Photo: Tyler Shaw

In my last post, I mentioned how the Grove had been nurturing my heart and soul.

Do you know what grows in a grove? Trees. Know what grows on trees? Fruit. You know what I haven’t been producing much of?

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control.
(That’s the fruit of the spirit for the new folk.)

Y’all want me to be real honest? I am severely lacking in each and every one of those. I’m trying to figure out what love looks like in a few situations right now. As Levi Lusko says, sometimes you can’t change what you’re looking at but you can change the filter in which you look through it. So I’m trying to change my filter. WWJD, for you nineties kids.

Lately, I haven’t been thinking or acting like Jesus. I’ve been sitting and stewing in my unfair situations. I’ve been venting to my friends and trying to resolve everything with my own reasoning. And that has gotten me nothing but anxiety and tears. I still don’t know exactly how to handle these things, but I think maybe God’s starting to show me the light. Trees need both light and rain to produce good fruit. Rain is part of the growing process.

In all of this, love looks like praying and seeking God first. Sometimes it looks like turning the other cheek, and sometimes it means setting up strong boundaries, respectfully. Even when it’s hard. Even when it hurts.

I can’t fathom why people go out of their way to be mean or disrespectful or why some people don’t live by the same code of common courtesy or decency. But that doesn’t change my calling to love, to be kind, good, and gentle, to seek peace. 

Sometimes I’m pulled towards temporal desires that seem not only harmless but good, until I look at it in light of the Word. I’m called to have patience and self-control and faithfulness.

Please forgive me if you are one of the people whom I’ve vented to lately. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being patient and kind to me, when I couldn’t figure out how to be to others. I’m going to start taking these things to God like I should have done from the beginning. He can handle all of this. And the outcomes very seldom look anything like what we have in mind. (And PTL for that!)

I’m not really sure how to close this, because all of this is just as much a work in progress as I am. So please bear with me. I’m a hot mess but I’m learning. God’s just working on this fruit deficiency.