“Love is like the wild rose-briar; Friendship like the holly-tree. The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms, but which will bloom most constantly?” Emily Brontë
Some years ago, a lady received a bouquet of roses. She was enthralled. It was a part of her birthday surprise from her sister and loving friends. Well, that lady never received a bouquet of roses from a suitor or a former lover before.
Actually, she received her first bouquet of roses on her college graduation. She was very grateful, but she wondered how it feels to receive one from a guy or a suitor (or a sweetheart) albeit she thought it’s too mainstream.
A few years before she received a bouquet of roses, she was invited to speak (evening worship) in a boys’ dormitory at the university where she studied. She was still a student that time. Inspired by God’s wondrous creation, she brought several rose buds and a rose in full bloom.
She asked some volunteers among the gentlemen to try to open carefully the rose buds. The gentlemen tried with all their might, carefully opening them. But alas, the rose buds looked like distorted roses with torn petals. She showed the rose in full bloom and asked each gentleman to draw an object lesson. The topic was about love and relationship.
There were various musings (reactions and commotions), but it boiled down to one conclusion — you can never force love. Love has its own season and time to bloom. It takes the tender care of a gardener, watering the plant and sometimes pruning the stems for its better growth.
Wondering but not Wishing
That lady still wonders sometimes how would it feel to receive a bouquet of roses from a suitor or a lover. She’s been a generous bouquet-giver to her mother and other women in her life (sisters and friends). She knows that not every person has the same love language. Some give other useful gifts and she oftentimes considers it better than the bouquet of roses or flowers.
Ever wonder who’s that lady? No one else but me!
Yes! And I’m actually a late bloomer. I’ve been in an untimely relationship in the past and it was like a distorted rosebud — broken and ugly. It was supposed to be beautiful, but haste and compromises killed the rose. It was thrown away before it got rotten.
Yeah, reality slapped us hard. You can’t cry over a torn rose for long. You have to pick the broken pieces of your heart and move on. God is gracious after all! He doesn’t leave you with an ugly picture of the past. The dried petals of roses could still be useful — why not make a potpourri out of it? I made a potpourri of praise out of it. After all, God loves us way too much to settle for less.
Almost eight years have passed and I could just smile if I remember something about the past. I prefer to focus on the sunny side of it. I am rather grateful that I realized we weren’t meant-to-be during the early stage of the relationship. Sometimes you gotta be brave to break a heart rather than break a home later.
Wondering not to Wander
Sometimes, I wonder why it seemed so easy for people to be in a relationship and marry.
It’s a quasi- brother’s wedding yesterday, September 18, 2016. I’ve seen how he matured in the past few years we’ve been close friends. It was like a rollercoaster ride for him as he sought his own rose! He finally found the One, and though it seemed fast for their rose to bloom, their love story bloomed naturally and it abounds with beauty. I praise God as I witnessed their marriage vows.
In God’s timeline, there’s neither early nor late. Deciphering God’s will is rewarding. Discernment is a wonderful gift. There’s joy in waiting. You could never give God a deadline. He knows what is best and the best is worth the wait. Time would reveal the beauty of a naturally-bloomed rose.
I’m not actually waiting for a guy to give me a bouquet of roses. Rather, I’m waiting on God to give me a beautiful, naturally blooming rose — a lasting relationship with Him as a Tender Gardener.
I’ll keep growing while waiting.
“Love is a tender plant, and it must be cultivated and cherished, and the roots of bitterness all have to be plucked up around it in order for it to have room to circulate, and then it will bring in under its influence all the powers of the mind, all the heart, so that we shall love God supremely and our neighbor as ourselves.” — EGW, Manuscript 50, 1894