The Secret Garden

My husband has written this post. He has walked with me over the last year through depression and he writes what he sees. As I emerge from the other side this is his view of my journey, the road ahead and what Jesus is doing in my life. On this Valentines Day I feel so blessed to have such support and love from someone who knows me so well and speaks God into my life.

Lost in the dark forest, I stumble onto a clearing and follow a path leading from it. As I walk along the path I’m reminded of the pain I have left behind yet somehow it is still here; still pressing me down. As I walk this path the darkness seems to be lifting and the noises in the inky blackness are retreating. I peer into the gloom and my Black Dog barks and drawls at me knowing I’m leaving his influence as I walk into the light.

I can see the path ending ahead – there is a brightness I have not seen for a long time waiting to greet me. I step over a ruined wall and sit. Alone in the obscurity of my own despair I curl up in a hollow and cry out – “there must be more than this”. Hearing only the deafening silence of my own company I fall asleep.

Waking from the restless slumber I am aware that little sleep was gained last night compared with the worry and stress that churned in my mind. In the morning light I see desolation before me – something beautiful once thrived here – choked of the love and life it once enjoyed. There is a wall running around the garden dilapidated and useless, dying trees stoop sorrowfully in the corner. In the other corner is a run-down shack - the remains of a veranda still on show.

The garden has no flowers, no fruit and no birds sing in the trees and there is an eerie sense of malevolence around the fringe. For the first time in a while I see my calling – I see what God needs me to do. So We start to rebuild the garden. Starting with the ruinous wall, we gather up the stones that once protected this garden – Jesus and I place each stone back where it should be. Each stone has a word on it; not all the same though – Faith, hope, self-control, dedication, humility and so it went on. With each stone I got stronger and wiser – learning that strength was not simply about how touch the bricks were.

With the walls complete Jesus hung the heavy timber gates – strength carved into one leaf and shield into the other. Together we closed the gates on the evil beyond, I stand at the gates as they closed and shout a proclamation – “ENOUGH – THIS ENDS NOW!” and with that we slide the wooden bolt into place. I hear howls and whoops from Jealously and Confusion beyond as they realise their power is failing.

I retire to the cabin and sit on the veranda and reflect on the works of our hands – We share a cup of water from the well, now restored in the garden, and as we relax Jesus and I talk into the small hours until I fall asleep.

I’m woken by a beautiful sound – a wonderful noise of sheer joy – a blackbird sings in the early haze that covers the now walled garden. I rise knowing there is still plenty to do before the work is done. With my knife and axe in hand I head for the trees – standing at the base of the tree I stand cutting at the treachery that stifles its yield. I cut through Despair and Self-esteem, then Anxiety and Betrayal. From tree to tree I go liberating the tree to grow as intended, unproductive branches are pruned away – I start a fire and cleanse this sanctuary of this Doubt forever.

Jesus and I return each morning to clear Emptiness and Rage from each corner of the garden until I can make out the remains of neat rows of untilled soil – So productive before the choking growth of Bitterness and Melancholy. We retire to the cabin, aching and sore from the cleansing; I can see the next step in my journey now. I glance at the trees and can see green shoots and tiny blossom starting to show and know we will bear fruit again soon.

After repairing the tools we till the earth and sow the seeds that will bear a great crop – we bless the seeds and know abundant fruit will come as a result of the efforts Christ and I devote in faith. As time goes by we see the green shoots of a new crop start to appear – stronger and taller they grow until a harvest was not far away.

I rise the next morning to a dawn chorus and feast my eyes on the garden – no longer do I hear the baying threats of Self-loathing from beyond the gates; no more Black Dog – He’s out there but not in here! I see the produce across the garden. The trees full of Joy, another full of Grace and Peace; row upon row of Patience and Kindness. Self-Control and Love grow intertwined on vines shading the Cabin from the sun.

So much fruit! We start to harvest and then I realise the final stage of this journey. Together Christ and I basket up the fruit and place it by the gates – the gates so strong now with His protection. More and more baskets are filled until we have enough. We pray and praise over the offering – with my heart in my mouth we start to push the gates open. Jesus stops and turns, saying in a whisper – “I know – together and in My strength NOT yours”. Smiling we throw the doors wide.

We stand with the fruit before us and shout into the darkness “Come! Eat at the table of the Lord – truly all are welcome.”

Today I am linking up with #FMFParty the word for today is 'Garden' although I am pretty sure this took more than five minutes.
And with the Essential Fridays linkup Minute Friday       


  1. Hi. I've come here through 5-minute Friday, and I like your beautiful metaphor of rebuilding the garden with Jesus.

  2. What a powerful analogy and WHAT a wonderful husband! I've also known the support of a man who stands strong and fights on my behalf through darkness and depression. His insight into my soul has been such a comfort. I know you must feel this too. We live in the country where there are rock walls that are over 150 years old. It's amazing to see how the weight of each rock holds the wall together through time even without mortar. I think of this in regard to the weightiness and solidity of truth . . stone by stone it erects a powerful fortress around our hearts. Your post illustrates that so well. Thank you!

  3. This is a very moving post. I have suffered from depression as have many family members at different times. Depression is a part of life that effects most of us at some time or another. Honesty and supporting each other helps so much.
    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions