It has been SO long since I’ve written anything, longer than I’ve gone in over seven years without writing anything! There are so many things whirling around in my head that I want to write but I haven’t seemed to be able to organize my thoughts, and the chaos of a new house hasn’t helped. But a couple things happened last week and there’s a picture I can’t get out of my head so I’m just going to start writing and see what happens.
In our new house we are completely redoing the backyard. We had the old pool deck taken out, we are resurfacing the pool and adding a lawn, it’s going to look like a completely different space. Last weekend our concrete guy had a guy out here with a tractor digging trenches for the new pool plumbing, and while he was at it he dug up the roots of the ivy that had taken over a portion of the backyard.
I think ivy cascading up an old stone wall or building is quite beautiful but when it’s in my backyard taking over like a weed, it is not my favorite. Our house was built in 1959, so I’m guessing the ivy has been around for a long time so the roots went deep. The previous owners had tried to get rid of it by simply putting gravel over it and covering it up, but it was still thriving under all the decorative rock.
I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture, but when the backhoe pulled out the final bit of root base, I was in shock at how large it was. I’d never seen anything so small, and pretty on top, come from something SO big and so ugly under the surface. I found this image on Google to give you a visual, but ours was actually even bigger!
As I thought about the roots, and how twisted, mangled and ugly they were the Lord reminded me of something else that had happened earlier in the week. We have been struggling with my daughter, with some attitude and behavior issues, and earlier that week everything had come to a head. I called Matt while he was at work and told him I just didn’t know what to do anymore, it felt like everything I said and tried was failing, and I wasn’t hearing anything from the Lord. Matt decided we should sit her down that evening and have a mini inner healing session.
First we talked through the things we knew were issues and Matt read her a few passages in the Bible, then he lead her through a couple prayers. After that I asked her if there was anything else on her mind, anything making her sad, angry, etc.
What she brought up actually surprised me because it was something that happened a year and a half ago. She mentioned she still missed Taz, our kitten that died (you can read the story HERE). I asked her how it made her feel thinking about Taz and she said she was really angry. When I asked “at who” she said she was angry at God and at the vet for killing him (which the vet didn’t “kill” him, he actually did everything he could to save him).
As I leaned in a little more we discovered she’d been harboring anger and fear toward God and the vet for all this time. Everything appeared good on the surface but this unforgiveness had been brewing in her, allowing the enemy to lie to her for all this time. So I got out our Love After Marriage tool book and walked her through forgiveness, then we used another tool to nail anger and fear to the cross. After nailing each thing to the cross she asked God to give her something in place of the anger and fear, and it was so incredible to hear the things God blessed her with as she handed the strongholds over to Him.
Which brings me back to where we started, the ivy. I know it’s a common analogy to talk about our sins being roots, I mean it even talks about it in the Bible, but what hit me this week wasn’t the fact that our sins take root in us but how mangled, twisted, ugly and BIG they are under the surface!
When I saw that big, ugly root come out of the surface I honestly felt like I was looking at a demon, and I can’t get the picture out of my head. On the surface we try to get rid of the ivy by treating it with a variety of sprays, or poisons, similarly to how we deal with our sins. On the surface we try to treat our sins by focusing on other people’s problems, judging them, gossiping, stirring up trouble, being mean to others, or by numbing them with workouts, drugs and alcohol. But all the while the enemy mocks you, and then another shoot-off of the root forms until you have a whole mess of ivy in your “yard”. The original sin has quadrupled in size under the surface but you don’t even remember what the original problem was because now you’re drowning in all the off-shoots.
In my daughter’s case, anger was a raging demon under the surface but her off-shoots looked like attitude, defiance, untrustworthy, etc. We were treating all the surface issues because we didn’t know anger was the puppet master behind the scene using all the other tactics to stay hidden.
But it’s not just my daughter, we all have these mangled, ugly roots hidden below the surface, that are years in the making. You struggle with so many little things because you’ve forgotten where it all began and your “puppet master” has gotten really good at disguising himself.
We have to stop treating the symptoms!
You need to go to the root of the problem, your life depends on it.
Your well being depends on it.
The lives of other’s around you depend on it because until you can uproot it, you will never fully be able to be who you were called to be. You will waste your life treating the symptoms but never fully walk in your identity until you can uproot your demons and allow Christ to fill those areas.
No one can be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted.” Proverbs 12:3 NIV
When I walked through my deliverance (read about it HERE) my root was Control. For 27 years Control had manifested himself as depression, insecurity, hatred, and a bunch of other ugly things but at the root of all those things, the puppet master was Control. Getting rid of Control saved my life and transformed me into a completely different person (just ask my husband).
We can try to build ourselves up, we can treat our symptoms all day long but until we are rooted in Christ, they will keep coming back. But that’s not what God wants for you. As His child He has a much better plan for you and it’s written out perfectly in Ephesians 3.
I pray that He would unveil within you the unlimited riches of His glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with His divine might and explosive power. Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life. Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is His love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God! Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly energizes you.” Ephesians 3:16-20
What a beautiful picture. God wants to do “infinitely more than your greatest request“, because He loves you, because you are His child and because He’s a good Father.
Don’t allow the ugliness mangled under the surface tell you anything different anymore. You deserve freedom, you are worthy of freedom and anything that tells you otherwise is a lie.
Just like I was a completely different person after my deliverance, after my daughter’s mini inner healing session last week, she woke up a completely different kid the next morning. She had child-like joy again, she was truly happy, she had been set free.
Now it’s your turn.