Pruning is the cutting away of all that does not serve our growth—even the things you’ve brought along in this season hoping they’d grow in value or come back in style.
Let me tell you a secret. Are you ready? Let the little floral, netted slipper joints from the hair store go. It’s alright, sis. They’re not coming back in style and you're not making a statement by keeping them. Throw em’ out and come back so we can talk a little more.
I’ll give you 5 minutes for your farewell.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you may have heard the word “prune” and began to settle your shoulders and say “mmm.” As you allow yourself to rest with this word, you’ve become curious about what God is wanting to do in your life. What does this mean for me? I know. Your senses are a bit heightened and you’ve become aware that action may be required. Now, I see you becoming anxious. Thinking of all you’ve possibly lost in this season, difficulties you’ve endured in relationships, trouble in your marriage or family, the unrest of disappointment, hopelessness or perhaps being confronted with the uncomfortable truths of yourself.
It’s overwhelming to do a mental playback.
Take a full breath in.
You did it with your chest that time.
Try it again.
Full breath in and out.
Now, settle down.
Let’s take a position of rest, so we can continue this brief journey.
Pruning is a gracious and loving act of Our Father. The Holy Spirit has called your attention not to “take away” but to stimulate growth and begin shaping you to thrive in all you are and are called to be.
God says, “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2, ESV)
Are you still with me? Good.
Now, I am not here to romanticize this process of pruning. I am called to identify the thought that causes pause, rationalization, repression, projection, displacement, or the ego rising up inside of you willing, able and ready to intellectualize a divine disruption with your natural skill set.
Check your heart, sis.
This is no attack.
Remember, this is God’s love.
Let’s consider this. You’ve gone to school. You’ve received the high school diploma or GED, the associates, bachelors of art or science, you’ve mastered the masters and throughout this journey you’ve received employment aligned with your natural skill set. You’ve leveled up personally and begun setting boundaries in relationships, you’re dating with intention, you’re going to therapy, “NO” is a fluent second language, and you’ve been doing all the things!
Yes, you poppin', sis! Say that! Be proud of that!
And then you have this nagging in your spirit. You can’t ignore it. You finally bring it to God. What you receive is revelation that requires you to take your place to advance the kingdom of God.
I know, I know. That’s a lot? Don’t move too fast.
Remember, you’re still poppin' AND the work “in you” just isn’t done.
So now, in the words of our sister, Sarah Jakes Roberts “who do you have to become?”
This is no longer merely about cutting back what you can see. Right. You can see that romantic relationship you’ve established out of your own insecurity. You’re aware , sis. You’ve already been operating like they’re no longer present anyway. This one requires a deeper level of intimacy with Our Father. You are about to use that fluent second language of “NO” in a new way this season. It may require you to say no to the job opportunity that allows you to make 6-figures attached to an agency or a company. It may be further assessment of the relationships and changing of your circle. I suppose that romantic relationship tied right in there.
I know it doesn’t feel good, but remember change doesn’t feel good. God didn't tug on your heart for comfort. God knew you would hold onto contentment with Him to withstand the highs and lows of this world. I know you may be feeling the discomfort of denying yourself, but let’s put the receiving of God’s refinement on that disqualifying statement (wink, wink).
You’re not alone in this, sis. The “NO” you are about to give will be the permission you grant yourself to declare an intentional “YES” to the trajectory of God’s will over your life and not this singular moment.
This is not denial, sis.
This is a whole-hearted YES to your true self.
This season of pruning sure does look good on you.
Your fellow Climber and Climbing Out Coach