Friday, October 7, 2016

The Tree, The Storm, and The Stakes

There is a wonderful analogy spoken of in Christian circles. It is one that helps the believer to understand why a loving God would allow trials into the lives of those He adores. I speak of the analogy of the tree and the storm. The illustration basically boils down to this, in order for trees to be strong, they need deep roots. In order to have deep roots, they need to withstand storms. It is the storm that encourages the tree to plant firm roots so as to not topple over. In contrast, trees with shallow roots will easily fall at the slightest squall.

This morning, on the drive to my 16 year old's high school, I was able to remind him about the purpose of storms in our lives. This past year we have been introduced to facets of our son's life that have been overshadowed throughout the 11 years since his and his sister's adoption. The details of these facets will, I am sure, make the topic of a future blog post. For now, understand that our son has endured far more storms than the Hubster and I were aware of. These disturbances, that we as parents have had no control of, have been brewing in my son's mind for the entirety of his life with us. Often, he can no longer hold back the pressure of life so he finds opportunity to release his anger, hurt and frustration in the place he feels safest, our home. Last night we, as a family, experienced one of those episodes.

This morning, with the burden relieved, my son was in a place where he could receive some maternal wisdom. I explained that he has had an abundance of storms in his life and that his Dad, the Hubster, and I know he will be able to overcome them. While overcoming these trials, his roots will grow so deep that, we know, he will not be moved nor shaken. He will be stronger than anyone I know. But it is in the overcoming that he will be made stronger, not in the storm itself.

At that moment, I had an epiphany and began to speak to myself as well. You see, when we plant young trees, we use posts or stakes to support them until their roots are mature. Usually, there are two stakes. The responsibility of the stakes are to help the tree not to need them anymore. There the stakes stand, one on each side of the young tree, both gently but firmly holding on to this new life. It is a fine balance, the responsibility of a stake, hold on too tight and the tree can be choked, it could snap when confronted with resistance, or the tree could grow and envelop the stake, never to be free and independent. Yet, take to weak of a grasp and that tree is at the whim of it's environment.

I continued down the road of the responsibility of the stake. You see, the thing about stakes is, they don't leave when the storms come, They withstand the storm with the tree to help it through the winds it would not overcome on it's own. It is during the storm that the stakes' work is most difficult and most important. The stake needs to be planted firmly. The stake needs to be sure of it's job. The stake needs to support yet allow the environment to affect the tree so the roots may grow deep. The stake does this in hopes that the tree will no longer rely on it and will flourish on its own.

As parents, we stand along side our children. We try to find that balance of strength and flexibility. As parents we weather all that our child endures and hopefully help our young ones to learn for themselves. As parents we set our goals to, one day, watch our child flourish, on his own, independent of us.


  1. Cindy, this is wonderful! I love the way you write! And such a good word, too! Love, Missy

    1. Thank you so much Missy. God is good!!!