Gah, that title sounds so poetic doesn’t it? I truly couldn’t help myself. Sometimes a little flare can go a long way.
Back to the roses…
Y’all I was out watering my garden the other day and I noticed the Knockout roses at the edge of my garden fence. It probably goes without saying that I see them everyday, but this particular moment they caught my attention.
One of them was filled with bright, bold & beautiful flowers. The other was bare.
They were both bought at the same time (my husband went on a binge & bought as many roses as he could find because he loves them). The rose bushes were all planted at the same time. But one was clearly thriving.
I sat and thought, what could have been different?
Our soil could have been too harsh. Maybe someone sprayed chemicals nearby. Maybe one bush wasn’t watered enough.
Then it hit me.
One day when my boys were helping with the chores they accidentally let our goats out. And let me tell you… when a goat spots something that it wants to eat, there’s no stopping it. That’s what happened this particular day. As soon as we noticed that she was loose, we ran after our sweet little Dot (who was so cleverly named because of the white dot on her forehead). But being the little foodie that she is, she would eat and eat until we got close to her & then she would dart in another direction. I swear she had this planned because we would be running in a new direction after her, then she’d stop and dart back to the roses, grab another couple bites & then keep running.
We continued this crazy goat chase until my roses were almost bare. I think all we had were a few leaves still in tact. My heart sank because all I saw were twigs when I had hoped for the bright pink flowers to surround my garden. Thank goodness she likes graham crackers more than roses, otherwise I bet the twigs would have been gone too.
But do you know which rose bush she kept running back to for her snack?
The one with all the beautiful blooms on it now.
How is it possible to go from so bare to so beautiful in such a short period of time?
Ohhhh friends let’s have a quick chat about pruning. According to Webster, the definition of pruning is: “to trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.”
Let’s read that again: especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.
Wait, we have to CUT BACK branches to increase growth? But isn’t that painful? I mean… they’ve worked so hard to grow this big but now we have to cut them back? It doesn’t seem fair.
But the truth is, like pruning, growth is necessary for a fruitful life. The “fruit” (or fulfillment) is different for everyone. You might be like a rose bush: capable of a big bold beautiful life, fast growing, hearty & loved by all. If that’s the case you may require more pruning than other more slow growing plants.
If flowers (or fruit) represent what fulfills us then we MUST go through a pruning process. No one is exempt from this! Sometimes that looks like hardship, moments that make us uncomfortable, mentors calling us out, losing friends, changing friends, trying new things… the list could go on and on.
The one common variable in that list is that those things are UNCOMFORTABLE. No one wants to be pruned. But they all want the flowers… the fruit. The beauty.
If you could one thing from my little rose bush analogy, learn this:
Hardship produces beauty. Pruning produces new growth. It may look like the outside is gone, but as long as the inside is still growing & thriving… the flowers that are produced in due season will be more vibrant and beautiful than all the rest.
If you find yourself in a season where you feel like you’re being pruned, like everything is uncomfortable, like you wish you could just be like everyone else… remember that what you will produce because of this season will be breathtaking.
You will shine. You will glow. Your beauty will come from within.
And the best part? You won’t fear the pruning period because you know the most beautiful blooms come from them.
Don’t give up, Friend. I believe your most beautiful blooms are yet to come.