I had a "jolt" last Tuesday when the computer teacher suddenly asked me that question. Everything Christin and I had discussed for our blog suddenly took flight and disappeared over the Great Beor Mountains (please don't ask me what book that is from, I don't remember :P).
In the short span of time that I had to answer that question, I found myself wondering What is a Lady-in-Training? When does one start (and stop) being one? Or is it something that goes on?
A Tiny Bud
For those of you who have already read Beautiful Girlhood, you know that a young lady can be compared to a rose whose petals have not yet fully blossomed.
A rose does not grow overnight. It doesn't suddenly blossom into a beautiful pink or red or white rose at the blink of an eye. It takes time. From the moment that it is planted, up to the days when it unfolds its petals bit by bit, until it finally grows into a lovely flower, it takes time. Day after day, it slowly stretches its stem, its petals, and its leaves until one day, you find it, blossomed and beautiful.
A young lady is like that. She does not grow overnight, she does not blossom immediately into a woman upon reaching her teenage years. Like the rose, it takes time. Time for her to grow, time for her to mature into the woman God wants her to become.
The Brink of Childhood and Womanhood
In our teenage years and well into the early twenties, we are not yet fully-grown women, and no longer are we children. We stand somewhere in-between, somewhere in the middle. This is where we are "watered" and "sunned." This is called our "in-training" years. It is during this time that our training to be women after God's heart takes place. We learn what it means to truly serve the Lord in everything. It is during this time that we learn to develop the gifts that God has given us. It is also during this time that we experience sorrow and God's comfort and love. We learn to be sensitive to His leading, we learn to become more mature emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Slowly, we are beginning to spread out our petals.
A Rose in Full Bloom
A rose does not stay a bud forever. Somewhere along the way, when you least expect it, the rose suddenly blossoms into something breathtakingly beautiful.
A girl does not stay a child forever, either. One day, she will be come a blossomed woman. She will stretch her petals until she blooms into a full rose.
We still have a lot of years before us. Many years of training, many years of learning and growing. It won't always be easy, but it will be worth it on the days we spread out our petals to their fullest.
That is my prayer that, one day, all of us will become fully-blossomed roses, created and wonderfully fashioned by the Great Designer. And it is my prayer that we will continue to grow as we go through our years, that we will continue to blossom and bloom, and that our "in-training" years will be so deeply instilled in our lives that, in spite of everything, we will continue to be the roses God made us to be
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..."
~ 2 Peter 3:18