"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Tomorrow, my first born, Candace, walks the Lawn at The University of Virginia, receiving her undergraduate degree in English Language/Literature. Wasn’t it just yesterday that she was holding my hand and learning how to cross the street safely? Stop, Look and Listen! Look both ways. Double check. Promise me, okay?

But, God says “there is a time for everything.” And he continues, “And, everything is beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3). I must accept that God is omniscient. He is sovereign. And, move on. In my search for inspiring words to write in her graduation card, I found the above quote by Anais Nin. It captured my attention. Certainly I wouldn’t want my flowers to stay tight in their buds. If they did, I would never be dazzled by their blossom. How boring that would be. Isn’t the whole purpose of a bud . . . to blossom? It is the blossom that beautifies the earth. Brings delight to the soul. Fills a room with fragrance. Brightens up any space. Demonstrates love and friendship. So, tomorrow, I will be celebrating the taking of a risk. The risk of opening my heart and life to brand new blooms. Letting go my first born. Again.

During a radio interview this past Thursday, the host, Paul, asked me an interesting question. I haven’t been asked this question before. He said, “When you were a little girl, you had a dream about your future family. Is it what you thought it would be? Is it the family you dreamed about?” Taken a bit off guard by his question, I took a moment to reflect on my answer. I never want to sound pompous or perfect. Because I am neither of those things. And, my family is not perfect. It is a work in progress. It is under the Divine Superintendence of God Almighty . . . who is constantly conforming us into his own image. “Paul,” I spoke. “I would have to say it is even better than I imagined as a child. It is not perfect. We work daily on making our family healthy, sound and spiritually strong. But, it is a family. And I consider myself very blessed.”

Risk, defined, simply means, “to expose oneself to the chance of injury or loss; put oneself in danger; hazard; venture.” Exposure. Revealing. Unmasking. Uncovering. Life is all about risks. Growth is all about risks. Change is all about risk. But, it is in the risk that we find joy. I do not want to be the bud that remains tight. Set in my ways. Stuck in a rut. Unwilling to change. NO! I want to take the risk to blossom!

Won’t you join me? I know that change can be fearful. We’ll talk more about that later. But, for today, take a minute to ask yourself, “Am I willing to take the risk of blossoming?” I have been a mother for so many years. And I know that I will never do anything more fulfilling. BUT, they must grow and leave home. God designed it that way. And, GOD KNOWS BEST. So, tomorrow, when my daughter walks across that stage and receives her diploma, I am going to be smiling inside . . . and saying to myself, “Take the risk to blossom, Janell. Let her go. Look for the unfolding of the blossom in your life. It is going to be good.”

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