pfft* Now I was miffed, and I said to myself and to that newly emerging OLW “I’m gonna kill you!” And then I remembered the one dying on my bum, the one that wouldn’t go away, and I said to myself and to it “I’m tired of you, I’m gonna scrub you off of me!” And I grabbed my little dollar store loofa, soaped it up, and …

WITHIN TWO SCRUBS, IT POPPED OFF!!
*BAM! GONE!* Just like that!

Pruning
Spiritual Pruning

And I heard the Lord whisper to my spirit: “See, it was dead but still hanging on until you refused to tolerate it anymore.”

Did you hear that friend? It was dead (powerless) but still hanging on …. because I had been tolerating it. Tending to it. Or worse.

See, it was dead (powerless) but still hanging on until you refused to tolerate it anymore.

A whisper of the Holy Spirit

I can’t even begin to recount the times that I’ve had the enemy knock on my door with a lie or with a threat or an attack of some kind, and instead of slamming the door in his/its face, I swung the door open, invited him/it in, and even sat down to chat with it over tea and cookies!

But what I so clearly heard the Lord ask me in this was “How many other dead things are you putting up with?”

Which brings me back to my journal entry and how by my repetitive declarations throughout 2019 and 2020 of “I don’t care”, I had been nurturing and tending to dead things in my life. My prayer is that in sharing this, the Lord might reveal to you some areas in your own life that might need to be pruned up. So here goes:

I am doing a housekeeping of the Nana Suite, it’s a process – working on it for several days and still not finished. I unboxed my old journals, found some dating back to 2007. I was tempted to keep them (still) or keep some. But while I flipped through, I saw a lot of the same recurring battles over and over and over again. That made me sad.

Sure, there are entries about powerful revelations and dreams and journies with battles won. Those are awesome! I want my grandkids to know that Nana!

Unfortunately, that Nana shares the same body as the binging Nana, the lonely Nana, the fighting “weariness of soul” Nana, the fearful Nana, and the “I don’t care anymore” Nana.

“I don’t care” (anymore)

How many times have I announced this – to myself and to others – in 2019 and 2020. Hundreds of times!

“I don’t care about a disappointing attempt at romance after 10+ years since my last date.”

“I don’t care about financial abundance, I just need enough to do God’s call.”

“I don’t care about having a nice car, or a new wardrobe, or everthing looking right in pretty.”

Some of these “I don’t care” statements were actually good and healthy revelations that THINGS do not make you happy – but that RELATIONSHIPS matter most!

Love of God
Love of Family
Internal peace and joy

But there was a nasty cutting edge to my statements that I didn’t see until now – and it has been inflicting pain on my soul.

“And neither do I care about me.” (my health, my aches, my fears, my needs)

Push them away! Stuff them down!

And that’s how I got here Lord, to this place in January 2021.

~ an entry from my journal, January 2021

We know from Proverbs 18:21 that “life and death are in the power of the tongue”, and here I had been … speaking death over myself throughout much of 2019 and 2020, tolerating an old lady wart on my spirit, and giving place to the enemy of my soul to rob life from me and to steal my joy!

Thankfully, through that journal entry, the Lord opened up my eyes to see what was going on, and this is how I concluded the entry:

Praise God and thank you Jesus, you called me back from the ledge!!

“I DO CARE!”
“I care about my health!”
“I care about my body!”
“I care about my legacy!”

“And because I care, I WILL CHANGE!”

So I tossed out all my old journals! If my grandkids someday find one to read, let it be one that authentically shows their flawed and very human Nana fighting the good fight of faith to take hold of all the joy and life available to her through the shed Blood of Jesus”

~ an entry from my journal, January 2021

I’m still very much in the midst of a 2021 “pruning”. But praise God, I’m not where I was back in January!

How about you friend? Are you feeling emotionally or spiritually stuck? Are you wrestling with complacency or discouragement? Are you, like me, tolerating the presence of dead things that God desires to prune off so that we can bear fruit, and then even more fruit?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the spiritual pruning process, perhaps come alongside you in prayer. Share a comment and let’s continue on in the pruning process, knowing that God only prunes those He loves and it’s always for our greater good and His glory.

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