Leaning Into Rest, Leaning into Him -Part 2
By Lauren Hasson
One week in, I heard “Let’s get back into your garden!” My veggie boxes had become barren except for one 7-foot bed that was overgrown with spearmint. I knew it had been a bad idea to put it in the ground where the kale usually lived, but my lack of attention to ‘get it into the ground” went against my better judgement. Spearmint is aggressive and loves to take over everything in its path.
Facing my garden, was facing my soul. Neglected. I jumped in the car and headed for an incredible nursery that carries beautiful vegetables. Looking around, my cart was full of tomatoes, corn, golden beets, varieties of green and plum basils, Italian parsley, cucumbers and my beloved kale. I was hoping for lettuces, which in the early summer are almost impossible to find.
As I was checking out, my friend asked when a new shipment of vegetables would arrive. “The trucks just pulled up, it’s your lucky day!” We found them unloading fresh, green plants, and then the trays of perfect Bibb, Escarole, Red Romaine came out in flats. Yes please!
Planting back in my garden, putting my hands in the soil evoked memories of conversations with Him as I created with color, greenery, vegetables, flowers.... nourishing my soul in the garden.
Beautiful rows of lettuce, corn, tomatoes in their cages, zucchini, all were coming about. Everything except “The Spearmint Stronghold!” The tug-of-war with a stalk of spearmint made me realize the subterranean root world was even worse than I imagined. I called for help the next day and had two great guys that were scheduled to dig out the disaster.
The next morning I was talking with my sister and author Lisa about this unusual process. As we discussed the issue of initiating, I told her how I saw it pervasive in almost every area of my life, down to “initiating fun and adventure in my family and marriage.” I don’t want to be the initiator, I lamented to Lisa.
I saw that my husband and my lives had become so busy, so project oriented, that the fun ingredient had started to become overlooked. Yes, we have a blast on vacation, but how do we stir that up at home? Having this much open space, the lack was glaringly obvious.
As we talked, Lisa and I came up with a new slogan for my marriage, “We are one and fun!”
Okay Jesus, I’m not initiating “fun ideas”. I’m giving this to you. I’m giving you areas of disappointment that have taken on their own false narrative. I’m giving you expectations. I’m choosing to believe that You care about this area of my life that needs to come alive from You.
Lisa and I began calling out these areas and declaring the opposite for every woman in our family. As I hung up the phone with my sister, I saw the generational line of women in my family that were initiators. I had never noticed this before. The fear of not being sought after was palpable in my mother and grandmother and its reality was stifling. “Help me to not continue this, help me to trust that if I don’t initiate, life will come to me.”
As I finished talking this out with Jesus, I received this text on my phone from my prophetic friend Dot:
“Lifting up your time away with Them. He is entrusting you with things dear to His heart and showing you how to communicate and usher in the Breaker into the strongholds that have gone uncontested for centuries. Trust His power behind the words you are hearing – enjoy the radical perspective the Lord is giving you. It is for such a time as this.”
“Lauren, will you contest for the things that I am longing to give you. Will you not give in to your own sense of poverty in this, your insecurities, your lack, your self-pity? Will you allow yourself to receive what I have in the ways I want to give it to you? Will you agree with me that your unbelief is stopping the flow of so many things I want to supernaturally give you? I have a storehouse of unusual treasures that have been put in storage for you, waiting for you from the beginning of time. You can’t access them through your own might or your power. You’ve been asking Me for the fullness of My Spirit to be released in your life. In the places where we have established trust, I have overflowed with kindness, lavishing you with so much favor. In the generational areas that haven’t been identified and cleared away, you are trying to access them by yourself. Will you open room in your heart beforeyou receive what I have to give you? Will you allow hope to make room for My true reality? Your hope is real and tangible, making a demand on Me to answer. You can require of Me in this way.
Our writing together has always been your place of comfort, joy, expression and life. It is our place. Why would the enemy be able to enter this space, just because it is a new format of a book? This is where we will grow even deeper in our relationship. The enemy has tried to stop you in every way. He has tried to muddy your mind, robbing it of its sheer clarity and wisdom, making you feel blank. I am using each lie he is bringing to you as a means to expose every place that he has quietly whispered to you throughout your life. I am using him to expose himself so that you can be free. This is the joy of water. This is the joy of feeling me wash you over with love. You know what I’m telling you right now is full of life.
Yesterday, you began the day ready to face the spearmint. When Bob came home, not two hours after you had prayed, I gave him great ideas for you!”
As I continued my morning, Bob came home with a great smile on his face. “I have a surprise for you and you’re going to love it!” For my birthday, he had bought me, much to my girls’ initial objections, a truck. Not just any truck, a black on black, Ford Raptor with supercharged motor and great suspension. Presenting papers from Ford, I soon realized that he had signed me up for the Raptor Experience, an off-road driving school in Utah! What? Nothing could be better. Bumpy, dust-eating, donut spinning day of figuring out how to make my Raptor fly! Yes, yes, yes!
Where did that come from?
“What’s your day today?”, Bob asked. Sabbatical has a different simple rhythm that unfolds moment by moment. “I’m going to deal with the Spearmint once and for all!”, I answered. “Hey, do you want some help?” I knew that he had a full day of writing planned that he had carved out of his schedule to complete the chapter in his book. “No, it’s okay, I’ll have the guys help me.” The next thing I knew, my husband had changed into work clothes and with shovel and pick in hand, he began tackling the bed in the heat of summer. After the first hour (oh yes, it was just that bad), two other men stood there removing root after root, until two hours finished the results.
As they worked, I planted in fresh soil. They were cleaning up my mess and I was “princess planting” vegetables in my beautifully prepared beds. I was so used to pick-axing my way through the garden, this new way was unfathomable. “I’m letting you enjoy this process with the man you love. It’s easy. It’s simple. It’s fun!”
At the end of the day, Bob and I were laughing about all that had happened. He stopped and looked at me. “I heard you when you said that you feel like you are always the initiator in your life. I saw the class for the Raptor today, and thought you’d love it. Then I was getting ready to write, and I heard ‘Go help her in the garden.’ It wasn’t my thought at all. It was so strange because I had the whole day planned out and He changed my day. He hears you Lauren. “
How did He turn this around in the matter of hours? I’m undone by this astounding answer in a matter of one day. What things is He getting ready to orchestrate for the woman He loves through the people she loves?
I am beginning this journey with an opening sense of wonder of what is possible.
In returning and rest, you will be saved.
In quietness and trust you will find strength
Isaiah 30: 15