Leaving Bitterness Behind

How God allowed hope and healing to flower in my life

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We pulled into the driveway of our "new" house on moving-in day, and my heart sank. I hadn’t remembered that it looked so bad.

The cement driveway was badly chipped, and frost heaves had made the sidewalks bulge up dangerously. Debris and overgrown plants were everywhere. Like a creepy welcoming committee, five dead bushes lined the walkway to the front door.

Most overwhelming to me, though, was the dark and towering maple tree that loomed up over the house. It was enormous—its trunk more than four arms’ lengths around—and it so dominated the front yard that our children couldn’t play and run around there.

It would be a costly and difficult project, but I knew that tree had to go.

Tree of Bitterness. There was something else in my life that had to go, and the maple tree came to symbolize it for me: I was harboring a deep-seated hatred of my mother.

The hatred had its roots in the wounds and…

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