What’s Up With the Roses? Part 3 Caught in the Brambles No More

The last time my granddaughter was visiting we took a walk.  We often take walks when we are together.  Walking down our steep road, she said she wanted to go see our creek. It flows through our property in our woods; our grandchildren love to play by it. 

As we veered off the road, I told her to be careful of the brambles.   She didn’t understand at first, so I told her that brambles were the thorny branches of the wild roses that grow on our property. 

Walking forward she learned what brambles were.  I tried to clear the path, but with each step she landed deeper into the mass of thorny bushes. She finally threw up her arms pleading with me to pick her up.  I leaned down, scooped her up, turned and gently tossed her up the hill where she landed on her feet.  The conversation back to the house was filled with her dislike of brambles.

How often in our lives do we start heading to a destination only to find ourselves caught in a pile of brambles?  We eventually throw our hands up, pleading with God to lift us from the thorns. He is faithful and removes what is keeping us tangled up.  But, our Lord, unlike this Grandmother, will gently pick you up, and lay us beside still waters to hear His voice and heal.   

Psalm 23:2-4, “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths,   bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” (New Living Translation)

What’s Up with the Roses? Part 2 He’s Called Me Rose

Our home in San Diego overlooked a major freeway.  There was noise from the vehicles day and night. Right beside the freeway was a landfill. When we first bought our house, the landfill was a site for bulldozers and heavy equipment.  In a few years it looked almost idyllic sitting beside the never-ending traffic.  Where bulldozers once roamed the land, grasses grew, along with the California poppies in the spring. 

Our family room looked out on the freeway and frequently I would stand at the window watching the vehicles whizzing down the road.   This is also the room where I would have my quiet time and prayer time. 

I had a season in my life while living there, that I struggled with my first name, Mary.   That sounds silly, I know, but it was a real struggle for me.

I was raised a Catholic, and my parents named me after my aunt Jane.  She too was Mary Catherine, but my Mom once told me they called her Jane because she was a plain Jane.  Not a winning argument in me liking the name Mary. 

My family called me Cathi.  I was used to that.  I like it.  I had a rude awakening when I entered first grade though.  Being a Catholic school there were many Mary’s.  Mary Kay, Mary Ann, Mary Beth, you get the idea.  Each of the girls was called by their full name.  I was just called Mary.  I dislike being called Mary.  It’s a beautiful name, and I am finally beginning to like it, but I prefer my full name or Cathi.  

It was during this season in 1991 when I was wrestling with God about my name.  Often during my quiet time I would hear Him speak to me about my name.  I wrote in my journal one day in October of that year that I need to accept that I am Mary.  I needed to accept who I am.  I continued to write in my journal the following: “You need to accept who you are. Just as you are a Rose- you are a wild one, not cultivated and pruned and restricted.  You are an individual”.  I remember after writing this looking out the family room window imagining a wild rose growing on the hillside of the landfill.   A wild rose that no one really notices, but is there.  I saw the rose as pink, I don’t know why. 

Recently I went back in my journals and saw this entry.  I went online and researched pink roses.  Wild roses are likely to be pink; they are a symbol of love and admiration, and a carrier of secrets.

So many years ago I heard about wild roses.  I had a deck full of cultivated roses, and I never thought of a wild rose.  Years ago our Lord was telling me that I may not be noticed, but He noticed me.  He loves me and He knows me. 

Isaiah 43:1b says, ““Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.”

I rest knowing that I am His.