I feel like a repotted young tree, in new soil, new environmental conditions, and pruned back in order to survive the transition. Familiar places under which I received shade, close friends, 2nd mile church, routines and rituals of Cambodian life, are no more. I have been uprooted.
Probably the most important thing I can do following this transplant is to focus on my roots. Deepening them into the rich soil you always provide; your word, your people, your creation. And to give thanks for the existence of new shade in this harsh dry land; for our Australian families and sisters and brothers in love. And even a new school community for the kids. And of course you Lord. You who provide rain, sunshine, control the wind and sustain all that is needed for life.
I am the same tree, my core needs and desires haven’t changed, but I need to allow you time to see how and when I can produce fruit for others here, and the branches that need to grow. The nature of my fruit; my desire to help others thrive and honor what you have called them to do, probably won’t change, but my branches will and must.
A stronger and healthier domestic grace filled family focused branch is needed. Branches that provide shelter for others who need them and where birds make nest and joyful sounds abound. Branches that don’t necessarily look like the type of branches many Australians desire . . . may I choose fullness instead of busyness, rest instead of exhaustion, fruit to share instead of filling our own barns, and compassion instead of competition.
May I always remember that any growth and fruit is yours, existing to bring you glory and not my own ends. And Lord when you choose to crush and press my fruit, may I not avoid or resist these times. Help me to remember that out of your winepress comes new wine. And if new branches are slow to grow, don’t blossom, or fruits fall; still may I rejoice in you (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
Lord may my roots and branches intertwine with Josh’s. May we provide shade, protection and shelter for one another. When one of us is vulnerable, may the other be strong. May our roots both deepen into your rich, love and life giving soil. May we know the vision you have called us to, in this place and a glimpse of what lies ahead, and even if it seems slow in being realised, may we wait faithfully for it. (Habakkuk 2:2-3).
And right now, when I am already hoping and dreaming about the branches I might develop, help me to remember that above all, my roots matter. In the process of being repotted I am still in a state of shock, as is our family. Knowing in advance one will be transplanted does not prevent one from the reality of needing to reconstruct a new life in new soil and unfamiliar conditions. And this is exhausting. So I ask for wisdom to know when to extend grace to myself and others to just be, and when to reach high and grab hold of what might be nothing, but hold on in faith until Lord, by your grace, it becomes something.
As you think about roots and branches, which are in need of some attention in this season of life?