Every child has dreams. They are often secret hopes and wishes that he or she never
verbalizes except maybe to a teddy bear or a trusted friend in a late night giggle session. When
you’re a child, the sky’s the limit. Anything seems possible. Dreams are the things that fairy
tales are made of.
But so many of us find ourselves living a life we never dreamed. Sometimes those childhood
dreams get snuffed out through a single terrible, violent act or at such a young age that we
struggle to remember them. For others of us, they are gradually, but heartbreakingly,
extinguished through many disappointments and traumas over many years.
You want life to be different, but have no idea how to change it. You may doubt that change is
even possible. But you’re here because you’re tired of the cycle. Tired of finding yourself in the
same place over and over again. Life feels like a continuous and lonely battle; and you feel like
you’re losing the fight. In fact, you’re not sure that you have any fight left in you. We’re here to
tell you this: You are not alone. You didn’t arrive here overnight. And there is a reason you are
in this place.
Imagine a gardener who is growing a tree. In time, the tree begins to blossom and fruit begins to
grow. One day, the gardener notices the fruit has spots and feels mushy. She bites into it and it
doesn’t taste good. She cuts off the bad fruit, hoping better fruit will grow. She pays special
attention to the fruit and treats it with a variety of methods. She thinks that will solve the
problem. However, when she goes out a few days later, new fruit has grown that is just as
unhealthy as the fruit she’d tried so hard to get rid of. And the fruit she “treated” only continues
to look worse. She begins to believe that growing good fruit is hopeless.
The “fruit” in our lives—the behaviors and choices we make—are often a reflection of deeper
issues that lie beneath the surface. We can’t see them, so we often focus on the fruit, but we
always seem to experience the same bitter harvest: You may have tried hard to stay clean, but
can’t seem to break free from your addiction. Maybe you’ve left an abusive relationship, only to
choose another man who abuses you. Or perhaps you vowed to never have another abortion,
only to find yourself pregnant again and making the same choice.
Here’s what we often miss: The problem that is visible to the eye is always caused by what lies
beneath the surface. Unhealthy and damaging fruit comes from diseased roots. The roots feed
the tree. If the gardener tries to make the fruit better without treating the roots, she will be
perpetually frustrated and the tree will grow sicker and sicker. Once the root problems are
identified and addressed, the tree will gradually begin to produce good fruit.
Read more from Melinda Means’ new book, “Unraveled Roots: Exposing the Hidden Causes of Damaging Behaviors.”
Melinda Means is a weary soul in need of refreshment from the only Source who can quench our thirst. After years of chronic pain and questioning God’s plan, she has finally found the joy of seeking the Healer more than the healing. It’s a long journey that has led her to peace and hope. She is Women’s Director at her church and co-author of Mothering From Scratch: Finding the Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family (Bethany House, 2015) and Invisible Wounds: Hope While You’re Hurting. A professional speaker and writing coach, Melinda has been featured on Faith Radio, Houston’s Sunday Night Live! and 100 Huntley Street, as well as numerous other radio outlets. She and husband Mike are parents to a teenage son, Micah, and a college-age daughter, Molly.
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