Real Growth or “Sucker” Growth?

Real Growth or “Sucker” Growth?
(Written while incarcerated in 2001)
by Katie Souza

To truly grow is to grow in love. Growth without love is “sucker” growth (suckers are a tree’s attempt to grow more branches at its base, often in response to some kind of injury) which is growth that bears no fruit and needs to be cut off!

I need to write letters to several people today. During church at 2 PM, we sang Grace and Mercy. Then I met with Agnes, Deena, Rozzie, and Doris. We anointed each other with oil to be set apart.  Afterward, I walked two miles. I did not get signed off from working in the kitchen yet. I am trusting the Father.

There are 18 more days till we are in Federal Court.

Today at unit prayer we prayed for help in taking our minds captive. It is God’s spirit that makes me loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in these ways. (Galatians 5:22-23)

I walked and went to prayer meeting and unit prayer. We studied Matthew 21:19 where Jesus withers the fig tree. The disciples were astonished at how fast it happened! That’s what’s going to happen with this job-problem!

Miss V signed off on the kitchen job. She even gave me a bonus!!! I thanked her (and praised God)!

Sherrie and I are fighting over her going to the prayer meeting. No more. They all can do whatever they want! I will pray for them no more, but no less. I am praying that Marcia Dugan offers to get me in the visiting room.

Wow, coincidence? I think not!  I collected the first tithings from the unit prayer group. Then, I found this scripture:

“Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it].”
Galatians 6:2 (AMPC)

I didn’t get signed on to the visiting room yet, but I’m trusting the Father.

I walked 2-3 miles, worked in the kitchen, went to prayer meeting, then to prayer, to work again, and to typing. I did my first Bible study! Then at 7:30 service, sister Agnes led about law and grace.

“Don’t get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right if you don’t give up. We should help people whenever we can, especially if they are followers of the Lord.”
Galatians 6:9-10 (CEV)

I dreamed that I went to walk through the sunflowers and it was windy. I heard the still, small voice of God in the wind blowing through the trees like Elisha heard.  I asked the Lord to help keep my mind steadfast on Him. I told Him this was my main desire, that He had to help me. He had to do it because I couldn’t.  I felt different when I woke up.

I’m on the call out for a job change! Visiting room here I come!

Don’t you love it when God answers the cry of your heart? Back in prison, I knew it was time for a change and that I could not make that change happen … only God could do that.

Looking back at this journal entry, I see how I could not allow “sucker” growth in my walk with the Lord.  I could not allow anger or bitterness to grow, causing me to give up praying for others.  I cut off those “sucker” branches, being sure not to get tired of helping others.

And what did the Lord do for me?  He was faithful to reward me.  I didn’t have to look to the people that I was praying for but to the Lord.  He provided the reward, first in the tithe we collected for the first time and secondly in giving me the job I wanted.  God is so good!

What “suckers” are trying to grow in your life?  What are those things that are trying to creep into your spiritual walk with Lord that you need to cut off?  Do not allow them to grow.  Cut them off.

What are you praying for? What needs do you have up before the Lord? Are you listening for God’s still small voice to bring you the answer? Is it time to get quiet to listen for Him, to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, and not lean to our own understanding? When we seek Him with all of our heart, He will respond and make miracles happen for us!

Please share below how this devotional has helped you.

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  • Tonya Gross

    I felt like you were in my head writing my thoughts! I’m going to be getting laid off sometime soon with no notice, besides a letter at the end of the day saying see ya! I’m praying for favor because I finally was given a newer car and the payment is $350 and im still struggling on other bills from way before Covid.

  • Samuel Bosire a.k.a Sammy Bossana.

    Thank you, Katie, God bless you heavily, the Captivity Series have been of great help to me in my Prison teachings.
    Am really strengthened more as I read your articles.
    Keep it up.