On Good Soil and Fertile Hearts
When you spend over a decade with barrenness marking your life—there is something in you that sits up and listens when fertility is mentioned in Scripture.
And it is mentioned, quite often.
One place is in the parable of the sower.
You remember, of course, the story of the farmer who went out and sowed seed. Some fell on rocky soil and sprung up quickly, only to die because it had no roots. Some fell on thorns where it was choked out by the other plants. Some fell on the hardened path and birds snatched it away before it could sprout. And some fell on good soil.
Or rather, fertile soil, as it is sometimes described.
Soil that is prepped and ready.
And that fertile soil? It produced 30, 60, even 100 times what was sown.
We doubled the size of our garden this year. We started with our original plot, where we’ve been working fertilizer into it for years and then plowed down another whole section.
And friends, you can tell where we’ve been working on the soil.
The garden goes from scant and spindly to lush and thick right down the middle.
It’s so crazy obvious… and I can see the lines in own life. I can see the seasons where I worked at my heart—keeping it cleaned up with the truth and with the goodness of God worked into my thought patterns—and the seasons when I didn’t bother.
I’ve been cleaning out my file cabinets this month. Slowly making my way through piles of journals and stories and folders of scrap papers. So much writing. So many thoughts.
Half of them are destined for the bonfire.
But there is another half that I keep glancing through with a bit of a smile on my face. Because I know those times. Those prepping moments, where the truth of Scripture, the goodness of God, and the beauty of following Him was working into the soil of my heart and mind.
I wrote this exact prayer right there—in the middle of a long season of struggling with infertility and fear that my life would never include the children I longed for—it’s scrawled across the pages of my Bible Study notebook.
Oh, that my heart might be fertile!
What we put into our hearts and minds matters.
After spending almost a dozen years praying that my body would be fertile—I can testify that the greatest victories have been found when my heart is fertile for the things of God.
Yes, my physical barrenness has been transformed into plenty, but long before our adopted children came home, and long before my body healed and bore a child, God had already obliterated the barrenness of heart that once held me captive.
He brought abundance every. single. day.
I’m going to keep praying for breakthrough in infertile bodies, but my biggest, greatest, most passionate prayer is that hearts will be fertile to the things of God. That seeds sown will grow abundance in our lives.
The abundance of knowing and experiencing the presence of God.
The abundance of grace and mercy and justice and hope.
Because the God we serve really is more than enough.
Books I’ve used to help prepare my heart:
And what I’m using right now:
Oh My Soul: 21-Day Devotional Study
(Specifically, this first one called Abiding. So, so good.)