Pruning my roses is cathartic for me. I love searching out the right spot to trim back to. I know that trimming the bushes will allow them to bloom again; fuller and stronger. I see the deep color of the new leaves. I see the thicker, heartier stems pushing through and hints of blooms to come.
There are parallels to my life and faith. I’m not always happy when God prunes – especially when the decay goes deep. Things I’ve struggled with for a long time that I know need to be cleared away for me to grow. They are familiar and I get anxious when He says they have to go.
I look at my childhood and see the blooms I once had. I miss them.
“Remember when I prayed all the time and ran around singing hymns, God?”
He tells me that He loved those blooms too, but to trust Him, the new blooms will be even better. I worry that my faith was stronger and might never be that way again. He reminds me that I needed that faith to survive the childhood ahead of me and the trauma I would go through.
I learned to go to Him at a very young age, afraid that everyone would abandon me. I would need to know to turn to Him and believe He would always be there even when my world shifted under me. I would need that when my mom was institutionalized again.
I learned to be grateful for my life and my wonderful friends. I have been blessed with the best friends my whole life. He shows me that I needed them to counteract the hate I experienced from my family. I needed their kind words to hear Him tell me that I was enough – that I was loveable.
Now my faith is my own, not words of others that I believed without question. I have gone through deep seasons of doubt. My faith has been tested, and He has proven Himself faithful. I have so much to be grateful for. Even during my biggest struggles, He brought me joy. I know this without question now.
He is the author of the new growth in me. He created the new blossoms ready to bloom. I have had my share of pain – often at my own doing, avoiding the deepest cuts He needed to make.
I find myself grateful tonight for the blooms that once were, now cut away. I see the beauty in them as they were at their peak. That beauty lets me trust in the promise of what God is yet to do in my life. I see the new leaves. I see the stronger stems.
I’m sure there will still be whining about the cuts – after all I am still me. But I know I can trust Him because He sees the me He designed me to be.
By Vicki L. Pugliese