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I Can See the Ivy

[From May 21, 2022]

When the Lord made a move on my heart in the fall of 2019 that Sunday at Zion Church when we were in the living room, I wept for two hours in deep repentance. I begged the Lord to remove the stump of alcoholism that had so deeply taken root in me and to make me want him more than I ever want anything again. It took time for me to surrender, but He has answered that prayer and so much more.

Lately I've been thinking about how He romanced me in the first year following that encounter. I met with Him nearly every day in the garden. It was already planted for me - a place of beauty, rest, and repeated encounter. There was no work involved, just surrender. Just love, light, bloom, fragrance, and fruit. The following year, the work began. Death came, and seeds dropped into the ground, including myself as I longed to go deeper and deeper both into the ground and into His presence, and He came in closer than ever.

You know, the original plan was not for us to just watch the garden grow. The plan was for us to steward it and to tend it. Sometimes pain towers tall. We cut it down, but it leaves a stump that is impossible for us in our own strength to remove. Last fall, He uprooted one of the deepest stumps of pain of all my life. I could see the good, soft soil we'd been tilling (He and I) fall into and fill the hole it left in my heart. I began having visions of good soil and green grass as He was restoring me back to his original plan. I saw a thick stream of blood run down from the foot of the cross and seep into the earth, with sweet grass springing up from the blood-soaked ground. Take me into Your garden, Lord. Let me be more and more deeply rooted in You, wrapped around You. Deeper still, Jesus. More. More than anything, I want more of You.

I had all

But given up

Desperate for

A sign from love

Something good

Something kind

Bringing peace to every corner of my mind

Then I saw the garden

Hope had come to me

To sweep away the ashes

And wake me from my sleep

I realized

You never left

And for this moment

You planned ahead

That I would see

Your faithfulness in all of the green

I can see the ivy

Growing through the wall

'Cause You will stop at nothing

To heal my broken soul

Faith is rising up like ivy

Reaching for the light

Hope is stirring deep inside me

Making all things right

Love is lifting me from sorrow

Catching every tear

Dispelling every lie and torment

Crushing all my fears

Now I see redemption

Growing in the trees

There's death and resurrection

In every single seed

- Kari Jobe, The Garden

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