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Today’s Truth

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NIV).

Friend to Friend

When I was a little girl, I loved nothing more than climbing the branches of a backyard tree. There I slipped into a world of imagination as I read books, my legs locked around a strong branch. It was my safe place.

When I grew up, I discovered the power of another tree – my family tree.

The truth was the branches of my family tree were gnarled. The hurts of generations were visible in the rings. I didn’t know how to make my family tree any different, but I did know that God cared about it just as much as I did. I talked to Him about it often. I told Him that I wanted to grow a new branch on that family tree, not just for me but for the little ones that called me mama.

In John, Jesus encouraged His followers with this truth:

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 NIV).

Jesus was teaching His disciples that new growth is possible, but He is the Source.

In my own life, growing a new branch on my family tree didn’t begin or end with a person or the past. Instead, because of Jesus there is power to graft in a new branch.

New growth in my family tree began with the belief that healing is possible. That growth continued as I shared my questions, doubts, and hopes with God. Faith-filled mentors showed me a different way to do things. Even my mistakes became a part of the growth process. Rather than letting a mistake label me as a failure, I started to see them as part of trying something new. Before long, small shoots of growth showed up in my life and thus in my family tree.

In this process, pruning and grafting took place. Resentment was pruned so that forgiveness could be grafted in. Discouragement was pruned so that hope could find a home. God’s love was grafted into places that needed it most.

One by one, new grafts budded and sent shoots of growth along the branches of my family tree. Things like self-control, healthy community, peace, wise counsel, sincere apologies and fresh starts.

It’s been decades since I stood before God with all my hopes for my family tree in my heart and hands. I can see the fruit of answered prayer in my children and now my grandchildren. One day, when they look back, they won’t see gnarled roots and damaged rings.

They will see the fruit that came when a broken family tree was grafted into the Vine.

If you are praying for a new branch in your family tree, I want to encourage you. It’s never too late, too much, or too impossible for a damaged family tree to grow a new branch. Not only will the fruit emerge in your life, but in the hearts of those who you love.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, there is a lot of damage and hurt in my family tree. Thank You that You restore and heal and create new growth. It’s not too late. It’s not too much for You. I come to You, thankful for what You can do in me, and in my family tree,
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

It’s easy to be honest about what others have done, but are you willing to be honest with yourself as well? One of the hardest, but most healing parts of my growth was to examine things that once hurt my heart as a child – and then to ask if I had carried any of those behaviors into my own family.

Then I asked these questions:
Have I brought anything that hurt me, in any form, into the next generation?
Do I need counseling or a mentor to find a different way of doing things?
What is one tangible step I can take today to reach out for that help/resource?

As you answer these questions, I want you to remember. You are brave for doing the hard work, and with God’s help you are adding a new ring in your family tree.

More from the Girlfriends

In Suzie’s book, The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past To Give Your Kids a Great Future, she shares practical helps to grow a new branch of your family tree. It is practical, spiritual, and Suzie comes alongside you in the journey.

No matter what stage of life you are in, there is opportunity to find healing and hope, not just for yourself but for those you love.

(As an Amazon Associate, Girlfriends in God earns A SMALL COMMISSION from qualifying purchases using this paid link.)

© 2022 by Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.

8 Responses to “A New Family Tree”

  1. Jeanne says:

    As a child growing up all I heard was yelling my mom would yell over every little thing or I would hear my mom and dad fighting always yelling at each other

    I ask God one day to show me what I needed to change in my life to make me a better mom and wife and one thing he showed me right away was I needed to break that chain of yelling.

    My boys came to me a while later and said to me mom we seen a difference in you you don’t yell anymore, that touch my heart.

    I could not of done it without God’s help. I know sometimes it’s hard to see the truth about ourselves. God loves us and wants the best for us and the people around us, He wants our love for him to shine through us to others.

    Two of my boys have children and I’ve never heard them yell at their kids.

    It’s been a while since I’ve asked God to show me where I need to change.

    Heavenly father; I asked that you will show us where we need to make changes in our lives so people will see Your love shine through us that unconditional love. In Jesus name amen

    • Suzie Eller says:

      That’s a part of healing — unpacking generational patterns that once hurt us. You are so brave, not just for seeing it and acknowledging it, but for intentionally unpacking it with God’s help. You are a generation changer!

  2. Carol says:

    Wow…Suzie! This devotion was a total eye opener for me.
    So, much misconception of things that happened in my own Christian childhood that actually was so damaging.
    My folks have long time past, but God is counseling me along the way to understanding and forgiveness. He knew it would take a long time, before I could see the parental mistakes, the hurts, and my own stubbornness to not forgive. He has shown me, that all the years, I stayed in that hurt, I lost time to become a “fruit-bearing” vine.
    Thank you for touching on this subject. I know that by taking the full plunge into His Word, the scriptures have become my greatest counsel, and His over shadowing has become my best therapy.

  3. Mary says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It is encouraging to hear that it is never too late for healing and a new start!

  4. Linda says:

    This devotion really resonates with me. There is so much that goes on in families – in my family- that needs to be put into prayer so that the healing can begin. Thank you for helping me to see that I am a part of my tree and that I can be the fertilizer that helps it to grow and produce more healthy branches!

    • Suzie Eller says:

      Father, thank you for Linda. I pray a healthy, whole branch of her family tree emerges as she walks with you. I pray that generations from now will look back and see that this is where you helped Linda see her value, her worth, and the possibilities, and how that impacted them and all who come after. Thank you for healing and hope, amen.

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