When I was a little girl I loved nothing more than climbing in the branches of a backyard tree and hiding away.

I read books there, slipping into a world of characters and story. I hung upside down with my knees locked securely over a branch and swung in the wind.

When I became a woman I realized the power of another tree.

It was my family tree, gnarled and fractured for generations before me.

I prayed for a strong, fruitful branch to grow so that my children would laugh, feel secure, and grow up in a home that was stable and filled with love.

[bctt tweet=”To live free: Prune from your life those things that once hurt you. Don’t pass them down to another generation. #livingfreetogether #family #healing ” username=”suzanneeller”]

Growing a new branch of your family tree doesn’t start at the roots.

You can’t go back and fix what is already so deeply embedded, but you can graft in a new branch. No matter how long that old tree has been in place, fresh growth will appear.

But where do we begin?

Let’s start here. Let’s ask ourselves about the things that hurt you as a child.

As much as we hated them, we can find ourselves carrying in those same behaviors and patterns into the next generation. It may even be in a different form.

Prune those branches.

Graft in the Holy Spirit. Graft in God’s love. Graft in self-control. Graft in joy. Peace. Wisdom. Graft in healthy community. Graft in counseling. Graft in growth. Graft in sincere apologies and fresh starts.

Then watch those grafts grow, shading the next generation with healthier leaves.


Scripture: 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)

A next step: It’s easy to be honest about what someone did to hurt you, but give yourself permission to be honest with yourself as well.

  • Did you hate chaos, but yell at your children?
  • Did you hate addiction, but use substances to numb your emotions?
  • Did you hate fighting, so you fail to work out conflict at all?

Show your Heavenly Father the places where you desire to grow and heal. Invite him in.

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The following books are written out of walking through this very thing. I longed to be a better mom. I longed to have a mended heart. I longed to forgive so I could live free. God healed my heart. He can heal yours. 

 The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past to Give Your Kids Something Greater

The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places

The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness