Pruning. When we look at it from a logical perspective it means to trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth. I feel like we hear this word often when we start to talk about spirituality and the seasons God has us go through. But we never really sit down with the pruning piece of the seasons. We sow, we reap, we grow, and find a gratifying harvest. And while God is faithful in all of those pieces, He is faithful in the pruning as well.
I get it. Pruning is uncomfortable. Pruning is shrinking, trimming back, and removing things from our lives that we may love. It could be crutches keeping us comfortable in our complacency or sunglasses blinding our eyes to what God wants us to see. Whatever it may be, it is something God has decided we no longer need, because it doesn’t serve us BEST. It isn’t increasing our growth or bringing forth any new fruit. And that is ultimately what God wants for us, the best new growth and fruit this world has to offer. But that doesn’t mean it is easy or painless.
Let's be real here, I like to hold onto things. Change isn’t something I welcome. In fact, I usually run away from it clutching onto my crutches of complacency until they hurt me more than help me. But in my mind these dead things that are no longer serving me are comfortable, they are known, and “secure”. I’ve told y’all how I deal with anxiety (I’ve been through a devastating divorce) and had a bit of a rough go of things these last few years. Sometimes when I write these blogs I wonder how anyone could get anything from them, because I have been smack in the middle of my pruning season. Out in the wilderness with my branches being trimmed back until I can see light again. And let me just say; it hurts. I know. It's painful to be pruned, but there is so much more to pruning than pain and loss. It has taken me a minute but I have come to understand something in this season.
God decided that I was worthy of pruning. That's it. The whole perspective shift that I needed to change my posture from one holding tightly onto dead branches to opening my hands and allowing God to shape me how He desires too. To let go of control because I don’t know best, but He does. He is good and kind and He wants more for me than to be one wildflower in a field: He wants me to BE the field full of flowers. All because He decided that I was worthy of pruning. Of refinement. That I am worthy of the wilderness that I could so easily get lost in. He has allowed me to walk into this wilderness and be pruned because I am His child and He knows nothing will ever change that. It's not because I am some super wonderful human being that God has set aside. It is because I choose to let Him. In fact, I asked Him to do this.
Have you ever prayed like this? “God, if it's not meant for me take it from me, God if it's not from you I don’t want it, God if it no longer serves you I don’t want it.” And if you have, why do we get so surprised when he takes it? Whatever IT is? And WHAT in the world is more precious than the GREATNESS God has for us in, during, and beyond the pruning? Nothing is. The pruning can be painful, but only if you look at it like you’re being stripped down and losing things. God doesn’t take things away to leave you empty. He isn’t a God that picks all your petals off and hopes you’ll regrow one day. He trims you back gently, so you can become a field full of flowers. He removes things to replace them with BETTER things. The very best of things. God wants you to have the absolute best. Abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)
So maybe if you’re in a season of pruning you can join me in this perspective shift and posture change. What an honor it is to be deemed worthy of God’s pruning. What an honor He wants to be so intricately involved in our lives that he won’t settle for “good enough”. God wants the very best, and the best may just start with us opening our hands, and allowing Him to prune what is dead so he can replace it with new growth. Because you were meant to be more than one small flower; you’re meant to be a field of them.
“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2
Maggie is a Psychology Enthusiast, Writer, and an Advocate for Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing. She has walked through brokenness and learned that she’s not alone there. She wants to bring radical, relatable, and raw content that allows people to see into her journey and find hope there that illuminates their darkness. Connect with Maggie to learn more.