Inspiration For those of us that are freaking out (long)

  1. I know some people don't believe in God (and forgive me if you're one of them), but I really think this is a good read. I read it on a day that I was completely freaking out about school coming up and all the obstacles that seem to be getting in the way. Thought I'd pass it along to y'all too. I'm sure some of y'all may have already read it, but it's still worth reading again....

    The Blessing Of Thorns

    Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed
    against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had
    been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of
    her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her ease.

    During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son.
    She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her
    husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose
    annual holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come.

    What's worse, Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her
    grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to
    empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm
    feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder.

    "Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered aloud. For a
    careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-
    ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of
    her child?

    "Good afternoon, can I help you?"

    The shop clerk's approach startled her.

    "I....I need an arrangement, "stammered Sandra. "For Thanksgiving?

    Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to
    challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the
    Thanksgiving Special?" asked the shop clerk.

    "I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued.

    "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this

    "Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months,
    everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. " Sandra
    regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk
    said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

    Then the door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi
    Barbara...let me get your order." She politely excused herself
    and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared,
    carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed
    thorny roses.

    Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped...there
    were no flowers.

    "Want this in a box?" asked the clerk.

    Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke?
    Who would want rose stems with no flowers!?! She waited for
    laughter, but neither woman laughed. "Yes, please," Barbara
    replied with an appreciative smile.

    "You'd think after three years of getting the special, I
    wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it
    right here, all over again," she said as she gently tapped her

    "Uhh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uhh... she
    just left with no flowers!"

    "Right...I cut off the flowers. That's the Special... I call
    it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet.

    "Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for
    that?" exclaimed Sandra.

    "Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling very much
    like you feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had
    very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to
    cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs,
    and she was facing major surgery."

    "That same year I had lost my husband, "continued the clerk,"
    and for the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays
    alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too
    great a debt to allow any travel.

    "So what did you do?" asked Sandra. "I learned to be thankful
    for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked
    God for good things in life and never thought to ask Him why
    those good things happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I
    ever ask! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important.

    I always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it took
    thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the
    Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from
    His consolation we learn to comfort others.

    "Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing
    her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't
    want comfort.

    I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."

    Just then someone else walked in the shop.

    "Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man.

    "My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement
    ....twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the
    clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the

    "Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you
    mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?

    "No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my
    wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a
    real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged
    through problem after problem.

    He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she
    kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from
    "thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home
    some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one
    for a specific "problem" and give thanks to Him for what that
    problem taught us."

    As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend
    the Special!"

    "I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life."
    Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too... fresh."

    "Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me
    that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's
    providential care more during trouble than at any other time.

    Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might
    know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

    Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the
    accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those
    twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.

    "I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them
    ready in a minute."

    "Thank you. What do I owe you?" asked Sandra.

    "Nothing." said the clerk.

    "Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The
    first year's arrangement is always on me. "The clerk smiled and
    handed a card to Sandra.

    "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you'd like
    to read it first."

    It read:

    "Dear God, I have never thanked you for my thorns. I have
    thanked you a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my
    thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the
    value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to you
    along the path of pain.

    Show me that, through my tears, the colors of your rainbow look
    much more brilliant."

    ~Author Unknown~
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    About 2ner

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 109; Likes: 1


  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    What a beautiful story, 2ner! Thank you for sharing!:angel2:
  4. by   2ner
    I'm glad you liked it (i know I did). Glad to share
  5. by   Jen2
    Thats a great story. I have never been a really religious person, but lately I have been speaking to the man upstairs quite a bit. Thanks for posting it.
  6. by   2ner
    I'm glad you enjoyed it, Jen. Don't feel bad, I'm not that religous either. I wasn't raised going to church, but I'm very spiritual though. I have MUCH faith. I wouldn't have gotten this far without a little help from the man upstairs.
  7. by   KAYfutureLPN
    That brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing that story, I'm going to copy/paste it to a e-mail and send it to a few of my friends who are going thru some hard times. Thank you again. Hugs & God bless, Kay
  8. by   live4today
    Originally posted by 2ner
    ....."Dear God, I have never thanked you for my thorns. I have
    thanked you a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the
    value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to you
    along the path of pain.

    Show me that, through my tears, the colors of your rainbow look
    much more brilliant."

    ~Author Unknown~
    2ner, it took me years to reach this point in my adult life after the destruction of my first marriage. I thought my childhood had been rough enough, and that I wouldn't have to suffer anymore after I married the man of my youth, but did he shock me into reality. I stopped attending church, stopped talking to people who only wanted to talk about "church things, and resented when people would say "religious or spiritual" things to me. I had a battle all my own to overcome and their comments helped me NOT! Then one day, I reached a point deep within myself that had been festering there for years, and had to come forth from my innerself before I could go on with life. To make a very long true life story brief, the above prayer speaks volumes about that time in my life, and today when reading that prayer and the story, it enabled me to reflect back on those times when it seemed all my life had going for it was a bunch of thorns.

    Today is my 13th wedding anniversary with husband number two, and I was awakened this morning with a phone call from him, and within an hour after our talk a florist delivered me a dozen long stem red roses that were more beautiful than any red rose I'd ever seen. Perhaps it is because today I can look at life's rose petals and smell their fragrance so much better than I could during those "thorny years" I couldn't be rescued from for those "Life Lessons" taught me more than I could have ever hoped for. Yes, the pain of healing hurts, but once that wound heals, glory to God Almighty! I am healed! I am delivered! Never again shall I be moved! :kiss
  9. by   2ner
    I am so glad you liked it Kay and that it made you cry. It had the same effect on me.

    Cheerful, happy anniversary! I'm right there w/ ya on the "thorny years". They are definitely character building. I too, suffered thru those "thorny years", but they have made me who I am today. It never crossed my mind to thank God for the rough times until I read this. I have been thanking him profusely ever since b/c w/o the hard blows I've gotten thru my 28 years, I would not be at this point today, about to start nursing school or married to my perfect hubby number 2 (he's definitely number 1 in my book).
  10. by   live4today
    2ner...I like your spirit dear one! I wish you well in your nursing endeavors, and wish the very best for you and your fine family. :kiss
  11. by   PJMommy
    2nr - Loved it! Thank you for sharing the story.
  12. by   Roxie187
    Really enjoyed that 2ner. A lot of us needed to know just that!
  13. by   neonatalRN
    Thank you so much for that. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I just lost a baby son in June.

  14. by   2ner
    I figured we could all use a little bit of inspiration for one reason or another :kiss

    Heidi, I'm so sorry to hear about your son. You'll be in our prayers.

    Cheerful, I wish you the very best too