Late Bloomer

by Lori Stanley Roeleveld

Are you frustrated that your God-given dreams have been delayed?

“We need to cut it down, Lori.” As my husband and I sat on the front porch of our new home, he referred to the large tree that hadn’t yet bloomed.

“Oh, please wait,” I pleaded. I wasn’t excited about our new home. It was over one hundred years old, seriously run down, and in need of major renovation (my husband’s dream, not mine). The front yard, however, had promise, and I had hope for this Catalpa tree whose limbs embraced it like a great protector.

“Look around,” Rob replied. “The other trees have buds or leaves. This has nothing. Even the Catalpas down the road have buds.”

I was turning fifty. My last child had just graduated. I’d dreamed that this would be the season I could write full-time, but this new home and other circumstances now meant another delay. “Maybe it’s a late-bloomer,” I reasoned.

Rob stood and sighed. “One more month. If it’s dead, it poses a hazard.”

By July, life within the Catalpa had burst forth, and on Independence Day it was covered with white flowers and a vision to behold. It was a sign to me that perhaps God wasn’t yet done with my writing, either. It wasn’t long before that was confirmed. A few weeks later, I was offered my first book contract.

Every year, the tree continues to be the last tree in the neighborhood to bud and bloom. It’s the last to show leaves, flowers, and beans. And yet, in spite of its quirky timing, it’s always a sight to behold – lush, sprawling, and providing abundant shade.

My husband still frets about it every June. But by August, being last makes no difference at all.

One of the hardest verses for me to continuously believe is the one from Ecclesiastes (below) – that God will make everything beautiful in its time. It’s much easier for me to believe the second part of that verse. I have so many dreams, so many plans, so many adventures I want to live – I most certainly was designed for eternity. But, just as certainly, I cannot see God’s plans until He unveils them.

I long to fulfill the beauty of God’s purpose for me and yet so much of life is about the work and the wait. Every year, my Catalpa reminds me that though God may take longer than I hope, He does, indeed, make everything beautiful in its time.

And as I wait for Him, God whispers encouragement to me to also be patient with others. For He is faithfully at work creating something beautiful in them as well.

Are you wondering when it will be your time to bloom? Hold on, friend, and trust the season even if it tarries.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV

lori Roeleveld Headshot 2015About the author: Lori Stanley Roeleveld is an author, speaker, and disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. Biblical, funny, and real, she inspires courage and Christ-centered confidence. She’s authored three non-fiction books including Running from a Crazy Man, Jesus and the Beanstalk, and the upcoming, The Art of Hard Conversations, as well as a Christmas novella, Red Pen Redemption. Though she has degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies, she learned the most from studying her Bible in life’s trenches. To join the adventure, knock on her door at .

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Lori’s book, Jesus and the Beanstalk (Overcoming Your Giants and Living a Fruitful Life , please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: For what dreams are you waiting on God?

22 thoughts on “Late Bloomer

  1. I am in the midst of a change. I am not sure why, but I know that it is God ordained. So, my dreams are being adjusted. Whatever may be in front of me, on my journey, is by God’s design. I am prayerfully waiting and watching to see what is going to happen.


  2. I am encouraged by your catalpa tree illustration, Lori! It is a reminder that God can and does use each of us, no matter how old we are.


    1. Jean, thank you for sharing! I know many join us (late-bloomers), but it’s nice to cross paths in spaces like this.


  3. I think this is my first time considering myself a late-bloomer. Hmm. I like it! I so enjoy your writing. You inspire hope (from a fellow 50-year-old writer with dreams yet to bloom). Thank you for sharing how God spoke to you; for allowing Him to speak through You.


  4. Lori- I so enjoy your posts! ( and other writing) I’ve always been a late bloomer – it can try your patience, huh? Thanks for sharing your insights and letting all of us blooming bloomers know that in Gods plan and His time….it will come together.


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