The Root of Weeds

Many times I have looked out in the yard and noticed an onslaught of weeds. It seems every time we mow, the weeds just seem to pop back up the next day.
One day, determined to alleviate the problem, I grabbed a dinosaur step stool and an old shoe box. For a while, and by a while I mean five minutes, my children were happy to offer their assistance. Five grand minutes later, I was on my own. My mind became very still and quiet. I was finally alone with the weeds and my thoughts.
I began to recall the book study I was working through, Intimate Issues (Pintus and Dillow), specifically the section where the authors addressed the concept of a mental garden and the weeds and flowers within.  In this book, the weeds represent the lies and untruths we believe about ourselves as a person and our outlook on intimacy. As much as I tried, I struggled with the mental imagery needed to visualize me pulling the weeds, that is, until the book came alive to me as I sat stooped over these prickly invaders.
My thoughts went back to when my children were helping me. In my life, there have been, and always will be, those who are willing to come alongside me and accompany me in my journey. Inevitably, some will become bored, or challenged, and walk away. As I worked diligently, I heard my husband approaching my masterpiece. I looked up with great pride in my eyes and asked what he thought. He said, “Looks like two weeks of more work.” He didn’t mean to, but his words discouraged me still.
Many won’t recognize the progress we have made at eradicating the weeds in our lives.
The changes we are making inside of us aren’t always evident from the outside of us. 
So, I carried on, determined still that I would show him I could do two weeks’ work in one day. I am admittedly a bit stubborn. As I pulled and ripped at the earth in front of me, I thought about how we find it far more desirable to pull out the large weeds. Doing so shows more progress, at a much quicker rate. The problem with this logic, there are many, smaller weeds still left behind. Though these little weeds take more time and detailed attention. Removing them yields a truly clean yard.
In this process, I noticed when I pulled on a weed too quickly and carelessly, I broke off the tops, leaving their roots still firmly implanted in the ground. Roots left in the ground grow back to be bigger and stronger weeds. When I took my time, I could twist the deep, large roots, and guide them gently to the surface, in tact.
How many times have I dealt with a matter of heart, only touching the surface level, leaving the deeply rooted pain alone, only to grow back stronger than before? 
Through many a trial and error, I learned how to pull the ever delicate roots, of the very small weeds, up and out in one piece. As I made these extractions, I noticed that I often pulled up more than I sought to remove. Many times, rocks, grass, and bugs would come up within the bundled up, tangled mess.
Just the same, as I gently and carefully remove the lies and other untruths in my spiritual garden, I bring up much more than just weeds and their roots. Hurt feelings, forgotten memories, and lost time come back to me as I sort through the good and bad found in my garden. 
My lower back began to ache as I ooched around, stooping over my garden. My hands began to look less than manicured as fingers clawed through dirt, gripping tangled strands.
When we dig in our gardens looking for weeds, our hands are going to get dirty and if we are honest with ourselves, it’s probably going to hurt a bit, and maybe even for a while.
So much was revealed to me, as I worked my way around the yard. As I battled the milk thistle and the sticker burrs, I was winning a war in my mind and heart. I was able to see the work I had done, and the work yet to be done, in my yard and inside of me. I learned that it was time to get my hands dirty. The time had come for me to gently pull out the delicate roots, as well as grab hold and twist the overgrown, deep seated lies, taking my time as I go.
As much as I would like to have done two weeks’ work in one day, it was not what was best for me or my garden. I needed to invest the time and do it right completely.
As I finished up only a days work, my husband rejoined me. He chuckled at how much time I had given to this endless activity of picking out weeds. He asked with a smirk, “Is this therapeutic?” I grinned from ear to ear, “Yes, in fact it has been.” Much more than he had any idea.