The Heartbreak of Eden

Once upon a time, Adam and Eve were naked and not afraid, hanging out in the garden. They were a supernatural team, naming and taming, sowing and reaping. Eve had total body confidence and didn’t live in fear of carbs or snakes. Then one day, she heard a lie which she chose to believe: God is holding out on you. 

Take, eat, you deserve more.

From that moment on, humans began taking matters into their own hands, creating their own little Gardens of Eden, with high fences and ridiculous expectations, trying to be more like God.

In my Eden, I look like Jennifer Aniston, my husband remembers more than half of the conversations we have, and fifteen-year-old girls are super sweet and put their dishes in the dishwasher.

Other people dream of an Eden where red cups have snowflakes and everyone believes exactly the way they do about exactly everything. Some want an Eden where there are no Christians and others want an Eden where there are no Democrats.

Our man-made Edens are fallow ground where only disappointment grows.

Where disappointment grows, fear flourishes, and fear drives us to kill ourselves with striving and kill others with rocks of coveting and competition. And sometimes, with actual rocks.

In my last post, I shared how I get stuck in a rut of bad habits. Many of you said, “Me too!” and I felt less crazy and alone. BLESS YOU. You know who else is like us? The apostle Paul. Check out this excerpt from a letter he wrote to the church in Rome in AD 57:

I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It’s the heartbreak of Eden that has gone wrong and drives me to take matters into my own hands, to create a world I covet but can never have. I end up thinking God is holding out on me, that he should have created me in the image of Jennifer Aniston and put me in a garden without suffering or struggle, a garden where I have control over my flesh and everyone puts their freaking dishes in the dishwasher. A garden, where I am God.

Here’s the thing:  One day, Eden will  be restored and everyone will be super sweet and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess and I will not struggle with bad habits or give a rip about dishes in the sink.

So if it is true for the future, why not live like it is true for today?

16 thoughts on “The Heartbreak of Eden

  1. This is a good final question…I think for me, it comes down to control. I want control over today and I’ll let God have control over ‘that day’ rather than letting God have complete control right here and now.


  2. To be truly human and realize that we have ridiculous expectations, it’s so helpful to confess to each other our weaknesses and struggles. Why don’t we do that more? It’s scary. We want to hide in the garden and behind our little fig leaves. You are brave, Cara. You are healthier than most.


  3. Wow Cara. Very powerful and thought provoking. I finished reading and just stared into space thinking of what I waste while I wait for the perfect Eden within my 4 walls. Thank you.


  4. Eden? Maybe for me Heaven. I know that all the striving and all the need for control doesn’t help me be a better me. Just like Paul, I do the things I despise and don’t do the things that honor God. Every day is a struggle to be in the will of God and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Instead of following the flesh and my own sinful desires.


    1. thanks jin for reading and sharing your struggle. isn’t it comforting to know even paul struggled like this? heaps of grace to you my friend, to all of us who try and fail, and try again. xxoo


  5. Amen sister! What an encouragement to start my day with a different perspective. Thanks for so eloquently describing what I we ALL struggle with on a daily basis..and for being real, it is refreshing.! And those dishes…I understand 🙂


  6. Take things into my own hands ! Oh yes..this is me…over and over and over. Then when I try and things fall apart…the Lord quietly steps in and reminds me that He has a good plan..and He only wants me to trust HIm. So, for a short period of time I remember…then I am right back at it.
    Thanks for writing this..and reminding me I am not alone : )


    1. thank you wanda, for reading and commenting and reminding me God has a good plan for us, and that we can trust him, and that when we forget, he is still there. xxoo


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