There it was, a splash of soft lilac, contrasted by the sea of oranges, reds, and yellows just behind it. The sweet little surprise shocked me at first as I was letting our puppy out to go potty.
A rose in November.
“Well, you’re a little late to the party,” I whispered, as I softly brushed my fingers across her fragrant petals.
I can relate to my lavender late bloomer.
I feel like blooming late has been the story of my life. Not only did I hit puberty as a sophomore in high school—talk about pure awkwardness—but it took me most of my adult life to figure out my purpose and spiritual gifting.
And even still, I’m tweaking the specifics of understanding exactly which road Jesus wants me to be traveling down. It feels like everyone else knows right where they’re supposed to be.
Blooming where we are
I find that the older I get the easier it is to fall for the lie that blooming late equates to never arriving at all. I’ve often muttered to myself while standing outside a door of opportunity, “Everyone else arrived at the party hours ago, so what’s the point of showing up at all?”
It can feel like being late to the game is grounds for not being worthy enough to be put in at all.
Watching what seems to be a perfectly paced world achieving goals and doing their next great thing, leaves this late bloomer with the feeling of being out of place no matter where I’m standing.
This is the age-old “feelings vs. truth” fight that I battle. Because I know it’s silly, I know that while I’m here on this Earth I have the potential to do the “thing” God has me to do. It’s just my feelings often tell me otherwise.
Jesus the carpenter
Something that fascinates me about Jesus’s life here on Earth, is the fact that he lived for 30 years in utter obscurity. 30 years! The son of God lived among his creation, walked among silly humans, and even made himself subservient to them. He didn’t see fit to make a fuss over who he was.
When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age… Luke 3:23
I suppose normally, this wouldn’t be too old, at least not by today’s standards. Most people with a direct goal in mind go to college and then start their careers at some point between 25 and 30. However, Jesus didn’t plan for ministry in the world’s view. He didn’t go to seminary or get professional training. He spent years and years “just” being a carpenter. His whole young life was spent learning the trade of carpentry and then one day, just like that, he began his ministry.
But the part that gets me—he was God. Sure, he was man. But he was God too. He knew the clock was ticking until 33, and yet, he didn’t rush.
He didn’t go in front of the Father’s plan. No, he just did his carpentry work quietly waiting to bloom.
And then one day he was the messiah they had all been looking for.
But the truth is, he was always the messiah, wasn’t he? It just took some time for everyone else to see what he knew all along.
I think that’s how it works with us as well. We’re who we’re supposed to be whether we realize it or not. He knows our potential, he knows when it’s our time… It may just take a
little lot of time for us to see.
I have to ask myself, “If Jesus could wait for the perfect timing, then why can’t I?” It’s humbling to realize that I’m not in charge of when I bloom—or how long that bloom lasts. God has a beautiful plan for my life and my purpose. My job is to remain faithful in the waiting.
Blooming late doesn’t mean at all
I think when we, or anyone we know, take time to do the “thing” they were meant to do, it can seem as though it’s not worth the wait. When, in fact, everything we know tells us otherwise. I’ve never seen a wine or cheese label that said, “Made super fast to taste better.” No, typically it prides itself on how long it’s been aged.
The funny thing about a late bloomer is that often the wait was totally worth it. The failures, the trials, the uncertainties, and setbacks along the way, make the end bloom so much more beautiful.
We assume that if we haven’t figured out what we’re supposed to be doing by a certain age then it’s too late. We’ve lost our chance.
But this just isn’t the case. Our bloom may not look like everyone else’s. We may be flashing bright summer colors well into Autumn.
And that’s okay.
As He often does, my Jesus brought this gentle reminder to me through his creation. This sweet little rose brought me joy and perspective on this fall day. The golds, reds, and oranges are brilliant just now, but as they blow away, a whisper of lilac showed up to remind me that we’re never too late if we bloom right where God intended us to.
As always, friend, thank you for stopping by,