Monday, April 07, 2014

Spring Green


Two summers ago we put a pool in our backyard. It was a fantastic decision for us since we live in such a hot, muggy climate. The aftermath of pool installation is that you have a muddy mess of a yard. Factoring the cost of landscaping into the whole project is a must.

I was especially excited about a the arrival of a willow tree that was going to be in the corner of our yard. The day it came I remembered the willow tree in the yard of a rental house we lived in when I was four. There was something magical about it.  I thought our kids would love it.

We were told to expect the tree, in a bit of shock, to shed all its leaves at first but that they would come back. Sure enough, that beautiful young tree lost all its leaves. We waited for months for it to sprout new leaves. Fall came, winter came, spring came, but there were no signs of life.

A few months ago the landscapers returned with a new willow tree for us. It lost its leaves, which this time coincided with fall and winter. We had a couple hard freezes this year and I am really sad to say that every plant in our backyard is dead. The grass is emerald green again and all the trees behind our fence boast their new coverage. But every plant in our yard is a bundle of brown sticks. All but one, that is.

The willow tree lives.

How we cheered when the first burst of green we could see from our living room window was our humble willow.

My spirit is also green again.

It was a terribly harsh winter. The coldest I've ever felt. I thought I might never come back to life. There were times I wasn't sure I wanted to.

In late January a humble, trustworthy friend approached me in tears with a word from the Lord. The despair I was experiencing was not just grief. The enemy had come in my weakest moment and set a scheme in motion to finish me off. When she said these words I knew she was right: isolation, inconsolable hopelessness, and defiance. Hopelessness laying on me like a heavy blanket. This should have been hard for me to hear but it was the first hopeful thing I had heard in months. I knew the enemy did not have authority to oppress me like this for the rest of my days. Freedom was coming.

Later that day my husband and I went to war together. He poured oil on my hands and prayed for my deliverance. Then I prayed for myself and I renounced all the sinful things I had uttered with my lips in my despair.

The darkness lifted from me that day. For two weeks I felt like I was flying. It was like getting an epidural after three months of labor. The joy of my salvation was restored. I had never been instantly delivered from anything and I'm not sure I really believed people when they said it happened to them.  But in a moment, that terrible darkness that sought my end was defeated. Thank You, Jesus. He is truly my Savior and I love Him so much.

Right now the leaves on the trees outside are that beautiful, spring green color. It's almost lime green. If a color can sing, this one does. It sings about life and hope and renewal. As summer approaches the leaves will mature and the green will darken. We will give thanks for the shade they give us. And when the August heat scorches the land, the green will have to fight to stay that way. The gardeners will make sure the plants get the water they need when the sky withholds rain.

My spring green lasted those two lovely weeks. They were sweet and safe and full of song. I was like a bride on her honeymoon. And now my soul is summer green. The heat of life on earth surrounds me, but I am alive and bearing fruit.




32 comments:

This Is The Day said...

So happy to hear of God's healing grace working in you Amanda. What a testimony to His unfailing love. Thank you for sharing!

Kelly said...

Amanda! God is so good, so faithful to complete the work he starts. And, I don't want to give the enemy any more time than he warrants, but thank you for the warning that we must be wise even in our weakest moments, because he's after us. The excellent news is that God is for us, and he's already won that fight! Praise his name! I thank God for your friend's care for you. What a valuable gift. So glad you're back to life, Amanda.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I, too, found myself in a place like this a few months ago. A place of deafening silence in my spirit. I had allow my sisters cancer diagnosis and subsequent 20 month and counting battle with the disease wear me completely down. A disease with no end in sight because it has no cure left me disconnected intimately with my savior. Finally in my desperation, He spoke Hosea 10:12 to me and told me it was time to break up my fallow ground! I am like you now my precious friend - joying in the restoration of my spirit to the love of my Lord and God!

Tara G. said...

Rejoicing with you over a faithful friend who loved you so much so speak truth and hope into your life and a couple who believes God is big and powerful. Thank you for sharing your testimony! Romans 1:11,12

Missy June said...

May the sorrow of your winter be fertilizer for the coming harvest!

Kim Morgan said...

You have no idea the joy and hope and truth that you speak into so many lives! Thank you for sharing these personal things from your life. They truly change the perspectives of others - starting with me.

Be blessed!

Amber Forrest said...

Read Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Erica said...

Beautiful! So thankful for the deliverance, healing, and hope you have received!

Sarah said...

So glad you are doing better! Praise The Lord for the restoration of your joy. :)

Byron and Kelly said...

SO great to hear this! God is so good!! You are a fierce warrior (with really cool black wedges):-)

Holly said...

O Bless the LORD o my soul! How I have prayed for you, dear Lady. Love and continued prayers, as I lift a cup of tea in PRAISE! Holly

Colleen said...

You don't know me from Adam, but I've been praying for you...and I'm so very happy to read this!

jennie said...

Praise God! I have been praying for you!!!

Nancy said...

What a beautiful representation of the tree of life and the words of life you've been given to share. The battle is hard, but is so worth the struggle. Praising God with you.

marlece said...

Oh Amanda, He does redeem and set free doesn't He? That song that we know is little ones, "this is the day, this is the day that the Lord hath made, that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it!" I will being singing this for and over you for the rest of the day.
I love your boldness in your weakness. Also, grateful you have a man that goes to battle with and over you in His name.
Love, Marlece

Casey Springer said...

I'm so glad to hear that you are bursting forth in growth. I have also felt that this winter was the worst, and hardest of any I've ever lived through. The weather was terrible and that just echoed my heart. It is nice to know that I'm not the only one.

So glad to hear you are feeling refreshed.

Kathleen said...

My husband and I own and operate a landscape business. Great picture. New beginnings. Life. Hope. God's faithfulness in the dark becomes His testimony in the light. Yes and amen!

Angela Carson said...

So encouraging. Thanks for sharing that. It reminds me that nothing is too hard for Him. I praise God for a trustworthy and humble friend that was brave enough to come to you with words that pierced the darkness. Rejoicing with you. :)

Holliday Family said...

O happy day! Amen!

Dionna Sanchez said...

Bless your heart, Amanda. I love the analogy. And I understand that feeling of coming out on the other side of something that has wrapped its claws around your heart. Air never feels so good to breathe as in these moments.

Laura said...

O happy day! His healing grace, oh praise him! He is making beauty from the ashes. What Satan would use to destroy you....GOD will use for his glory!

Much love to you...

Tara Craver said...

So glad to see this post! Oh heavens this Texas heat that will be upon us soon! So thankful for the work The Lord is doing in you!

Mimi said...

May Easter hold a whole new meaning for you this year, dear Amanda. You are loved with an everlasting love and underneath are the everlasting arms. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us and God bless.

Ann said...

Praise the Lord! And praise Him for your friend who shared a Word with you!

D said...

Beautiful! The seasons are a picture of our lives. What a gift from His Hand.

Kristi said...

Hallelujah!!!

Robin said...

Thankful you are writing again.

Skyline Spirit said...

pretty nice blog, following :)

Pam S said...

My daughter was killed in a tragic car accident in January. Twenty-two years, two months and two days of the best thing that ever happened to me was gone in a blink of the eye. I never got to see her again. Glad I stumbled upon this blog post today. I'm ready to come back to life.

Katie said...

This is so so good to read. I have prayed and cried for you often since your last post. Praise the Lord!!

As I read, your writing brought to mind 2 passages. I bet you were thinking of them too. You put them in your own works so gorgeously. They are:

James 5:14-16 and Jer. 17:7-8

Thank you for being transparent. Thank you for writing.

Laurie said...

Sweet Amanda,
You don't know me, but I was praying for you. I am thrilled for you. Enjoy your willow tree and all it brings in memory and representation of spiritual realities.

thenewbec said...

<3