There once was a girl running in a lane of thorns that led far into a forest of thick, wild, and thorny brush. It seemed that on every turn she was pricked by wrong decisions, hurts, and disappointments in life that led further away from God. That girl was me.
Bloody, broken, and bruised from the thorns in my life that I was desperately trying to outrun. I was too blind to see that you can’t grow if you don’t confront the emotions and events of the past that you are running from. I was born loving my dad who was an addict and spent most of my childhood trying to escape the shame, worthlessness, and guilt that came with the territory of this kind of love. Broken promises, anxiety, and depression were a part of my life and it was my normal. Deep down I knew the pain of the emotions and experiences wasn’t normal because I was longing for something more, anything to fill the void except God - the only one who could take the pain away. But when pain runs deep, it is easier to run from it than to stare at it again. It felt better to keep all of it inside for no one to see.
When we think about roses, we admire their silky beauty as we take in their sweet fragrance. But do we ever think about the thorns that grow on the stem or the careful steps the gardener took to cut the stems without getting pricked? Looking back, I can see God carefully pruning away the damaging effects of the thorns I experienced and working out every moment in my life to grow something beautiful.
I never stopped to enjoy the feel of the petals in between my fingertips or the sweet aroma. I never stopped to admire the Creator’s work of such a beautiful flower and how much care was needed to cultivate such a beautiful rose. If I stopped, then I would feel every thorn I was running from. In my carnal mind it was easier to run through the thorns of life than to sit with Jesus and let Him unravel me into who He knew I could be.
At least then I was in control of what happened in my life and I was in control of the pain. It didn’t matter how destructive the choices I made were, they were mine. Many times, I found myself begging God to save me from myself, but I wasn’t ready to release the thorns of my emotions and events in my life into Jesus’ care. It wasn’t until I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror and I knew this is not who I want to be that I started truly seeking God.
He met me in a lane of thorns.
I found myself standing barefoot in God’s grace, love, and mercy fully changed and ready to live a life worthy of Him. I finally realized that every chapter in my story was leading up to this moment when I discovered my calling, my identity in Him, and how perfectly the master gardener cultivated and pruned my life to fit His will and purpose for my life. Suddenly, everything I spent my life running from wasn’t scary at all - it was a lie from the enemy. I knew that all along God was trying to lay hold of me and melt every hurt away. He simply wanted to prune me so that I could bloom into everything He knew I could be, desired to be, and needed to be. God is our master gardener and if we hold onto Him through the lane of thorns we will see His purpose and be able to enjoy the smell of the roses.
And this is how my story turned into a Lane of Roses.
Romans 8:28 NLT | And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
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