by Katie Brittenham
With each of our girls, we planted a tree when they were born. One day last week I was walking back from the mailbox and Hope’s tree was front and center. Its beauty took me by surprise. I thought back to several years ago when a storm came through. Hope’s tree was about as big around as the size of my arm. After the storm, we noticed that Hope’s tree had snapped in two. I was devastated. Thoughts of “what will we do?” “She only has one tree!” flooded my mind. Evidently, her tree was not strong enough to endure the storm. We were left with about a two-foot stump. No Hope tree! After several weeks, the stump began to sprout. New leaves were forming. There was hope for her tree. We began to groom it and nurse it back to health. Once the new tree was established, my husband cut off the old part of the tree. It was in the way now, but Hope’s tree was alive and it had a story.
Many of us have the same story. We have gone through storms. We are not the same as before. We’ve been snapped in two. Sometimes we wonder why or where’s God. But eventually we sprout new branches. We are stronger and we have a story to tell. God has cut off the old and nursed us back to new – a better new! Now, we have a story in Him.
Jesus says in John 15: 5 & 6, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.”
How many of you have felt cut off, thrown away, and cast into the fire? God has a plan. His word says, “He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Rest in that today! Praise Him today! We have this promise: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. We also know that Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
Let’s praise Him today! Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Fast forward to now, years later. If you drove by my house, you would see this beautiful tree. Strong, tall, and beautiful! You would not know the story behind its beauty. From the road, you cannot tell the story of the storm or the care it received after. You do not know how it struggled. You would only see the flaming red foliage of a tree well lived. Shining His glory for all to see!
This month we are celebrating our blessings. We are reminded where God has brought us from. We look back at the storms in our lives and realize what a blessing they were. We realize we would not be the women we are today without them. We would not be able to radiate His glory without them. Let’s shine for Him!
Katie is a stay-at-home mama of four girls. Most days this means walking a fine line between total joy and utter chaos. Outside of her family, she has a passion for helping moms everywhere and serves as a Community Coach for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International. With the rest of her time, she likes to cook, take walks, and go on road trips.