Archive for June, 2017


Hope in Sadness?

June 7, 2017

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.   John 15:1-2

Today I cut down most of my lilac tree. It is a Sensation Lilac and it has the most exquisite flowers and the aroma is intoxicating. At least, it was. When I got it as a tiny bush many years ago, I didn’t choose the best place to plant it in the yard. Lately, it was seeking sunlight so it nearly laid down flat to the ground, fighting with the, now huge, tree next to it.


See, it is more than a tree to me. It is a reminder of many memories. It was given to me by my mother-in-law with whom we have not spoken in many years due to circumstances that are ugly and maybe left irreparable damage. I was so excited to plant it in MY yard (we were still fairly new, first time home owners).  Then there was the summer it fell victim to Kyle’s soccer ball. He and Sarah were kicking the ball back and forth and accidentally hit the bush, bisecting one of the main stalks. I tenderly patched it up, wrapping the 2 pieces together with a length of fabric, and then hoped it would mend itself. It took a long time, but eventually I was able to unwrap it and it could support itself again. Kyle and Sarah have both left home, neither on good terms. I pray for them and believe that they will eventually find their way, but it hurts – still…

I tried to keep up with pruning the lilac, but some years I forgot, or was too busy with kid stuff, or mom stuff, or being sick. There were nearly 2 years when I couldn’t do yard work. I couldn’t do much of anything really. Pain had ahold of me and it was all I could do to get out of bed each day. Then there was the year I was on a Rx drug that made me better, but sick at the same time. Yeah, those memories are in the branches that lay in my yard now, sad and lifeless.

So this spring when I tried to mow around it and couldn’t beacuse it was laying nearly on the ground, I knew it was time to cut it down. I asked a gentleman at the Lilac Festival if there was hope of saving any of it and he assured me that I could cut a large portion away and it would be fine. But he told me to wait until it was done blooming. That was the hard part. It had the most amazing blooms this year. There were dozens of them – it’s most fruitful year ever.

I am sad, but I have hope that it will grow better now, straighter, and it will again have amazing blooms, someday.

I know it’s just a tree, but it reminds me of so many things. I’m going through a hard season; not a bad one, just hard. Everything is changing and some of that change isn’t easy. Perhaps this is the pruning that will produce more fruit.

I still have hope and I choose joy, but today… Today I am sad.