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I guess we’ve all heard the story about how only God can unfold a rose. When humans try, we just make a mess of it. A rose is so very fragile, and as you’ve probably experienced, it unfolds in its own time.

Life is like that also. I feel an excitement in my spirit that something good is going to happen in my life. I have been through a very rough time in the last few years, with the death of both of my dads–(my biological dad and my step-dad), the care of my widowed, elderly mom, the chaos of a college- aged daughter, who just dropped out of college, and lots of personal health and family issues. And so it goes for most of us. Life is filled with drama. For quite awhile, I’ve felt as though I have been on the shelf–living life for everyone else, but not for myself.  I couldn’t find time for myself in all the craziness. But somewhere along the way, I quit struggling against the tide, and just went with it. I decided. that if this was what God wanted for this phase of my life, then so be it. He knows better than I do what is best for me. But best is not always pleasant. Sometimes best means building character through lessons that I’d just as soon not experience. But I have to trust that God has a plan for my life, and if He doesn’t, then what’s the use in living? (He does have a plan for all of our lives.)

I used to think that ministry was being on Christian radio (as I was for nine years), or singing for the Lord (as I did at our Christian coffeehouse, Crossroads, for several years), or  Bible teaching (as I did for many years), but I found that ministry could happen wherever the Lord placed me. Perhaps the greatest ministry I’ve had for the last 3 years, has been to my mother. When my dad died, she was left completely helpless. He had retired to take care of her, and his death was quite unexpected, as she was by far  the more frail one. She does not drive anymore, she has many illnesses (including being an insulin dependent diabetic), and  she still lives alone (by choice.) I soon found that my life was given over to her. Living for two is very difficult. Multiply all the things that you do for yourself by two, and you will have some idea of what the last 3 years have been like for me. At first, I was scared to death. I thought was responsible for keeping her alive. Then I was a nervous wreck, afraid of all the things that could happen to her. But I finally made peace with my situation, and began to see that it is, what it is. There is nothing that I can do to change it, and so we must go forward. It is so much easier to go with the tide than to struggle against it.  My mom and I have bonded in a way that we never could have, minus the circumstances. I hope that I have become a more unselfish, caring, compassionate person. I have learned how crucial it is to die to self.  When I die to my own wishes, I can be open to the paths that God chooses. He does all things well. The very worst things in life have redemptive qualities. We just have to wait and watch for them.

So here I am…the rose in this metaphor. I’ve been tightly closed for so long now. But I feel a stirring from deep within, and an expectation of soon blossoming. What does it mean? I really don’t know. I just feel like something wonderful is about to happen. And that is why I must wait patiently for the petals to open, and not try to force the bloom. (In some respects, a rose is more beautiful right before it blooms.)

So God, once again, I give my life into Your capable hands. I am fragile, like a velvet rose that would find destruction in other hands. But in Your hands, I can rest in anticipation of all that tomorrow brings, for only You can unfold the rose…

 Please see other articles that I have written here: http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

 

 

 

 

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