By Rae Lynn DeAngelis

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3).

My husband fertilizes our yard in early spring, long before leaves appear on the trees and tulips begin to bud. At least that’s the plan. This year, however, we got a late start on our lawn. The end result was a plethora of not-so -lovely dandelions taking over our usually manicured lawn. The ensuing weeds seemed to appear overnight. So of course my husband made an impromptu trip to the hardware store, invested in a few bags of Weed and Feed, and began spreading it across our lawn.

In years past, the results of our lawn treatment could be seen almost instantaneously. This year, however, perhaps because we had let things get a little out of control, the chemicals seemed to have no effect on our lawn whatsoever. We began to wonder if the product was defective or perhaps leftover product from the previous year. All I know is the lawn was not greening up, and the dandelions seemed impervious to our recent treatment.

Just about the time we were ready to head back to the store for another round of chemicals, the dandelions began to disappear and the lawn turned a deep shade of green.

Lesson learned: the longer something is left untreated, the longer it takes to see results from our efforts to impact change.

What’s true in nature is true in life, especially when it comes to things like the toxic thoughts or destructive behaviors we neglect to address. The longer we allow these damaging traits to fester, the harder they are to remove.

Like unwanted weeds across our lawn, neglected sin grows deep roots and spreads to unwanted places. Sin can even obstruct positive growth in our lives, much like unwelcome dandelions choke out the grass.

Breaking free from long-standing strongholds in our lives is challenging to say the least, but not impossible. I often tell women coming through the Living in Truth Ministries healing programs, “You didn’t get here overnight, so it’s unlikely that you will break free overnight. Healing takes time.”

Of course, we want instant gratification. We don’t like to wait, and we want it now.

Can you relate?

I most certainly can!

When I started on my journey towards freedom from bulimia, I had no idea how much time and effort it would require of me before I would be able to break free. Perhaps limited knowledge of the future is a good thing, God’s blessing in disguise.

It took more than a year of intense mind renewal before I was able to break free from the destructive behaviors and even longer before I was free from the destructive thoughts.

Changing unwanted behaviors is a struggle to be sure, but just like it was for me, you need to give it time.

Stay the course, and keep replacing worldly lies with biblical truth. Your efforts will prove fruitful in the end.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).