On Weeding and Invitations of Grace

As a little girl, when given the choice, I was quick to volunteer for yard work chores over housework. If Mom and Dad both needed help, sure as shootin’ I’d be knee deep in mud and weeds before Mom could pull out the dust cloth.

My plan was brilliant. My baby sister hated yard work. I despised housework. Win-Win. It wasn’t that I loved weeding, I just preferred the task to toilets.

When learning to weed the flowerbeds of home, I would look for shortcuts—pulling the unwanted plant growth from their tip-tops. My dad could no longer see the weeds, and my work appeared done.

I had made everything look lovely and fresh on the surface.

But the deceit always caught up.

My cheating became obvious within days. Daddy would shake his head. The roots, Heather. You have to get to the roots, or the weeds will just come back. Let me show you. And we’d head back out to weed again. My Father always helping, always by my side.

Not much has changed.

I’d still rather work in the yard than wring a mop.

But yanking weeds from the dark earth is exhausting. Roots take hold, refusing to yield to my pulls and tugs. On my knees, humbled by the stubborn intruders, my fingers plunge deep into soil. I grasp to get rid of what chokes and crowds our beautiful plants and shrubs.

With back bent, stooped and low, I work. The sun’s rays beat down as I refuse to let the weeds beat me. And if I don’t keep up? If I don’t go back and pull those stubborn stragglers? They still come back.

They return in full force to choke and crowd.

And I sigh. Because though I may ask if I’m ever done, in reality I know I’m not—there will always be weeds.

In my yard. And in my soul.

These days weeding isn’t just an escape from dust bunnies and dirt-thick floors, it’s a strange invitation into grace.

I have a confession. Words I’ve carried far to long, alone.

I struggle daily, hour-by-hour, with an addiction to food.

These words lay my soul bare—scratched and raw from pulling at the weeds in my life. I haven’t wanted to share this struggle with you, so I’ve hidden them. I’ve hidden them because my food addiction causes me to feel ashamed.

You may role your eyes. You may wonder what’s the big deal?

Friends, food addiction has been a weed choking my life for as long as I can remember. And the heaviness and weight this addiction leaves on my body brings me shame. Not because I’m ashamed of how I look, but rather I’m ashamed of what my skin reveals. It reveals my very real choice of running to food, instead of my Jesus, for comfort.

Sin.

Not a word that’s very acceptable in this world of relative truth. But for me, my turn to food in times of stress, sadness, and anger in order to cope isn’t healthy for my body—or for my soul. For me, it’s sin.

So why tell you?

Because.

Because though every battle is different, our hidden shame can feel the same.

Because I want you to know I struggle. My addiction may seem benign. I mean, it’s just food, right? But the point isn’t to make a comparison. Rather the point is—everyone struggles.

Everyone has life-choking weeds. Everyone has shame stuffed into our closets so no one finds out we’re infested, our soul tangled by our individual battles.

We love to hide our darkness. Putting on masks of our inauthentic selves, the selves we think the world wants to see.

But we’re cheating.

The shame kept in the black of night will only crowd out our beauty, our joy, our light.

So now what? What is the way to weed out shame and sin? The way to pull through addiction and wrong choices? Oh, how I am desperate for healing, desperate to pull these weeds out by their roots—each and every one.

It’s hard—this weeding and pruning of our lives. But I have a Creator God, who leans down and whispers these words: Confess your sins to each other, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. (James 5:16)

Did you hear it?

Simple. Beautiful.

Healing comes when we refuse to hide our dark places from each other.

Confession heals the soul.

Confession rips out shame by its roots.

Confession brings accountability.

Confession makes room for grace.

Our confessions don’t require internet diatribes or gushing revelations. No tabloid headlines for sympathy are needed. Rather, we will know who and when we are to share our struggles with. It is simply that we share.

Because when we look at our own weaknesses, our own weeds and reveal them to the Light, we realize our mistakes cannot be held up to the shadows of comparison. Because I’m better than no one—not one.

We must tread gently in this healing vulnerability. And we mustn’t begin to wave our darkness around as if it’s brighter than another’s. No. A night absent of light is a night absent of light.

When humans attempt to rate morality, everyone suffers and hypocrisy reigns. When our choices are weeds—they will always choke out life. Always. The type of weed? It does not matter.

In our confessions that refuse comparison, we find Grace for ourselves. We find Grace abundant enough for humanity.

Because Grace rips weeds out by their roots.

Grace drowns out shame.

Grace leaves room for rest.

So no. My struggles may not be yours. But we’re no different. We struggle, both you and I.

I’m desperate for you to know you’re not alone in the life-drowning weeds.

Shall we pull weeds together? We can stoop side-by-side in the hot sun, with its rays pounding our backs while sweat stings our eyes.

For as long as it takes.

Because when we share? Our darkness is drowned by Light. When we weed out our wrongs together, we become meadows of rest beckoning others to find healing in our space. Spaces that offer hope and love—without judgment.

When we weed, we become lush gardens of grace.

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3 Responses to On Weeding and Invitations of Grace

  1. Holly Gray says:

    Beautifully written as you share from your heart! I will weed beside you any day.

  2. Linda G. says:

    Thank you for the reminder we need to weed daily.

  3. Dena Yohe says:

    This is so good, Heather. I love your words…”Grace rips weeds out by their roots. Grace drowns out shame. Grace leaves room for rest.”
    May all of our dark places be drowned out by His glorious, grace-filled Light.

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