He hands me the next to last rose. It is an odd flower, thorny and defensive. Neither fully closed nor open, it seems almost ambivalent and angry. I look to Him for understanding.
“This is your expectation that you will be replaced, that you are not good enough and only holding place for someone better.”
The words cut surprisingly deep and a new level of fear rises in me. None of the other issues have ever touched me this deeply. Unlike the other expectation, this one I do not desire to change.
Still, almost as though He does not know my thoughts, He continues,” You believe that I am only allowing you to be used until something better comes. But in all of this you see yourself as defective, as a poor design, flawed. You refuse to see My perfection in you.” He hands me the last rose now, “And you do not believe that you must actually submit and change all this.”
His last words strike like ice and I feel my insides turn cold. The terror and panic I feel overpowers me in a way nothing else has. It seizes me and I run from Him. I try to find what will keep me away from Him and immerse myself in it. For three days I run from Him, neither eating nor sleeping, just running and trying to hide, to find some way around what He requires.
The relief is only momentary and I feel lost without His presence. I am exhausted and drained, and there is no refreshing to be found. I realize, finally, I have no choice. Half reluctantly and half in hope, I return back to the garden grove, just hoping that He will be there.
“Papa?” I call out, looking earnestly for Him. “Papa, are you there?”
“Yes, child, I am.” He replies, His voice surprisingly without anger.
Relief washes over me. He has not left! “Papa, I’m sorry for running! Forgive me! Please!” I cry, as He meets me.
Patiently, gently, He shows me the dynamics of the moment. These last two expectations are the deepest, most profound and are demanding the greatest degree of change yet. My flesh panicked and sought out counterfeits for what He was calling me to, immersing itself in them. But He called to me, and my spirit heard, bringing me back to this place to find Him once again.
“If what I have done before is not submission, then what I is it?” I thought I understood, but find that I do not.
As He did once before, He gives me the answer in my husband’s arms. He gives me a picture in my husband’s love for me and my trust and surrender to him as an example of what my Papa is asking for from me.
This is so different what is portrayed in the flesh, not domineering, inflicting rules and pain, but sacrificing and looking our for, seeking only good for me. “This is so different Papa.” I whisper. “How Papa? And why is this so hard for me? What is holding me back?”
“Let us return upstairs and I will show you.” He replies gently taking me by the hand and guiding me up the back stairs to my rooms.