“What in the world am I doing?” The statement left my mouth as Jeremiah and I began hanging the second strand of wire for the new electric fence. I was about to embark on our first garden since the move and doubts were racing through my mind. I had spent the last few months talking with Brenda (more stories for another day). She offered me various ideas and encouraged me to think about what I wanted to preserve my first year. All that seemed distant now as I placed the wire into the clasp. This “hypothetical garden” was becoming a reality.
We had met a few neighbors since moving and several had mentioned having “deer issues” when landscaping or gardening. One lady told us how the deer destroyed her entire flower bed overnight: “There was one deer that looked at me right through the window as it ate my hydrangea! Vicious jerks. Good luck.” My dream had been to grow a garden and now I was having to think about keeping a vicious-garden-eating Bambi out. In an attempt to safeguard our new venture, I had watched countless internet videos on ways to deter deer. Since I wasn’t interested in collecting hair or urine to sprinkle around the garden, I finally settled on an electric fence with a solar battery.
I’ll never forget my first introduction to the farming community the moment I walked into the local TSC store. For those “city folk” reading, TSC is the Tractor Supply Center. Honestly, it was my own fault that I hadn’t dressed for “gardening success.” I’m not sure if it was the leggings, urban scarf, or riding boots that had never been used for riding, but walking into the store felt like walking into another world. As I approached the register for help, I overheard an older gentleman talking to the clerk about an upcoming livestock exchange where he hoped to pick up a new heifer. “Excuse me, ma’am.” The woman at the checkout smiled and asked if I needed something. “I need some wire and a solar battery for a garden fence. I’m trying to keep the deer out.” As the words left my mouth, I heard a snicker behind me. It was the livestock expert; “Try a gun, darlin’!”
There’s nothing like a blow or two to your confidence to open your heart up to self-doubt. If I’m honest, this new journey left me feeling ill-equipped. I mean, I had done a square foot garden in the past but those little gardens in our suburban backyard were nothing compared to this. What was I thinking?
Stringing up the fence, I felt fear begin to eat away at my dream. “What are you talking about?” my husband asked. I began to sputter out every “what if” scenario my mind could imagine. My husband patiently listened. If there’s one thing you need to understand about Jeremiah, it’s that he’s a good listener. He doesn’t interrupt with ways to fix it or dismiss my feelings because they make him feel uncomfortable. But when I’m ready to stop and ask what he’s thinking, an avalanche of wisdom always flows from his mouth. This moment was no different.
“Aimee, you’re right. It might not work the first time. But that doesn’t mean we’ve failed. We’ll be one step closer to figuring out what does work next time. If there’s one thing I know, even when it gets hard, we don’t give up!” It was like God was using my husband to speak directly to my heart. A peace washed over me. He was right. God was right. I stopped and surrendered my fears to the Lord. With a deep breath, I took a leap of faith and dove into the soil.