The Gardener of My Soul

“Your Mom never yelled at you?” Asked my puzzled 9-year old son one day I was talking to him and to his 6-year old brother about my mother, who neither of them got to meet on this side of heaven. Thinking back on that day, I still feel the sting of failure when I remember my son’s look of amazement at the realization that there are mothers who don’t yell at their children. I have struggled with my temper ever since I remember. My excuse has always been that lack of control runs in my family. Lately, however, the Holy Spirit has made me aware that such an excuse is no longer valid.

Conviction comes to my heart particularly through my young sons. The Lord has shown me how they are actually not just little boys, but men-in-waiting. As such, they have an inherent need for respect planted in their DNA by their Maker. In theory, I know my husband and I should do all we can to respect them and teach them the way they should go, so when they’re grown, they won’t depart from it. In reality, I often fail at my attempts. Awareness of my flaws overwhelms me. Feelings of inadequacy grow like a malevolent weed that chokes the fruits of patience and self-control within me.

All too often, my raised voice bounces off the walls with the potential to humiliate and wound my sons’ young souls. I try to reign myself in, but the more I try, the more I lose control. I pray to God that He will just change me instantaneously, but despite my pleadings in the dark of night, I am still the same. I try to produce the fruits of the Spirit in my heart, but the soil seems hopelessly barren regardless of my best efforts.

The truth is that I can’t change - not on my own. The truth is that even though the Lord does have the ability to change me instantaneously, His ways are not my ways and His time is not my time. God often chooses character building over keeping harmony. Until I allow Him to clear out the weeds and the brush in the field that is my heart, my life will not bear His fruit.

The growing season would begin as I obey the nudging of the Holy Spirit, one day at a time. By letting go of my relentless desire to control every aspect of my days, I can let Him be the gardener of my soul. As my Divine Gardener, He will grow His fruits in me so His attributes would become evident in my life to all who surround me. As the keeper of my heart, He will prune me into someone who bears His true image.

A few days ago, I obeyed the urge to tell my 9-year old that I respect him very much. I told him that I know he will grow up to be a great man, just like his daddy. I wanted him to know that if I sometimes sound disrespectful toward him it is because I struggle with lack of patience and self-control, but I am praying that God changes me.

I don’t know how much of what I said he actually understood. Perhaps I will find out someday. For now, I pray for myself and for all overwhelmed mothers that the Holy Spirit continues to turn fields of weeds into blossoming gardens. I pray that we understand and accept that it is not by our own power or timing, but by His hand that we’ll produce His fruits.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12: 9 (NIV)

About the Author: Christian wife and working mother of one biological and one adopted son. I am a foreign born citizen of Hispanic origin who loves this great country, and calls it her own. Above all, I seek the Lord and His Kingdom, and it is my desire to share my love for my Savior, Jesus Christ, with all who would listen. You can follow my blogs at: http://asyougrowinmyheart.blogspot.com