Now it was my turn. Years of appearance management, perfectionism both in church leadership and home, had left me very dry. I was just as broken but felt no energy to go forward working on our marriage. It was at this juncture that I came across Signed Sealed Delivered. I became obsessed, watching videos, buying the series, and binge watching late at night. I began following people on Twitter. This opened up a whole new world of interaction with people from all over the world. I even ventured out to meet some of these people in person. It was like I was put to sleep in some areas, much like surgery, but I was waking up in other areas.
This year the Lord began to wake me up teaching me about a place called the garden, or actually my heart. Recently, I watched Higher Ground and heard a song by Kari Jobe called the Garden. He began to unpack this message so that I could go to a new place of healing.
When God had made Adam in a garden it was a place of rest and communion. When he sinned life became one of works and futility rather than rest and fruitfulness. This is where I was living. Always striving to be perfect, to please everyone and handle all the problems of those around me. In this lifestyle, my needs were always shoved to the bottom of the pile, occasionally bubbling up in anger or depression. God started showing me that because of Jesus the price of work had been paid and all He wanted was me to commune with Him, pour out my heart and listen for His still small voice.
I believe his greatest hurt may have been with God. Did God really love him personally enough to allow him to find a future with someone to love? His soul was cluttered with pain, fear and doubt much like the DLO was cluttered with boxes. Had God allowed another woman to come into his life only to abandon him? He was outside the garden, sinking in depression, defaulting to his old walls of defense. This described me perfectly. I had great faith for others but did I really believe God loved me personally? Had I not always felt kind of like the outcast of the family? Would God really want to just fellowship without me jumping through hoops to perform? So while the outside looked perfectly put together the inside was a clutter of doubt and fear.
Norman and Joe spoke words that pruned Oliver back. Their words called him to rise up to take action by pursuing Shane and taking his time when he kissed her again. This was possible because Oliver was able to crack the door to his heart just enough to allow them in to help. This has proven to be a big key to my life also. We are never called to be an island to ourselves. We need others to share our broken places. Those “pruning words” helped Oliver to love better. I have found safe places to speak about my hurts, disappointments and failures. Here loving people have helped to be the hands and hugs of the Savior. Love is blooming in my heart once again in my marriage where I had thought it was impossible.
I believe God calls us back to a garden life, a place where we fellowship with Him and others, seeing and being seen. Here Christ, the Tree of Life satisfies and heals our hearts. He fills us with His love and acceptance so that we can find the courage to love others well. I am finding I no longer have to perform for His approval. He freely gives me grace and mercy. All He wants is for me to come walk with Him in this garden life allowing Him to make me fruitful. For me this has meant, seeing my heart come back to life and my marriage find "higher ground."
Lori is a pastor at The Waters Church, Kombucha conniseur and lover of all things POstables.
The Living Letters series will continue as long as there are stories to share. If you would like to contribute something about how Signed, Sealed, Delivered has impacted your life that you'd be willing to share here on A&D, feel free to email me.
Here's the song mentioned above for your listening enjoyment: