The teenager had to do a small  science presentation about a plant. He picked the Rose. 

We bought Roses. 

We printed pictures of them. 

He researched them. 

I sang “Every Rose has its Thorn” by Poison to him. He listened diligently as I sang every necessary high and low note. 

He looked like he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. 

At the end I turned to him and said, “I’m sorry you’re not as talented as me.”

And he replied, “I almost can’t handle it.” 

Then we laughed. We laugh a lot, the two of us, when we can because so much of the time I’m driving him places, checking his grades, quizzing him on things, listening about his days. I embarrass him a lot. At first I was saddened by it, but now I just keep going, because eventually he’ll realize the awesomeness I bring to the table. Eventually. 

As we studied Roses I learned a lot…they have been around a really really REALLY long time. They’ve found fossils in the U.S. that are said to be 35 million years old. Of Roses.

They are beautiful. 

And yet, they still have thorns. 

We all have thorns, and prickly parts to give us protection, and keep us from feeling too close to others. Lately the thorny parts of me have become more bold as I’ve had to work through some of my own stuff. Deal with my insecurities. My flaws.

 I was visiting with a good friend and told her how recently I’ve been in a tug of war with God and how much I let Him have. Because I want to keep some of my thorns because even though they hurt, I know them, they are a part of me. My insecurities have defined my relationships, and in that I have hurt friends by guarding myself with my own hedge of thorns. Even today I hurt a friend, by setting my hedge up just in case, and going about the wrong way of communicating. 

And I’ve done that with God. I feel like I’ve already put myself out there enough, that I’ve said enough…and it scares me. I don’t see the beauty of the roses. I just see the thorns. 

There are 4000 songs written about roses. 4000! There are 4000 reasons I’m not qualified to inspire anyone. Because I’ve been clinging so tight to the idea that God is going to change his mind about me. That he’s not going to keep working in me, because I keep pulling back on what I want to hold close. 

And the realization that I’m still incredibly uncertain about a lot of things. 

When I wrote Friday May 29 post the Holy Spirit was working and in a big way. But since, the reality of my words and the reality of my world has me running my hands over the thorns even though I know I should be willing to hand them off. They cut me and poke my heart, and still I cling. 

Because the next part of my real hasn’t been handed over yet. 

I spent years wishing I was different. If only I was less convicted about things. If only I could just bury things and forget about them. If only I didn’t think, feel, see so much. 

I want to help heal others hearts by speaking about God’s great love. I want to be a constant reminder what faith lived looks like…but I’m not holy enough. I’m not faithful enough. 

I’m just me. 

My friend who I talked about the tug of war with shared with me that the miraculous happens in two steps…the first is in obedience. And the second is in the mundane. 

Sometimes we want the Rose to bloom before it’s ready. Sometimes we want to God to move big before it’s time. But it won’t always be big and powerful- it may be small and ordinary. 

But it’s not any less important. Any less beautiful. 

And Beautiful lives take time to grow. 

Maybe today I’m only ready to face the thorns. Today I haven’t been able to see past the ways I have hurt, the ways I have failed, the ways I’ve been hurt, and the way I have held on instead of handing off to God. 

But there’s always more. 

I learned in hearing my son talk about Roses that the history of them goes so much deeper than a mere flower. 

Roses are a celebration of Love. 

Love is a powerful thing.

It brings out the best and it brings out the human in us. And only one love is perfect, the rest has thorns. 

What a powerful image to know my God had a crown of thorns placed on his head. 

The human error of us, and sinful places dug, hurt, and damaged, placed directly on Him.

And He is still the most perfect example of love. 

Beautiful takes time to grow, were the words I received in pray today as I held tight to my thorns. Letting go won’t be easy, but neither is living a life being afraid. Because that’s what has consumed me the past days…fear. It is real and I realized I will never bloom if I rest in that. 

I need to rest in Him. And not be afraid. 

To say the wrong thing. To be judged. To not be enough. Of the future. Because those fears are valid but that doesn’t mean they are the only truth in our life. 

Roses are resilient. 

Because they are tough.

Because they have thorns. But they still grow. Up toward the only Truth I need watch bloom over and over again. 

Miraculous happens in obedience and the mundane…but it happens. Eventually. 

From the roots, to the thorns, to the bloom. 

And I may not see the beauty of what the revolution of real can become but I hope to. Eventually. 

But I just don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it…but I’m willing to try. 

To God be the Glory.