I recently started seeing the word “pruning” everywhere. When I would listen to a sermon the pastor would go off on a tangent about how pruning is necessary to yield a bigger harvest. If I opened my bible the word would be staring me in the face. I felt like I couldn’t escape this one word.
So I concluded: I am in a pruning season. My next thought was…what the heck does that even mean?
I started doing some research about spiritual pruning and literal pruning. I will start with literal. Plants often have dead leaves and branches or useless parts that don’t bring forth a good crop or they inhibit the growth of fruit in an other area. So you literally cut away at the parts that are detrimental to growth or just unnecessary. Makes sense. I am no farmer but this seems legit.
But what does that look like spiritually? Everything I found was really generic about God shifting circumstances and moving people around and stuff. So I just kind of ignored it all. Nothing was really clicking…
And then it started…
Things started getting CUT. OFF. I started to be able to clearly identify where my dead branches were or in some cases, where I was a dead branch.
I had a meeting for a student organization I am involved in and the idea of managing one. more. thing. had me feeling deflated. I just knew I didn’t have the capacity to do it this year…so I resigned. (the world DID NOT fall apart contrary to my expectation). Then…My sister started to reestablish our boundaries because apparently 3 hours on FaceTime is infringing on her productivity and as a small business owner she needed to use her time more wisely. I was supposed to be an active participant in a group this fall but my days were already going from 5:30am -6:30pm and I finally had the courage to say: not right now. I would be able to serve the group better in a season where I wouldn’t have to be running on empty to do it. (again…the world DID NOT FALL APART). Where I felt it the most was with my friends. Friendships started to shift which is challenging and uncomfortable but necessary. Not everyone can enter every season with you and sometimes the roles you play in someones life or vice versa, shift. So I held them with open hands and allowed God to shift them as He saw fit. God also began to prune some not so lovely character traits of mine that could keep me from receiving what He has for me. All of this (and more) happened in 10 days.
In each of these situations, I felt God nudging me to let go and let things evolve. I am not a quitter. If I agree to something -I see it through, so letting go of responsibilities I had taken on with good intentions was hard. I desire to be a really good friend but I cannot be that to 15 people 24 hours a day. I have to pour into those who are pouring into me and set boundaries to ensure that I was also taking time for myself and choosing my friends wisely. I love talking to my sister, she is my BFF. But she has a LIFE. and so do I. We can still FaceTime but maybe after we do what we need to do. *deep sigh*
I feel like I can breathe again. Although at times this pruning season has caused me to make really uncomfortable choices and say no to people I desperately wanted to please…it has been for my good. I want to be able to bear as much fruit as possible in my harvest season and I cannot do that without having things pruned away.
This is what the “pruning process” looked like for me after only a few days. I have found that I am lighter in many ways. I am having fewer conversations but the ones I am having are more meaningful. I am able to be more devoted to the things I need to focus on because I let go of responsibilities that are not the right fit for me right now. I gave myself the freedom to set boundaries and stick with them. And I have also (my sister may disagree) respected the boundaries of others. It was rough at times, I am not going to lie. But it has proven to be GOOD.
I want to encourage you not to fight the pruning. It stings a little and is uncomfortable at times but the end result will be worth it. You will be fully prepped and ready for whatever God is trying to bring INTO your life. Sort of hard to catch a blessing if you’re hands are already full huh?
John 15:2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.