I believe I’m at the end of a pruning season that God has been putting me through.
Well, what’s pruning you ask?
Pruning is a process used on trees or plants to cut away dead, or overgrown branches and stems to produce growth, and extend life. Proper pruning is said to extend the beauty of plants.
Which reminds me of John 15. Jesus speaks of him being a vine, and God being the gardener because He cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit.
In order for fruit to grow it must be connected to the vine which is Christ.
But, what’s not mentioned is how painful it is to cut off what is dead and over grown in our lives.
What isn’t mentioned is the frustrations, tears, and moments of loneliness that we go through once we go under the pruning process.
Some of you may think you’re just going through difficult times because you’re extremely unlucky.
Before you label what you’re going through as unluck, let’s determine if you’re actually just going through a pruning season.
- Sign 1: All your plans fail
It seems like anything that had a slight chance at going well always ends up failing. You can’t get anything right! You put in hundreds of applications and just can’t get a job. You make a million attempts to save yourself from financial trouble but some emergency always comes up. You try to keep family issues from arising, but they always do! It seems like you try, and try…and try but you just can’t get a break.
I can assure you, in most cases you might have to rethink your decision making skills, or… you just might be getting pruned! Sometimes God shuts doors so that we don’t walk into something before it’s proper time. He may even keep a door shut to let you know he doesn’t want you to walk through that door ever again. Always evaluate the season you’re in and ask God what he is trying to do in your life.
- Sign 2: People leave your life
It seems like people are leaving your life left and right. Your friendships, and relationships keep walking out on you, and you’re not sure why. Or, you do you know why but it seems to be for small or petty reasons. Now, you feel alone, Saturdays are spent in isolation, and you just want to pick up the phone and call the people who abandoned you.
But, before you pick up that phone, understand that feeling lonely is one of the biggest indicators that God is drawing you back to him.
When I could no longer communicate with those closest to me, I always had to find someone else to lean on. I needed another shoulder, another ear, or really, another crutch.
Once the crutch was removed my unhealthy ways of walking were revealed. It became clear I used other people to carry me when that position should have only been occupied by God. God will prune you of people so you can connect with Him.
- Sign 3: But then, you make divine connections
Oh but WHEN those connections cut off, I met so many people friendship wise, and career-wise. The purposeful connections came flooding in! I knew after so many bad connections, that God was waiting for me to truly depend and trust in Him, before he would send the people I needed my way.
- Sign 4: The change hurts, but deep down, feels good.
Pruning hurts, but it hurts good. Similar to a vaccination, the pain goes deep, but it gives you what you need to grow and endure. Admit it, although you were sad to see that friend go, or relationship with your ex fall apart, deep down you had peace about it.
In the midst of pruning, you’ll see that while the shaping and sculpturing you’re under is painful, it’s sharpening you into something beautiful.
- Sign 5: Your trust for God deepens
God defined generosity after himself. In the midst of my pruning process I remember being completely angry with God. I had been jobless for a few months, I couldn’t afford to do anything, some of my closest friendships had ended, I had tons of family issues going on, and I was heartbroken. I remember complaining to my friend about how awful my life is. She looked at me and smiled and said, “Rose, I know you’re in this season of feeling like everything is being taken from you, but, don’t think God is just going to take from you without ever restoring something.” In that moment it was hard to believe her wisdom, or believe that God cared about what I was going through, but in a few weeks God turned everything around for me and is still doing so. He does not take from you without having intention to add to you. Often times we lack confidence in that truth.
Your trust deepens, even in pruning seasons when you know God has a track record of always being good. Now anytime I get angry with something failing in my life, I always use what I went through last year as a reference point to the things God can do if I just trust Him.
I hope these signs have added definition to what you’re going though, and trust that when God is finished pruning you’ll understand that he truly does make all things beautiful. Pruning isn’t only a process, but a privilege to know that Who we belong to, is invested in us.
Queen, God sees the beauty in us so much that He will cut through layers and layers just to get to it.
You’re in the hands of your Beloved Queens. Don’t forego your season of pruning just to be comfortable in your familiarity.