DAMAGED ROOTS THE UNDERSTANDING AND HEALING OF A DECEITFUL HEART
WRITTEN BY NATASHA ROACH
PRESENTED BY MR & MRS ROACH
DAMAGED ROOTS CopyrightÂŠ2016 by M & MR Marketing, LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Cover design by: M & MR Marketing, LLC Manuscript edited by: M & MR Marketing, LLC Printed in the United States of America
here are few moments in life when you are revolutionized by faith - the kind of faith that moves tenaciously on the outside while resting with peace on
the inside in the midst of what would look like hell to others. What allows you to operate in this kind of faith is God’s spirit at work in you, and your trust in Him where you vow to commit your works unto Him – that point of submission where you vow to God that you’re willing to be used. God’s grace and the hope of your vision pull you through many circumstances that you otherwise may not have endured. You anticipate challenges, assuming you know the areas in which you will encounter difficulties. Yes, you know that tests will come (It’s good that you’re afflicted, right.), and the beautiful thing about your journey is that God is always with you. As this story is shared, it teaches that we cannot submit to God, allow for His guidance, and overlook the fact that in the process, He searches us. God knows our heart and our anxious thoughts. We often hear that the necessary testing that we encounter is according to what we can bear, yet how many know where the source of that testing comes from. The major part of our journey is the growth that we experience that builds us to the person that we’ve been designed to be. If you’ve ever encountered tests and trials, wondering “Where did this come from, Why am I going through this, or When will it end,” stop. Those are simply the wrong questions. Our storms are never about us, but those that we 3|Page
are meant to help once weâ€™ve come out. When we begin to ask God what His will is, seek His wisdom, believe in His word, and we are willing to repent, then understanding and healing can take place. Take comfort in knowing that you are rooted. If you are not, there is always an invitation for planting. In either case, things will come to damage your roots, but there is a confidence for those rooted in the right place.
â€œBlessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear[a] when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. 9
â€œThe heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10
I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:7-10 NIV
It is amazing how elements in nature resemble the things that we experience in our personal lives, whether physical, mental, or spiritual. Take a moment to let nature teach you a lesson.
DAMAGED ROOTS (Excerpt from: How to Tell if Your Tree is Dying on Your Property, highgrove.net)
Since roots can run very deep underground, determining if your tree’s roots are damaged isn’t always easy or visible. Recent digging, new development, shallow roots, exposure to extreme elements and loose soil are all things that can affect the vitality of a tree’s roots. One serious sign of root damage is a sudden and noticeable lean to the tree. Another is if you begin to notice small branches sprouting from the trunk at the base of the tree. This type of branching…can represent that the tree is under severe stress.
ave you ever had that friend that you instantly connected with? You both had so many things in common, you found yourselves in each other’s
company every day at minimum, and there were things about you that ONLY your friend knew. Well, that very person came into my life years ago, and the truth is that I had to sever all ties between us. I am not saddened by the loss of friendship, but grateful for wisdom that told me to move forward with a lesson learned. With no specific signs that I can recall, she became toxic, to the point where her presence and negative energy was draining. I never paid much attention to how she was affecting me until it really got out of hand. My husband noticed something wasn’t right with me, but didn’t know what was going on, and I didn’t know how to explain it to him. If you’re wondering what happened, let me explain. As I stated earlier, we had a lot of things in common, we had a very comforting relationship, and you couldn’t imagine a more supportive friend and cheerleader. If I ever needed a pat on the back, she was always there. Things started to change though as my husband and I started focusing more on projects that we could do together. She initially started making comments, more so questions like “Why are y’all doing that?” or “Do y’all do everything together?” These questions didn’t really bother me, I just thought 7|Page
she was being inquisitive or nosy. Eventually, it seemed as if the more my husband and I got serious about growing our business, our ministry, our marriage, the more she had to say. Again, she never really made direct comments, just the questions – those nagging questions. Things escalated when she noticed that my husband and I were really serious about what we were doing. It was like I now had new goals and desires, and they were foreign to her. Things were new for me too, scary even. Instead of her encouraging me like she did in the past, I guess she was more afraid than I was. She became downright negative. I excused the behavior, and told myself that she was just being protective. The comments and questions kept coming though. I began to notice comments about my husband. Rarely did she talk about what was going on with her, her experiences, or issues. It was strange, because she had never done this before. She actually used to speak highly of him. Now, she was pointing out everything she felt he was doing wrong. From his work ethic, to hanging on to his every word, to even asking questions like, “When did he start leaving his shoes and socks out?” I thought to myself, “Why is she even worried about it?” I got so tired of her, I had to tell my husband how her negativity was affecting me. He patiently listened, and told me that he was trying to figure out where my strange behavior was coming from. He prayed with me, we fasted, and he ultimately told me that she was “my” friend, and only I knew best how to handle the situation. 8|Page
To counter some of the negative thoughts that I had developed from all of her negativity, I made a huge list of as many of the good things that I knew about my husband, and read it often for a couple of weeks. It helped, like some kind of safeguard! However, when I felt the situation had gotten better, I stopped reading the list. I’m not sure how she knew, but in some strange way, she started back, but with more aggression. Looking back at it now, her comments may have never stopped. The impact her comments had on me were probably lessened because I was consciously reminding myself and focusing on the good things that I knew to be true. Nonetheless, her comments, and constantly pointing out my husband’s flaws had gotten to me, and not in a good way. I validated my friend’s comments about my husband by allowing feelings of frustration to develop in me towards him when he had no knowledge of what was going on. I can’t tell you how much this weighed on me. Whenever I would try to focus my attention on something else, share some exciting news with her, or just complete simple household duties while we chatted, she would bring up something negative. With tears, I had a second conversation with my husband, and told him that I was still dealing with some frustrations towards him. I was repeatedly finding fault in the things that I felt he was or wasn’t doing. This was so unlike me to harbor and perpetuate feelings like this towards someone, especially my husband. My nuisances were vain and fictitious. I knew they weren’t authentic, 9|Page
and that’s what was causing me to be mentally and emotionally drained. My focus, efficiency, and productivity was so sporadic. When I talked with my husband, he was still patient and considerate, but there was also a sense of helplessness that he expressed as he tried to assist me in finding a solution. He couldn’t understand why I was holding on to a friendship that was causing so much frustration. Most of all, the question became why was I allowing her to interfere in our marriage, or speak negatively of him. He shared with me that we can easily decide that I no longer need to entertain her, but he didn’t know how to help me if I continued to welcome her company. I felt so guilty for going to him with the same issue, for allowing someone to speak against my husband, and for letting my so-called friend interfere with the growth in my marriage. For about seven to eight months, her undercutting grew to a point where I was about ready to snap, friend or not. One might wonder why did I allow it to go on so long, but I look at it like the beautiful shade tree in your yard that has root damage. You have no clue that the tree is under stress, but you notice branch-like shoots sprouting from the ground at the base of the tree. Whoever mows your lawn cuts them down and you consider the problem solved; however, time goes by and you notice the tree leaning. At best, you make your own assumptions or ask someone else that’s just as clueless as you are. Over time you pay little attention to it, put off having it cut down or letting a professional look at it, and you pray its 10 | P a g e
strength when or if a storm comes. That’s pretty much how my friendship developed. I was not about to go to my husband for a third time with the same problem, this was something that I was allowing to happen. It was time for confrontation. I loved her like a sister, but in no way did I want our friendship to interfere with my marriage. When I spoke with her, her disposition was nonchalant and crass. When I told her that she will not speak negatively of my husband, she shrugged, “I’m just saying what you won’t.” When I began to edify my husband, she challenged everything. I got upset, and hurled, “You know what, you pay a little too much attention to him. Why? I know you know better!” She simply laughed, and replied, “Of course I don’t want him. I want you.” I sat in disbelief with my mouth open, and glared at her. “What?” It was at this moment, that God revealed something to me – I had been entertaining the company of the enemy inside of me. I had allowed my negative thoughts to build up strongholds against what I knew to be true of my God, my husband, and the work that God had placed inside of us. God showed me through His word that I can make my thoughts obey. The person that I used to be was desperately holding on to me by conveying negative thoughts to me about my husband. The person that I used to be was comfortable, and felt threatened by who I was becoming. Criticizing myself was no longer effective, because that was an 11 | P a g e
area that I allowed God to strengthen. The challenge came by nitpicking the very person who God was working through to help me grow. I noticed that the things that were frustrating me about my husband were things that I wanted to change within myself. To find this out was so liberating! All of those negative thoughts that had been growing were a result of me blaming my husband for flaws in myself that I was too comfortable or afraid to change. God’s grace and mercy touched me, and simply reminded me to repent. To move forward, I made a physical list of the things that actually bothered me about my husband. I determined if it was something that needed to be fixed in me, if it was a habit that was really keeping him from being his best, or simply had no value or truth. We discussed, and agreed to work together on resolving any issues, and helping each other develop better habits. I want to be sure to note that the negativity didn’t just vanish all at once, but I knew something else was on the other side of this circumstance. I knew that deliverance was there. I reflected back on God’s truth. When I did this, I activated my faith in a way that God was able to see me. I got in the shower one night shortly after this, and I simply asked God, “What do you want me to see in all of this?” At that moment, God said “You took your eyes off of me, and placed them on your husband. When you did that, you no longer saw him as I saw him - as the man I made him to be.” My 12 | P a g e
eyes and ears were truly open at this point. God was not done talking to me. The next morning, I began listening to a sermon. Wouldn’t you know that it was about the very thing that I was experiencing- lacking creativity, becoming stagnant in growth, and not having joy in all of my blessings because of this one area where I was falling short. I heard a phrase in the sermon that I had recited a million times before, and it’s strange that I couldn’t apply it to my own situation. You can’t correct a problem by focusing on the symptoms, you have to go to the source. The problem wasn’t with my husband, my lack of productivity, or the negative thoughts – those were all symptoms. The source was the point where I believed the suggestion that contradicted the truth that God had given me. Like the woman with the issue of blood, I had been afflicted, and had sincerely tried a number of things to rectify the problem. The solution came when I checked my belief. You see, I had to be open with God. The whole time I was dealing with this, I was still in my routine: church, devotion, communion, teaching, praying, reading, etc. True enough, I was still learning and growing during this time, but I had yet to be delivered from the situation. I repented, and asked God to forgive me for accepting a suggestion that undermined His word. When I asked God for His wisdom, he guided me through the lesson and established my thoughts. He helped me understand that He tempts no one, but we are tempted when we are dragged away by our own evil desire and enticed. I 13 | P a g e
humbled myself before God, because in this lesson, I saw afresh that every good and perfect gift comes from God, He searches my heart and examines my mind, and He will not put more on me than I can bear. In regard to the things that I wanted to change within myself, I realized that I had only given God my word. “God I want to …God I know that You…I have to get this work done…I need to…I’m going to…” There is a difference between giving God your word and committing your works to Him. The feelings of frustration and lack of movement that I was experiencing was due to my lack of action. When I truly committed my work to Him, the action I took showed my faith. He established my thoughts, and I not only got clarity, but help in moving. As I move forward in our journey, I do consider it joy when I face trials of many kinds, because I know that the testing of my faith produces perseverance. I will let perseverance finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. Oh yes, I’m like the tree planted by the water, not fearing heat or drought, and never failing to bear fruit.
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A deceitful heart is purely selfish in nature, and though it doesn't seek to harm, damage is inevitable. Regardless of the vitality and lovi...
Published on May 15, 2016
A deceitful heart is purely selfish in nature, and though it doesn't seek to harm, damage is inevitable. Regardless of the vitality and lovi...