As I again face the task of “make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself,” I become discouraged. I have been working on this step for several years. I have struggled with writing about my life, sorting through years of depression and addictions. Why does this step follow “trust in God”? I found the answer in the garden I never planted one summer.
I live on a small farm and should be harvesting bushels of produce out of a productive garden by the end of August. That was a difficult year and I found no time to plant one. Did that mean I had a beautiful brown spot of furrowed soil to look at in my backyard? Of course not. Without care and attention, I had a garden full of weeds, some of them 8 feet tall. It was really just a source of embarrassment.
On the back of my garden spot, buried beneath those weeds is an irrigation system similar to the ones used in the west. Lack of rain made it necessary for me to dig it out to water my pastures. When I went to put the system together I found it under a jungle of briers and thorns which cover my garden/weed plot. I went out and fought to haul the first 40 foot pipe out and soon my legs were scratched and bleeding. As I laid the pipe out on the lawn I could see it was broken from being stepped on by my horses. Discouraged, I worked to bring out the rest. Almost without exception I found the same thing, somewhere the pipe would be broken. The last one was buried beneath stinging nettle and my bare legs were burning before I finally got it out.
My husband helped me lay them all across the lawn. All I could see was the broken mess of pipes. How could I get the system to work and water my pastures? I wanted to just tear it apart. My husband encouraged me to first try to see if I could find where the damaged sections went together. I didn’t want to; I was frustrated because my lack of care had produced this situation. My husband was persistent. After about an hour we had moved things around until we could see where all the breaks were. My husband got the bucket, the spare parts, and using primer and glue it was soon back together again, ready to water my dry fields.
It never is easy to look at the reality of my life. Like my garden it is covered with weeds of all kinds. It is an embarrassment I would rather hide from others. But the Lord encourages me, with help of someone I trust to start digging through it, sorting and analyzing what is there. As I dug through the weeds in my garden/weed plot, I found my watering system. Though it needed a little repair my husband was there to help me. As I sort through the garden/weed plot of my life I will likewise find the “treasure” the Lord knows is there. He will help me sort through it, repair it, and make it whole. As for the weeds in my life He has already taken care of them through the atonement. But before it is possible, I have to first discover what is amiss, then pull those nasty weeds out, roots and all, using the gift of repentance. Then all that will be left in my garden is the person I really am, a wonderful child of God the Lord wants me to discover.
I just have to trust Him enough to step into my garden and start searching.