One Branch Remains

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Have you ever found yourself zipping towards a goal in your life, only to discover that God’s plan was slightly different?

Of course. Off course. 

I have such a bad habit, rushing into what I believe to be amazing God opportunities, excited for the fruit that I can produce for Him through yet another adventure. This habit in itself isn’t my demise. Oh no. You see, not only do I run into these opportunities sometimes unprepared, but I bring with me this hidden agenda that through this open door God will bring my dream into reality…minus any hard work on my part.

Of course. Off course.

Not only do I want each open door to produce fruit, I have a tendency to silently dream exactly how the fruit should appear.

Fruit in new relationships.

Fruit is new speaking and writing opportunities.

Fruit in new places to travel.

Fruit in making a difference in the lives of others through Christ.

After all, I’m doing the work so I should get a say in this production process. Right?

That’s just plain off course. 

Sometimes bluntness is the hardest dose of reality. God, I will do this because I can see that You are going to use me to (fill in the blank here). Oh really? You haven’t done this? I guess it’s just me.

Right smack in the middle of my third week of my Christian Life Coach adventure, God has been redefining a few terms in my life. You see, in January, Elevation Church  (Space Coast extension is where we attend and is completely amazing) started memorizing John chapter 15 (yes, you read correctly…chapter 15). Memorizing God’s Word tends to redefine quite a lot in our lives.

When we start memorizing His Word and allow Truth to take root, our words gain His power.

Suddenly, we start seeing changes in the way we think, in the way we feel and frankly, in the way we see ourselves.

As I entered a normal morning run last Saturday, I allowed my imagination to run wild, dreaming of my future clients, coaching through change and watching true life transformation through Christ. As the exhilaration of hitting that last second basketball shot roared with excitement through my body, God’s Word took over.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

I am just a branch.

A branch with huge dreams of producing fruit with Him and through Him…but first I am simply a branch in Him.

[tweetthis]I’m a branch w/ dreams of producing fruit WITH Him and THROUGH Him…but first I’m a branch IN Him.[/tweetthis]

A branch connected to the Source and constantly in need of pruning.

My exhilaration moment transformed to a complete God moment. One that both set me back in my place but also changed my pace.

God decides the fruit and frankly, the areas of my life that require deep pruning. (Not me).

God decides how and when the fruit will take place. (Again, not me).

God dictates the weather around my need for growth. (Still, not me either).

In all reality and flat-out bluntness – branches are called to only do one main job: remain. (Yep, that’s me). 

Remain through the wind, the rain, the scorching sun and the snow.

Remain clinging to the love of Christ that will always show.

Remain even when we have no clue where the next step will lead.

Remain in Him, His Truths and trust through His pruning.

 

Remaining asks no questions about fruit taste or size,

Remaining requires a deep closeness to Jesus’ side,

Remaining in Him for strength each and everyday,

Remaining and seeing His fruit through your branch that He chose to save.

 

He chooses you to showcase His glory,

Bearing His fruit, becoming part of His story,

Don’t be too focused on how this journey should end,

Or you will miss what it really looks like to remain in His hands.

 

Before you can see the fruit He promises, you must simply learn what it looks like to remain in His love. This may take a while, but my friend, you can find joy in the process. I’m learning how to simply remain, put my dreams in His hands and trust in the Source to make the process fruitful. (Well, okay, learning to remain is a process too.) Are you in?

Bethany is an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor to women and an author. Bethany defines herself as a child of God who loves to use her passion for change to inspire others. She has overcome disabilities, wading through the trials and rewards of marriage and motherhood. She enjoys being a wife to Steve for 10 years and mother to three boys (ages 7, 5 and 2). She is a double brain cancer survivor, a 9 year veteran in the field of youth and children's ministry and has published poetry, featured blog posts for numerous ministry websites and children's ministry curriculum contributions. Bethany is currently working on her first book to be released this Fall as well as various freelancing projects. Bethany always welcomes new coaching clients and speaking opportunities!

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24 thoughts on “One Branch Remains

  1. Bethany,
    John 15 is one of my favorites and you did a great job of fleshing out what it means in our life with Christ…This: “God decides how and when the fruit will take place. (Again, not me).” A great post…Thank you 🙂

  2. I always enjoy what you write and this one is no exception. Those branches are very dear to me. Years ago I wrote under the moniker “A Pruned Branch”, (before Internet and blogs), I’ve even published a year’s devotional named the same. It is my desire to stay pruned because in the pruning is when the really good fruit is produced. When we are a branch, a branch that desires to grow and spread with luscious fruit hanging from it, then get ready for the pruning shears in God’s hand! Ouch. But necessary and needful! xo

  3. Yes. Remain. Remain humble. Remain available. Remain flexible…He has shown me that too. Isn’t He good? He does what we need, not what we want if it is not in His plan for us. Stopping by from 3 word Wednesday…Good to see you again Bethany! 🙂 Your words hit me at just the right time 🙂

  4. Yes, yes, yes. Such a good reminder of where we are rooted. I’ve been known to rush into good things that turn out not to be great things for my life. I’m thankful for God’s grace and second chances. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

    • Kinda funny – I disliked John 15 for the longest time because of the repetition! Now that I’ve memorized so much of it, I get why He emphasizes these parts! It’s easier said than done!

  5. I love this, sweet friend! It’s so hard to give up control and learn to just remain–but it’s so important (I’d love to pick the flavor, color and texture of the fruit I bear, not to mention when I think it’s ripe and who I think should benefit from it). The next time I get my tail tied in a knot about how things aren’t going my way, I’ll lift my eyes to the nearest tree and remember that I just need to remain.

    • Anita – YAY! So good to hear your voice! You hit it right on the head – remain requires giving up control. I like control. I feel like I need control. I’m still a work in progress!

  6. Remain in His love. Just sitting here re-reading this post and soaking in it’s truth. “I am just a branch. A branch with huge dreams of producing fruit with Him and through Him…but first I am simply a branch in Him.”
    Good stuff.
    Blessings.

  7. So blessed to be your downstairs neighbor at #threewordwednesday. I related to your words here, Bethany – that desire to run ahead and charge the goal with the best of intentions, but often not surrendering an ounce of the control. So glad God is patient with us! And that yes, by abiding in Him, remaining close and listening for His voice, He proves that His plans are always so much greater than the ones we go chasing after – His ways are so much higher.