“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang about meeting a child of God on the road who said that we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden to set our souls free. I couldn’t agree more!
When my life fell to pieces in benzo withdrawal (actually it was falling together!) I pushed myself out into my front yard and planted a flower garden. Over the years, the garden became a sacred space in my neighborhood. People from all over came to sit, pray, eat, meditate, or simply watch the bees and butterflies floating above the blossoms. It was in the garden that I heard God speak to me the loudest. Where do you hear the God the loudest?
In recovery, gardening helps remind us of our beginnings. God shaped man and breathed life into him in the garden. We were given the sacred work of tending to the garden. Not much has changed over the billions of years since then. We can still indulge in the sacred work of tending to a garden. We can all find the quiet times in our garden when we connect deeply with God. Elijah heard God in a whisper. (1 Kings 19:12) That’s the way I hear Him as well among the flowers. I seek Him out, searching for His word, His grace.
Every time I plant a seed, I ponder the miracle and marvel of life. I give thanks for a mighty God who fashioned the heavens and the earth. I am reminded that I have been invited to attend the greatest event ever: my life! I give thanks for my sobriety and my freedom from anti-anxiety medication (benzodiazepines) that destroyed my brain and body. I am whole and healed in the garden. I am whole and healed in God’s love. I believe that God answered my prayer when I prayed for healing: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). I am now the person I always wanted to be. I am the person I always knew I could be. I am the person who tends to God’s garden (and His children!).
If you are struggling in recovery, I hope you will consider planting a flower garden. Need help? I’d be happy to give you some pointers.
F.R.O.G. Practice: Think about the miracle of life tucked into a tiny seed. You were once seed. With God you can grow to be an amazing person!