I saved my fiddle leaf fig from root rot yesterday. Apparently I caught it right as it was beginning to happen. It was killing my tree from the roots, up. I first noticed from the leaves. Brown spots were forming on the ends of the leaves and were growing bigger by the day.
I get this. On the deepest level, I get this. While brown spots may not be forming on my skin, I feel it under the surface. I feel old wounds beginning to fester and the more I try to ignore them or push it down, the more it becomes apparent that whatever is going on inside of me, needs to be addressed.
As I researched the one MILLION things that could go wrong with a fiddle leaf fig, bless it, I realized the only solution was to uproot the fig from the container it was inhabiting. I literally had to pull it up out of the soil to save it’s life. I’m not sure what kind of parallels you can string to this, but i’m 100% certain you can claim at least one.
Now you should know that I am no plant lady. I’m allergic to air. Well, not literally, but kind of. Flowers are a big NOPE, but plants? Sure! “Why not start with a fiddle leaf fig?” said NO ONE EVER. But as i’m a go big or go home kind of a gal, “full speed ahead!” I said.
I knew once I pulled the tree out of the pot, I needed help. So I called a much more advanced plant friend over to come assess the situation. She began to pull and prod, dig and break. She pulled at the roots and broke them up. She grabbed ahold of the dead roots and pulled them out. They had been choking the live ones from the start of the root rot. She was aggressive with the plant, yet knew what she was doing. “I know it looks like i’m being mean to the plant, but i’m not. I’m helping it. I actually feel really comfortable doing this because I KNOW what this will produce. I just brought another plant back to life that was dead at my house the other day.”
As soon as she said this, it was as if all the noise that filled up the air had muffled out in that moment. It was a holy moment of the Lord impressing a truth in my heart that I never knew I needed. He was using this fiddle leaf fig as a real life example of what He was doing in my life at that moment. Like, I was in a classroom and he was shouting with a megaphone “DO YOU SEE WHAT I’M DOING HERE?! I am doing a new thing, but this is going to hurt before it gets better.” As all healing does, ya know? The cleaning out of a scrape always seems to hurt more than the scrape itself.
You see, I have walked through a season of the Lord picking our family up and uprooting us out of a place we were comfortable in. Not a good kind of comfortable. It was quite painful, actually. But I was used to the pain, it numbed places within me without knowing. Root rot was happening and all I could tell you was that something didn’t feel right on the inside. I was sad/ discontent/ complacent. And just like a little kid who refuses to stare at the wound or the problem, I was content to leave it and pray it got better on it’s own. I had no idea the Lord was physically going to lift us up out of our container and start man-handling our roots.
After she sorted through the roots, she informed me that I was going to need brand new soil. I couldn’t go back to the soil it was in before. That was where the root rot happened, I needed a brand new start. I came back with the best brand I could find and she began to stab the root ball with sticks to allow the water to infiltrate through the roots.
Lord, is that what you are doing now? Infiltrating my roots with your healing water.
In addition to the new soil, I quickly learned I would need a new pot. The tree had outgrown the pot it was in. It would need something bigger in order for it to flourish. So here my fig stood, in a new pot and new soil. We trimmed off some dead leaves and this morning as i’m sitting on my couch, looking at the plant, you would never know the trauma I put it through yesterday. I would even go so far as to say that the plant is looking healthier already. It has been through a lot so I am letting it rest for the time being. It has fresh water and the promise of new leaves on the rise.
You know, we ask the Lord to resurrect the broken places in our lives. We ask him to heal us and do a new thing. I’m not sure we always realize what we are asking. I listened to a podcast the other day where the guy talked about how Mary Magdalene did not recognize Jesus immediately when He stood outside the tomb he was buried in three days prior. You guys, she did not recognize Jesus when He resurrected. At least, not until he spoke to her directly. Things were different, the penalty was paid. He could not go back to where he was, because he had paved the way for what was to come. And there he stood in all his resurrected glory. New. Redeemed. Justified. And we want that Resurrected Jesus because He is who brought us back to life. Gave us life. The rescue story that changed everything for you and me.
In the podcast he said, “When we are asking for resurrection (for the healing or restoration of something in our lives: marriage, friendships, broken relationships, anything that is root rotted that needs life again, etc), we’re not going to get back what we recognized when it was alive.” “After all,” he said, “Do you want a resurrection or are you asking for that same thing again? Even Jesus, didn’t look like Jesus when He came back to life.”
I want a resurrection. I want it to look different. I don’t want to go through the pain of the healing process only to come back to the same version I was. I want to grow wiser, deeper, more solid. I want wholeness. And wholeness happens when the Lord takes hold of our roots and and works from the inside, out.
It reminds me of the song, “Reckless Love”
There's no shadow You won't light up
Mountain You won't climb up
Coming after me
There's no wall You won't kick down
Lie You won't tear down
Coming after me
And if I may…
There’s no root You won’t pull up, no soil you won’t break up, coming after me.
May the Lord strengthen your hands and your frame as he continues His work in you, my friend.