Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Mesquite Tree

File:Velvet mesquite.jpg

It's been often said that trials can either make us or 'break us'.

Depending on our response to them.

I've recently come to realize that many of my trials have actually MADE me the person I've become.

In a positive way.

Let me briefly share two stories to illustrate my point:

When I was in middle school I had a heck of a time making friends, and even more so I struggled with the identity of who I was. It was a season of deep hurt and insecurity.

As a result, many of my classmates sensed my lack of confidence, and played on it. Some of them daily.

My guidance counselor at the time actually said "I have never seen a kid get picked on in my entire career, as much as you have." When she said that, all I could do was wince. Gee, thanks. How does that help me??

The teasing was relentless. Name calling. Shoving in the hallway. Encouraging other classmates to stay away from me as well.

My mom allowed me to stay home from school on occasion. My home room teacher let me work in the computer room by myself, on days it was perceived that I was particularly struggling. Kids even began "crank calling" our home. Throwing things when my mom walked by our school. One day some of them began shouting unkind words about me to my father, while he was at our local park. When I found out, I was absolutely mortified!

I look back at that time with such disdain....and yet, I know that, by the grace of God, I have a much deeper compassion for those who are picked on in life. I can see a person struggling to "fit in" and feel a burning desire to befriend them. I don't see that as a coincidence.

Another tremendously difficult season of my life was my first unplanned pregnancy. It was during my freshman year of university. I had even received a partial scholarship to enter this prestigious program, and yet in one moment I knew many felt I had 'flushed' my academic goals down the toilet.

The university staff wasn't much more helpful. When I was diagnosed at their clinic, they sent me home with a paper describing the side effects of an abortion. They could tell I was in shock, and felt it was best if I took care of this 'issue' as quickly and quietly as possible.

I am ashamed to say I seriously considered their recommendation. I was scared, and feeling very alone.

Then some AMAZING friends~ from a church I had frequented as a teenager~ contacted me and offered their unconditional support. Their loving support ultimately led me to the decision that I would keep my son.

Thirteen years later and I still tear up thinking of what damage could have been done in one emotionally-packed moment.

But I can emphasize with those in that position...I can feel their pain...and feel their weariness...their loneliness & desperation.

Their have been many a girl I've had the privilege of being able to share my story with...

"You are not alone."

Two difficult seasons of life. Two seasons that led to a greater understanding.

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What does this all have to do with the mesquite tree?

Here's some interesting facts about this unique tree:

The mesquite is an EXTREMELY HARDY, drought-tolerant plant because it can draw water from the water table through its long taproot (recorded at up to 58 m (190 ft) depth). It can also use water in the upper part of the ground, depending upon availability. The tree can easily and rapidly switch from using one water source to the other.

Mesquite is a phreatophyte, which means it has DEEP roots and transpires efficiently.

ERADICATING A MESQUITE IS DIFFICULT because the plant's bud regeneration zone can extend down to 6 in (150 mm) below ground level;[13][14] the tree can regenerate from a piece of root left in the soil.

(courtesy of wikipedia; emphasis mine)

Woooow! This plant is absolutely not going to allow ANY condition to cause it to die!!! 

When I read about this interesting tree, I thought: this is what God desires for us. 

Not to allow the unfathomable circumstances of this world to hold us back from our destinies... Nor to allow them to hold us back from receiving and giving HIS love....


My question to you today is: are you continuing to allow past trials to hold you back? Or are you choosing to   make your roots go down deeper?

While some trials will certainly be MUCH more difficult to work through then others, I firmly believe we should not give up! 


"Others are like the seed that fell on rock. That is like the people who hear God’s teaching and gladly accept it. But they don’t have deep roots. They believe for a while. But when trouble comes, they turn away from God."

(Luke 8:13)


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38 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing from your heart here at "Tell Me a Story." I know you have been a blessing to many young ladies and encouragement for them to know you understand and they are not alone. May the Lord bless you and your family!

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    1. Thanks Hazel for your encouragement as well :)
      Blessings!

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  2. I followed you over from My Daily Walk linkup party this week. Thanks for what you shared about the Mesquite tree as I found it an encouraging.

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    1. Oh,I'm so glad to hear that!
      I know how much I appreciate others sharing their journeys...thanks so much for stopping by :)

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  3. Just stopping by from the Aloha Friday blog hop and started following on GFC! Sorry to hear you had so many rough experiences, but I think you're right--adversity is definitely formative.

    Ashley @ http://downsizingashley.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Ashley! On to check out your blog as well :)

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  4. Visit and follow from Happy Friday Blog Hop.
    Thanks for link up at my blog.
    Have a nice day.
    Nan
    http://www.blogshe.net

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    1. A great new blog hop to follow :)
      Thanks so much Nantawan for stopping by!!

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  5. That was a real nice post. Thanks for improving my day!

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    1. Glad it spoke to you Julie! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  6. Thanks for linking up to Friday Flash Blog. Have a wonderful and happy weekend :-)

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  7. Amazing to see how God worked through the difficulties you faced, Rach. So thankful you were given the help you needed to choose life. :)
    Romans 8:28 :)

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    1. Yes!! I 100% agree with you :)
      Thanks for stopping by Becca!

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  8. Beautiful parallels in your stories and musings about them. Bless your heart. Lynaea @ EveryDayBloom.com

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    1. Thanks so much Lynaea for stopping by & your encouraging comments :)

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  9. Beautiful post :) Thanks for joining us at the Let's Get Social Sunday linky party. Have a wonderful week. Diane @MamalDiane

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  10. Hi Rach,
    I've stopped over from Playdates with God. Thank you for sharing some difficult times in your life. God is making you into a mighty Mesquite tree able to shade and protect others who struggle with similar difficulties. Keep up the good work!

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  11. You are absolutely right! Giving up is not an option in our household at all. Hopefully, we'll never even utter the words.

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    1. We must continue to press on! Thanks for visiting Fawn :)

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  12. I've always felt like the trials of my life and marriage have made me a stronger person, increased my faith and deepened the bond between me and my husband. In fact the trials that my husband and I faced forced us to work together, when we might have been content to live parallel lives. Thanks for your honesty here, Rach. I can't believe you had to go through such terrible bullying when you were young, but I'm so glad you've come through stronger and better than ever!

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    1. It's true...difficult times may break us or make us, depending on our responses & decisions after them. So thankful I have Jesus in my life, who has guided me well through the aftermath :)

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  13. Found you through HWC link up. Such a lovely post! So true we need not let our past hold us back from our future.

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting and stopping by!

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  14. This is an awesome testimony to how we should be grateful for everything -- God can use everything from our lives. BTW, middle school was AWFUL for me, too!

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    1. I think it was for like 90% of people...maybe more ;)

      Thanks so much for stopping by Jen!

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  15. What a wonderful post!! I'm stopping in from SDG, Blessings!

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    1. Thanks Katharine! Glad it spoke to you :)

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  16. "Choosing to let your roots grow deeper." I like that!

    I'm your neighbor over at Jen's today. Have a great week ahead!

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    1. Thanks Laura! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  17. Thank you for sharing your heart and the journey God has taken you on at my link-up this week. Beautiful testimony of how God uses everything in our lives for good and for His glory!

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    1. Thanks Kate! It is so true; God has the amazing ability to turn AY situation around that we allow Him to :)

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  18. This is beautiful! I was bullied too. They also said mean things about me to my parents. Although it wasn't as bad as what you experienced. I was never physically pushed and I did have some friends at school. I'm sorry you had to go through that!

    My dad got a job in another city and we moved away when I was 14, as I said. I was so happy to move and the new school was soooooo much better. I was never bullied there. Well, except for one brief moment by one girl, but I stood up to her as I was older by then.

    But those experiences DO shape us, don't they. They give us a heart for others who are are hurting. It's so wonderful to know that God can redeem a painful past by using the broken pieces and turning them into something beautiful.

    Thanks for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

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  19. I loved your comparisons with the mesquite tree. I'm visiting from Kate's, and it was the tree that caught my eye!

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  20. What a testimony! So much pain yet God is using it to touch my heart so many years latter. Our stories are important--but only if we tell them.

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  21. God's Grace is overwhelming! I love this piece. When I was a fragile 17 year old I had an abortion...I was in a desperate place in that time of my life. I remember praying the night before my fateful decision to terminate my pregnancy. I prayed long and hard, harder than I have ever prayed before, this was prior to coming to Christ) I prayed so hard that my entire body was shaking & I asked God for forgiveness over this choice that I was making. A wave of overwhelming peace washed over me, the voice of God spoke with in, He rocked and soothed me like nobody could ever soothe somebody hurting so bad. In that moment I know that I had His unconditional forgiveness. I could never fully put into words the peace that He gave to me, that was THE closest that I have EVER felt to Him. I now know that no matter what we choose, God's beautiful GRACE is BIGGER than us all. We serve an AWESOME GOD! Having made such an unbearable decision, I am now more forgiving of the choices that others make, I am now more compassionate to someone who is hurting. Thank-you for this beautiful post! xoxo

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