For anyone that follows me on Instagram they've seen a handful of photos that i've shared of a tree on my family's farm. I have honestly taken hundreds of images of this tree. It's almost got some magic to it. Seeing this tree brings me comfort. I look at this tree I know i'm home. I spent many summer days as a kid playing in the creek with my cousins and had many good times.
Not all my times by this tree were good though.
There were nettles... lots and lots of nettles. Don't know what nettles are? They burn and hurt at the same time. And then they burn some more. They're terrible plants and I've added it to my list of things to ask God what the purpose of them is.
Anyway, one time when I was younger I remember running through the nettles patch barefoot. Clearly at that time I did not know what nettles were.
Now I know.
I remember pain, burning and crying. Lots of crying.. and lots of pain. We came back up to the house and I do remember soaking my legs in cold water.
Stupid nettles ruined a perfectly good afternoon.
Recently the story came up and my grandma asked if I remembered her telling me not to run there. No, I do not remember but I sure wish I listened. Sorry about that, Gram!
Where am I going with this? Just the other night we had glorious sunset and the sun sets right over this tree.
God really topped the charts with this one and my photo does it NO justice.
It was stunning.
I stood there in awe and admired His handy work and then for whatever reason I thought about the nettles. I thought to myself that if I was to focus on that pain and not move on i'd never be able to truly enjoy the beauty and peace that it brings me being there.
How could a place that hurt me so bad once bring me so much peace now? Don't you see we all go through bad times in life. We all have times that leave us burned, hurt, make us cry and then hurt us some more. Times like that are unfortunate and unavoidable. If we choose to focus on those bad times then our good times will be very difficult to appreciate or even recognize. Instead I want to encourage you to make the choice to grow from it, learn from it and move on. Easier said than done, yes! But ultimately the choice is yours.
Let the pain of the nettles go and enjoy the beauty!