The Rose That Grew From Concrete

By: Tracy Moore

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The Rose That Grew From Concrete - Tracy Moore

Azusa Pacific University


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Tracy Moore

In life, everyone struggles. Everyone comes to a fork in the road or a stumbling block at least once where they aren’t sure what to do. And oftentimes, the difference between those who make it through and those who don’t, isn’t what happened to them, but how they reacted to it.

I have memories of childhood just like anyone else, but many of them are full of hospital rooms, constant moving, and uncertainty. There were happy times, but I learned to hold things with a loose hand from a young age. When I was 6 years old, my mom died from cancer and it changed our family forever. My dad was discharged from the Navy due to diabetes, and worked multiple jobs to try to keep things together. He dated different women, we moved school and houses a few different times, and finally he remarried. As rocky as the road was, we kids felt isolated and caught in the middle, and for the longest time I questioned why I was even still here.

What was the purpose? Why would I want to graduate and find a job just to struggle the rest of my life like so many of the people I was surrounded with? I’d gotten so low that I was just going through the motions, doing what I was told, and didn’t bother dreaming or aspiring to anything, because I had it in my head that possibilities and opportunity were for the rich or the lucky. I got a job in college, worked my way through, and started saving money when I graduated, but soon enough reality came and looked me in the face once again. Someone I trusted had been stealing from me, lying to me, and left me with next to nothing, but this time I decided to do something about it. I prayed, I cried, I begged and pleaded with God to help me out, and He started to show me that not only was I capable, but I was engineered to thrive in the face of adversity.

Over the next few years, I put my head down, worked full time and took a full course-load, and now as the first person in my nuclear family to graduate from college, I’ve been accepted to a Doctorate level program for physical therapy. By God’s grace, and through some of the darkest points in my life, I’ve come to realize that no matter where you come from, what you deal with, and what history says, nothing is going to stop me from overcoming and achieving my dreams. I have a right to dream, and I have the will to turn those dreams into a reality.

“You see, you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love its will to reach the sun. Well, we are the rose- this is the concrete- and these are my damaged petals. Don’t ask me why, thank God, ask me how!” – Tupac