Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gardens, revelations and greater things to come!

“…The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity in the land he is giving you. The Lord will open the heavens. The storehouse of his bounty, to send rain in season and to bless all the works of your hands..” Deuteronomy 28:11
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come. The fig tree ripens its figs and the vines are in blossom. Arise, my beautiful one. Come with me.” Song of Songs 2:10-11

Since arriving here in Uganda, (actually exactly a month ago! It’s going by so fast!) the Lord has been speaking to me so much about gardens. His words have been aligning perfectly in my life for the identity this season has. That is, abundance. Newness. Freshness. Life. Beauty. Fruit, fruit and more fruit that I get to taste from seeds planted long ago! These are all elements of a garden that God has been revealing in my life.

 The first few weeks I was here, I was in an undisturbed “perfect” blissful phase of so much joy and fruit from obedience. Among all of the other things the Lord was pouring into my heart and soul when in quiet times, he continued to tie things into this concept of this season being like a garden. Interestingly enough, most of the more impacting ways he’s spoken to my heart since I’ve been here have been through the simplicity of nature. Birds, trees, flowers, and the air, as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, are ways he’s been speaking to my heart which all are parts of a garden. (in ways that are so simple that I could have easily missed his message through them!)

To my delight within the first week, I discovered my work duty for that month of school was in the gardens! I just laughed to myself and was delighted to find this not-so-coincidence of working in a literal garden while God was building me with all sorts of garden metaphors! I imagined a beautiful African garden full of color and decorated with fruit, flowers and beautiful plants as I would, in my imagination, plant and water and receive all sorts of wonderful revelations from God about gardens and my life as I worked! ..Well, it didn’t quite turn out that way.
First day of work duty I was handed a machete type tool and found myself in a massive field filled with tall grass, weeds, small bushes and trees for as far as I could see. “Slashing” was the chore, and this garden chore wasn’t quite all that I’d imagined. Two weeks of literal sweat and blisters and then came the hoeing; which was going through the entire field hoeing the ground. I found I was very mistaken to think slashing was difficult! Though the garden wasn’t what I’d expected, of course God still brought revelation and understanding between this “garden” and my life as a garden as I was in that field for a month.

Here’s what I’ve learned: God’s understanding is greater than ours. He knows us. He sees us. And when he calls us to him for himself, promising a beautiful garden of abundance, fruit and blessings to be grown in our lives, he also knows that before a beautiful garden is produced and enjoyed, some heavy duty work needs to be done, and it’s far from easy work. He’s our “gardener”, and a garden cannot be a productive and rich garden without the rough work and process of the weeding, purifying and digging… actions that only the gardener can do.

My friends, I cannot explain what beautifully painful and cleansing work the Lord began to do in me when my regular prayer became, “Lord, you know me- shine your light in my soul and reveal sin and darkness in me that I never knew existed within me!” (How many times in this blog have I said the phrase, “Watch out when you ask God __________!”….. because this is definitely one of those warnings :).)

The very next day I first prayed that prayer, the Lord was quick to shine that light into the depths of my soul, allowing me to see wounds I’d shoved away long ago. My heart was broken as my eyes were opened to how I’d changed myself as a result of past hurts and wounds in my life, changing and molding myself to who I am today because of them instead of letting God heal me. What a great God he is that he rises to have great compassion on the innocently wounded, and graciously walks alongside them, as they reside back to who they’re meant to be and who he’s created them to be. I’m slowly but surely re-learning from him who I am and who I’m meant to be, and let me say that there has been no better peace and contentment in my walk than to be confident and sure in the Lord who I am and what I’m meant to do. Yes, that I am sure of.

It keeps getting better and better. When I thought that was the deepest wound and hindrance in my life preventing growth, the very next week the Lord took me even deeper to a more serious bound in my life; a stronghold of the enemy deep inside my soul. With the Lord’s light in that place, confession on my part and declaration in the name of Jesus against that stronghold, it was gone and I call myself a free woman!

With that said of how the Lord is moving spiritually, I have some informing to do of my DTS!
We have been waking up every weekday morning at 5 am, praying together as a group towards our mini outreach that is coming up in about a week. Here are the details about the mini outreach:
It is 2 weeks long. 
Our group of 28 is being split into 2. One group is going to a certain location, the other group to a different location for the two weeks.
My group is doing something a bit different than the other; we’re at a location for one week serving and evangelizing, and then going to a different location for the other week doing the same thing.
The first week, my team will be partnering with a church in a small village in Jinja, Uganda called Pumodae (spelling.. not certain that's right). It’s a small poor village, and I don’t have much more details but that our group of about 14 students and 3 staff leaders will be housed in the church itself for the week, partnering with the church to reach out to the village, and evangelizing in that village for the week.
The second week we’ll be going to a town in Jinja called Mbiko. This particular location is known for prostitutes; therefore those are the people that we will be most likely ministering to in that weeks’ time.

We'll have no power in that time, we will all be sleeping on that church floor and showers and laundry aren't promised... but God is great and we are filled with joy without question!

I'm THRILLED for what is to come for this trip! The Lord has been so good, faithful and NEAR to me and the group.

To my prayer warriors!
Please pray that we'll be protected and healthy from now up through the mini outreach.
Please pray that our group would have open and ready hearts to receive the Lord.
Pray that God will ready the hearts of those we are ministering to, and that language barriers, culture barriers or barriers built by the enemy would not hinder us from preaching the gospel.
Please partner with us in faith filled belief that the Lord would provide a God-given house PERFECT for the second week of ministry..we do not have one yet.
And please pray that everyone's gifts in the group would be discovered and activated! Pray for unity and love among us as we link arms for the sake of expanding God's kingdom on earth. 

I love you ALL dearly! Thank you for your love, support and prayers!


  1. Emilie....THANK YOU! You so faithfully reflect God's goodness and faithfulness in your writings! His peace and favor be with you and your team!

  2. Emilie, your words are so inspiring, full of life, hope and love. Every time I read your blogs, I want more of God in my life. I am so thankful that you get to experience God the way your are. Love you.

  3. Hello Dear! I remember oh so weel the Garden season, working in my backyard and all the things God spoke-so beautiful. Why did weeds seem to grow in ANY conditions without any care-PROLIFIC! UGH. But the tender beautiful fruitful plants, those took great attention from the gardener to become....He is beautiful...and you are reflecting HIm. Treasure it all-you are in the greenhouse right now! Love you