I live at the edge of a forest. When we lived at the beach, I used to rake the sand in front of our cottage, so I know it won’t surprise you that I rake the dirt under the trees. I have full awareness that the forest doesn’t belong to me, but I take great joy in tending to her as if she were my own.

There are no visual boundaries between the land we call Ours and what lies beyond. The trees bow their heads TO LEND SHADE OR A LISTENING EAR as far as they are able. Roots are tricky that way.

The woodland creatures are something else altogether. They have mighty legs. And they’ve carved a rugged path to my sanctuary. Right. Up. To. My. Door.

One particular fawn and I have become enraptured with one another. Or at least I with her. As much as I want to believe she comes to hear my adoring words, she is clearly bent on eating my garden. Every. Little. Bit.

“There was a deer in your garden, this morning,” hollered my neighbor from some distant lodging nestled in the trees across the road. I wanted to reply with something that had to do with target shooting but that would have been wrong, I know. I know!

The next morning, every single plant was gone. I was crestfallen. Let’s make that the word of the day—Crestfallen. Upon researching its precise definition [sad, disappointed], I was introduced to a character named, “Crestfallen Warrior,” from a popular video game. A brief bio reveals Crestfallen Warrior has “grown weary of the world.” I can relate in so many ways.

What makes you weary? I really want to know.

For me, weary is a sadness at retreating from who I am.

How many of us acquiesce rather than holding our ground?

Even worse, how many of us never expand our territory for fear of losing our way? Contrary to breadcrumbs through the forest, there is no going back. Going back for crumbs isn’t so wonderful anyway.

I really thought these recent excruciating months had transformed me into a warrior but in this woodland Femme Fatale, I have met my match. As much as I wanted [no…needed] a garden, I had begun to believe it wasn’t to be.

Isn’t it telling how quickly we are willing to give up on the pieces of ourselves that simultaneously nurture and challenge us the most?   

“We are going to war,” declared the nursery attendant at seeing me gazing longingly at the white hydrangeas and lavender. And just like that, everything changed.

Sometimes theRE is a calm voice outside of us that steadies the one that doubts within. When did we stop remembering that we were created to undergird and uplift?! The battle cry of someone I hardly knew reached in and reminded me of the warrior I have always been.

As you can see, I brought the hydrangeas home with me. Whether or not they are eaten, I still win.

There is this funny thing about life. It sometimes makes us doubt the innermost longings of our wildest imaginings. Little disappointments. Bigger setbacks. Why do we define ourselves in them? They are no bigger than the forest. Certainly not more mysterious. So why not step in?

There are no boundaries, no lines drawn in the smooth dirt, just there, where the shadows of the leaves dance in the wind. There is no such thing as “losing ground.” There is only the unwillingness to step ahead. She, the wild one who has eaten my garden, has carved the path for me to follow…

And she is relentless.

Corinthians 5:17 
Therefore if anyone be in Christ, they are a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.
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