A year ago I suffered losses. The large beautiful tree in my front yard was removed because its roots had taken over the lawn and were beginning to break up the sidewalk and potentially become a hazard to the house. I also experienced the end of certain relationships.

I shared in my blog, at that time about how the removal of the tree improved the rest of the plants in the yard by allowing more sunlight to reach them -Reflections on Loss . I shared in another blog about how the heartbreaks created a softer heart to serve and love God and others Ruins Everything.

In the course of the past year something amazing has happened. One of the rose bushes in the front yard has more than tripled in size. The rose bush has been in the yard for about five years. In previous years it had grown very slowly and produced maybe 4 or 5 blooms each Spring. With the large tree gone allowing the sun to shine on the bush, it has flourished. This year there are already about 20 blooms so far and the season has just begun. The blooms have a deeper blush pink color and are large and luscious.

As I marvel at this beautiful plant, I realize it is also an illustration of my life in the past year.

I was forced out of the comfort of my relationships. These relationships were distracting me from my purpose and hindering my personal development. With their removal, I was able to bask in the Light of the World, my Lord and Savior. Strengthened by His Power, I grew beyond the comfort of my previous bounds and experienced new adventures, new relationships and new opportunities to glorify Him through the gifts and talents He has given me.

And I hope, my heart, like the rose bush, grew more than three times its size like the heart of the Grinch in Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

This is the life of faith-a life of living dangerously for Christ.