One of the most powerful scenes on my trip to Israel a few years back was the time spent in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:41-42 New Living Translation). The trees in the garden were different than other trees I had ever seen. I love trees. Their different leaves, colors and sizes just captivate me – but these trees. This was something else. They had been witness to the greatest decision in history. They stood in company with Jesus as He agonized, in His humanity, over what He was about to do. That account in the Bible has always gripped me, and these trees were present then.
Here’s the story behind the blog title: I am a woman who has been known to run away from all sorts of things in life. I have quit jobs, relationships, school, diets, apartment rentals, gyms, house projects, you name it – once it gets hard, I’m out! And that’s the way it’s been for a long time. This is what I’ve been used to.
The other day Mario and I were driving back to our house, and we were talking about how I doubted we would get this house we live in now or the rental before. To which he replied, “That’s because you’re used to ruts not roots.” That phrase rolled around in my head. He wasn’t being mean. He was telling the truth. The minute I sense depth and change through any type of uncomfortable situation, alarms go off, and I think I must be in a rut. I then proceed to change everything I can to maintain some semblance of control. This pattern, like I said, has led to a lifetime of running. The thing about running is you miss it. You miss being there for the miracle. You miss experiencing the garden moments.
Marriage is a prime environment for miracle moments, but it’s also a place that can be riddled with “ruts”. Since the beginning of the month my husband and I have met more than a few people who have been recently divorced. They all have something in common, deep sadness. We even talked to someone last night at our favorite sushi spot which was good timing because we have been struggling in our marriage recently, and sometimes it can get so exhausting that I think I should just quit. Before you get in my face about how wrong that is. Let me tell you, I know. I’m not going anywhere and neither is Mario, but there are seasons that will just wear you down. The temptation is there to run from the hard stuff.
Last night we went out to eat because we were too exhausted to cook anything. We hadn’t been to our sushi spot in a while and a young man who always helps us there greeted us excitedly. Mario and I both noticed something different about him. He had lost some weight, but there was a sadness to him as well. Finally Mario asked him how he’s doing, and he proceeded to tell us that he is recently divorced and has moved into an apartment. It broke our hearts to hear him say these words. We don’t even know him that well, but that sadness is overwhelming.
When the waiter walked away from our table Mario and I just looked at each other and knew. We can never give up. We will see this thing through no matter what because God wants us to witness something miraculous. We have already been part of miracles in our marriage so it’s not like we aren’t aware of that, but we sure can forget. We forget how much God loves us and loves our marriage.
I pray with all my heart we don’t give up. Jesus gave us the garden scene so we would know it is going to be hard, but that’s not the end. The trees in the garden have roots that tell a different story. They stood in witness to the greatest victory in humanity and divinity.
So this woman, this former runner, is committed to getting some roots. I want some victory because God’s not done with me yet.
Thank you for reading, and let’s choose to get some roots.
With all my heart,