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A Garden of Commitment Issues

A Garden of Commitment Issues

By:  Mission Team January 12, 2021
#AmazingNation, #Encouragement, #Faith, #God, #love, #Suffering, #YouMatter

You’d think that at 23 years old I would be excited about getting married.

Most women my age are either eagerly searching for “the one,” planning a wedding with “the one,” or married to and starting a family with “the one.” For me, it’s the exact opposite.

The thought of finding my future spouse and walking into forever with him stirs up too many emotions. Marriage isn’t something that I have ever looked forward to, but that’s because I have commitment issues. It took time for me to identify the reality of my commitment issues, but I guess that’s part of the journey of life. My life is like three parts of a garden: Soil, Uprooting, and Growth.

When I look back on the most influential relationship in my life (my parents), I remember mainly the bad stuff: fighting, yelling, anger, being in the middle of countless battles. From the outside, my parents were very much happily married and committed to each other for 30 years. Yet from the inside their relationship was more like an on-going war that started before I was born. The most influential relationship in my life taught me the pain of marriage and commitment, but mostly, what I never wanted. This was the primary example in my life and maybe deep down I knew that wasn’t how it was supposed to be; however, as long as I can remember, I knew that I never wanted to be married.

As a teenager, a part of me wanted to believe that love was real and possible – love wasn’t in my house, but it was somewhere. Throughout High School and College, I spent time tiptoeing around entering into different relationships, but I almost always ended up sprinting in the other direction. The few times that I did allow myself to date, I ended up either hurting them out of fear or being hurt and rejected by them. With that hurt, I came to believe in the depth of my soul that if love was real, and if love was somewhere, it was something that I wasn’t even capable of. This again fed into the belief that I would never marry.

My life was an overgrown and unkept garden.

The soil was the wound of commitment: the fear of committing to someone, the belief that no one will commit to me, witnessing many people not commit to each other, and the uncertainty that surrounded every part of commitment. This wound was real and it drove every part of my life even when I couldn’t see the soil itself. For the longest time I only saw the overgrown weeds of emotion, fear, false-beliefs, and uncertainties. My life was a messy garden that I didn’t know how to navigate.

In order to properly weed a garden, you have to get the full root, which lies deep beneath the soil. When I initially started to weed my garden, I didn’t know that the dirt was the core wound and didn’t know that there were roots involved. When Jesus came into my life, I realized that I had to rid of my sinful behavior.

Overtime, I grew aware of the different emotions, lies, and fears that I gained over the years and how I operated out of the wounds from my childhood. I needed to get rid all of these things. Initially, I tried to be my own gardener. I tried to rip the messy and ugly overgrown weeds out quickly, but the roots where very deep. By myself, this was isolating.

Did you know that the best time to weed a garden is right after a rainstorm?1

I didn’t know this, but evidently the rainstorm came. God saw that I needed help with my garden, so He sent me others to help me through the weeding process. A rainstorm of mentors and a faith-filled community came and I was able to weed through the anger, judgement, self-hatred, and an eating disorder. I even came to a place where my core-identity wasn’t in anything other than being a Child of God. All which were beautiful victories, yet there was still a part of me that knew there was something deeper.

Scripture tells us where two or three are gathered together in Jesus’s Name, He is in their midst (Matthew 18:20). God kept placing people in my life to help me weed through my messy garden. It was because of this that I was able to see the cause of it all – all of the weeds grew from the soil. All of my wounds grew from the constant uncertainty of commitment that I was exposed to over the years. The uncertainty of commitment was the something deeper.

Working through the uncertainty of commitment is challenging, especially when people’s lives are ever-changing, sometimes meaning that their commitments change too. God put those different people in my life and I grew to trust in their commitment. Better yet, I grew to trust in God’s commitment and when He says, “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Yet, the reality is that sometimes I place trust in people’s commitments and it still fails me, which can send me to the same headspace that I had as a kid. However, now when I get in that headspace, I know that I am surrounded by that rainstorm of mentors and community that speak Truth into my life. Just because I have this commitment wound, does not mean I need to stay in it forever.

The Divine Gardner saw my messy soil and He loved me there. He loved me so much that He sent a rainstorm of people to help me weed and uproot my deepest wound in order to find Him there. St. Augustine says “In my deepest wound, I saw His Glory and it astounded me.” The core of where I operated from the majority of my life, this deep-seeded wound of commitment, is where I found God most. He’s with me in it all.

Jesus knew what a challenge with commitment was like. In John Chapter 6, after He shares with the multitudes the Greatest Truth of the Bread of Life Discourse, many of His disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. In Mark Chapter 14, the three Disciples that accompanied Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane couldn’t stay awake with him for an hour. In Luke Chapter 22, Peter denies even knowing Jesus after spending years with Him. Even on the cross, in Matthew Chapter 27, there were very few people with Him as He died on the Cross. Jesus knew what it was like to not have people commit. Realizing this, not only is Jesus with me in this trial, but I get to be with Him in His.

It’s because of Jesus and His Glorious Grace, that I can grow now. Tending the soil and weeding the garden will continue to happen as I grow, that’s part of life. The closer I get towards Jesus, the more I will grow. I’m confident in this: God is with me until the end of age. I don’t know how my life is going to play out. I don’t know what ways I will grow, other than towards Heaven. What I do know is I have the tools to tend to my garden and people to help me along the way. Most importantly, I know God’s commitment to me.

In my humanness, I know that there are still a lot of emotions to work through when it comes to marriage. After 30 years together, my parents are getting a divorce. I don’t know if I should be relieved, sad, angry, or even happy. For the first time in my life I am able to look at my parents with a different lens. They’ve never had people to help them with their personal gardens. They’ve probably never identified some of the weeds or the soil. Maybe they don’t have the grace to find God in their deepest wound. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t. God is with them too, until the end of the age. There is always hope.

God has opened my eyes to see the good in their marriage: my siblings and myself, the lessons of hard work, the times of laughter, the Catholic Church, and more. I operated out of my messy garden and wounds for so long that I wasn’t able to see my parents or my childhood with eyes of grace and eyes of Christ. However, it’s through the uprooting of those weeds in that messy dirt, that I’m growing, and that I know that someday I will bloom. I will bloom with a greater love towards my family, towards God’s kids, and even towards myself. I will find grace here. And someday I will confidently, healthily, and joyfully be able to see marriage as what it truly is: The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws.... God himself is the author of marriage.2

Lord Jesus, my life is a messy garden with some weeds that are unknown. Be with me in my garden and be my Divine Gardener. Send me a rainstorm of people that keep me focused on your healing grace and ever-lasting truth. Amen

Reflection on the following questions:
1. What areas in your life are messy and can be identified as weeds?
2. What lies do you believe because of these weeks?
3. Who in your life can be a “rainstorm” and help you through uprooting your weeds, tending your soil, and as you grow?

1. Reach out to the people in your life and ask them to be along with you in the journey. Work with them weekly or biweekly to identify your wounds, the lies associated with them, and then the Truth that God speaks to you in it all.

1 - (Garden Know How)
2 -(Marriage)

Photo Credits:
"Uprooted" by arbyreed is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
"couple yelling at each other" by hang_in_there is licensed under CC BY 2.0
"Grow" by DeaPeaJay is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
"The last hurrah?!!! Tis the last rose of summer, Left blooming alone; All her lovely companions, are faded and gone.." by spisharam is licensed under CC BY 2.0
"Bride in Thought" by Len Radin is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
"Water in English Gardens (10 of 33) | Stream-side Planting in Trebah Gardens, Cornwall, England" by ukgardenphotos is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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