Ripping Out the Roots

Ripping Out the Roots

How can we do away with the sin we are so deeply woven and rooted in?

"Not everything that grows us is good and right." —Jonathan Enix (Everything That Grows Us)

It's true— everyday circumstances have the ability to leave a lasting impression for the rest of our lives. Those overalls you wore your first day of school are a contributing factor to the reason you've been friends with the same person for 14 years. That person that you said "hi" to at a service project is now your best friend. That club you decided to join introduced you to the people who have laughed with you through the most awkward situations, cried with you through the tough times, and rejoiced with you through the broken chains.

It's strange to think that our daily decisions have led up to this moment in time that we are in right now. These decisions are the ones that grow us-- positively and negatively.

We have people and aspects of our lives that impact us positively, but we also have other people and aspects that impact our lives negatively. It's important to understand the original seeds from which our true selves grow, but it's also important to understand what waters those seeds and, ultimately, where our roots—good or bad—are grounded.

The roots of a tree are the foundation. They keep the tree in place. A tree's identity is found in the roots because these roots have a direct effect on everything else connected to the tree. Similarly, roots have everything to do with the way we water them. It's honestly simple: whichever roots you water, those are the ones that will grow. Good roots grow good fruit, and bad roots grow bad fruit.

The same goes for us. As people, we have figurative roots. We have people, places, and things that keep us grounded, and these are the things we look to when we have trials and tribulations. However, sometimes these roots are harmful to our well-being if we aren't rooted in the things that bear good fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control— qualities of God).

Sometimes, we don't always water the right roots. Our thoughts, emotions, and actions are the way we water our figurative roots, and if these things are negative, the roots within us won't be grounded in God. They will be grounded with sin. Sometimes, these roots have the ability to grow and deepen, and it is difficult to not turn to those things (bitterness, unforgiveness, substances, etc.) when times are trying because that's where we find our identity.

How do you get rid of the negative roots that are so deeply woven into your emotions, thoughts, and actions?

I am a firm believer in the fact that our God is a God who is able to rip out the roots. I see people who have been delivered from alcoholism, depression, and other things. I see people who are weighed down by these things one day, but the next day their desires for worldly things are gone. Unfortunately, this isn't always the way it goes. There are things people struggle with that they may never get immediately delivered from, whether it's a disease, feeling, or a habit. This can be really frustrating for those who try to stay steadfast in God and feel no sort of weight lifted off of them. That is where this comes into play:

"Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against: defeat for them, a victory for you—and both because of God. There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting."

Philippians 1:27-29 (MSG)

Roots are deep. You can cut down a tree all you want, but the roots are not so easily done away with. There comes a point where we make the decision to not feed those roots. We have to remain faithful to our roots that are planted in Him, and in return, we will see that He remains invested in us. It's easy to kick and scream and cry and ask God, "Why is this happening?" but it's important to remember that we are suffering for a good reason. God isn't setting us up for a loss; he's putting us in a position to better ourselves and deepen our roots with Him. Once we put our emotions, thoughts, and actions in the roots that matter, we realize that day by day we are letting those negative roots die. We have to make a choice to not feed those roots, and although that is a hard thing to do, we've got a God who will fight the battle alongside us.

I believe that God makes the best out of what the devil intends for evil, and I also believe that the harder the circumstances we face, the more God trusts us. What an incredible honor that the Lord of the universe would trust me to face the darkest of shadows! What joy can be found in the fact that God gives us exactly what we need! My God is a God who rips out the roots, yes, but my God is a God Who is faithful. My God is a God Who will stay by my side, come Hell or high water, and help me let the sinful roots rot. That is something we can find peace and comfort in when we have the courage to let our roots die.

*A special thank you to Katelyn Clark, who inspired this article!

Cover Image Credit: Brad Grove

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Notre Dame Cathedral–Such A Loss Of History And Beauty, But What A Gift It Was To Experience It

Reid shares her story as she is saddened for Paris and the church.


After the massive fire that devastated large parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the 850-year-old cathedral's spire fell. French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation to share in the nation's sorrow but gave hope for the future. This includes the rebuilding of the cathedral together and making it more beautiful than ever. "The fire of Notre Dame reminds us that our story never ends. And that we will always have challenges to overcome. What we believe to be indestructible can also be touched," Macron said.

Tyler Reid

Among many others, Tyler Reid is saddened for Paris and the church. Although, she counts herself blessed to have seen it such a short time before it was destroyed. Reid, who was lucky enough to visit the amazing structure this past spring break, remarked:

My trip was filled with so many wonderful sites. Although, because Notre Dame carries the title of most-visited monument in Europe, my expectations were high. When I first walked up, there isn't one specific feeling I got; instead, it was more of a million thoughts running though my head. Once inside, looking at the massive stained glass windows combined with all the details in every crevice, it was hard for me to imagine people actually building this without the technology we have today. This hand crafted masterpiece really is so influential considering people still went there to worship, even after so much time has past and so many other cathedrals had been built. This proves how special the Notre Dame Cathedral really is. Due to my experience here, hearing about the fire hurt my heart, especially thinking about how some of the irreplaceable artworks and all of this history may be gone. This place truly influenced people, including me, and for it to be gone is a true tragedy.

Like Macron, Reid shares in the sorrow; although, for her, it was just from one visit. This proves the amazing impact the Notre Dame Cathedral had and hopefully will continue to have even after this devastation.

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