(Pic deleted in case of copy right issues)
Every Rose has it’s thorns right? ;P Well, people have different ideas about WHY roses have thorns. Some say for protection against predators and that’s true to a point. The thorns do keep animals away but it doesn’t do much good for the roses’ worst enemy: bugs. Others romanticize the question and say Roses teach us that love isn’t perfect…that just because something is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s safe.
During my research I found a more practical reason for thorns. Roses are vines and they like to climb. The Roses’ thorns help them climb towards the sun. And then came the inspirational thought. I thought about how hardship helps us on our journey with Christ….the son. Also, how God can take a bad circumstance and use it for the good.
It made me think of the post I did on the purpose of sorrow and suffering:
I think about some of the hardest trials in my life. I would not trade my thorns….my scars for anything….atleast a majority of them.
I think about the second time my husband deployed to Iraq. It was really hard…harder than the first time because I had a one year old I was trying to raise on my own. Many nights I lay on the floor and cried. I felt alone and I was worried about my husband’s safety….especially when his base was being mortared. I was 22 and I felt like a kid pretending to get by. Plus, that time I didn’t have my mom for most of the deployment. During my husband’s first deployment and the first half of my pregnancy I had my mom to help me out.
But out of that hardship I found my best friend Julie. I wouldn’t trade the sleepovers and get-togethers with other military wives for nothing. I’m so thankful for my Frodo (who I pray is recovering well from her surgery!). Also, by God’s grace I overcame severe depression and I got involved in the community. I found a loving family amongst the actors at our community theater. I even took up clogging and had alot of fun. I would still be acting and clogging if my health had not declined.
(Pic of me in Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians)
Another hard season was one of spiritual deception. We were involved in a church that left us spiritually abused. I’m not going to say God led me into that…it was my own lack of discernment. But God definitely turned it around for our good. I became close to my other best friend Hannah and since we both left the painful situation our families were able to help each other sort through the experience. Our husbands are buddies and we’re arranging our kid’s marriage lol! Her daughter was born the same day as my son. We knew each other from our homeschool group but I never took the time to really get to know her until we went to that church. I am so thankful she is in my life.
I have a hard time thinking about what good came from my Dad’s illness and death…also the possibility that I have the same illness (and so could my son). It was rough seeing my Dad suffer so much and really bad when his legs were amputated. I saw my Dad demonstrate strong faith despite being bedridden. I also saw his moments of weakness. There were times I had to help him pee even. It’s very humbling to have to care for a parent in that way but it’s even more humbling for them. I thank God that my mom helped out even though he was her ex.
When my Dad had Staph infection (on and off for years) it was hard to smell the rotting flesh on his feet but I visited anyways. Sometimes he would cry out in pain and I just wanted to bawl. Then in my Dad’s last months he moved up to a nursing home near us. He was only 46. I spent those months going back n forth every to every other day to the nursing home. I argued with nurses and doctors who didn’t treat him right. I even had to get legal help at times.
One night my Dad called me after 9 pm wanting a burger. The hospital was about ten to fifteen minutes away (my dad was in and out of the nursing home, hospital, and the hospice house). Plus, it was raining. It was 10 0 clock when I got there. I sat and talked with Dad while he ate. Those late night chats were precious even if I didn’t feel like getting out that late all the time.
A week later my Dad died. I knew it was coming. I had just left the hospice house when my Dad passed. My son had told his papa he loved him for the last time. My Dad tried to reply with a smile but his lips only curled half way. Then he went out of it and Michael kept asking why Papa wasn’t talking. I said “He’s tired, honey.” I got the call in Walmart. People were taken back when I began throwing items back on the shelves. I rushed through the store crying and got to the car to call my husband. Michael was crying too.
God was so good to me during that time. My husband was supposed to deploy a third time the week my Dad died but his deployment was delayed because of shoulder surgery. My husband never deployed again and now he is a disabled Vet. Family comforted me and I felt God’s arms around me as I read my poem “The Poetry Man” at the funeral. I read the same poem to Dad before his amputation. I modified it for the funeral. It was the most peaceful funeral I had ever been too….even rivaling my Papa’s funeral (he died when I was 13). I am so thankful to have pictures, videos, and voice messages of my Dad. I’m especially thankful to have a little boy who is SO much like his Papa….sometimes I want to call him a little Jim.
I can definitely see God’s faithful hand throughout the whole experience. I have never felt such great sorrow and 2 1/2 years later I still grieve. I know my Dad is in Heaven. He was a minister who had a special relationship with Christ. I know I will see my Dad again one day but boy do I miss him. I see pieces of him in me and in all I do. It’s hard to see the beauty of the rose when the thorns are death/loss. But I know now that I can survive losing a best friend…..one of the closest people in my life. I know I can handle anything with Christ giving me the strength.
I may be a broken and messed up person after but I can still survive. One of my greatest fears is gone. I’ve overcome it. I’m not really scared of dying myself. A piece of my heart is already in Heaven and waiting for me. I want to stay here though as long as I can. My mom is so wise. She told me that my Dad already played his part. He had his story in this world……now it’s my turn. I must leave a legacy.
Now, I leave you with a short poem I wrote. Please do not copy this. You can share the link to this post though.
by Amber Dover
You make the worlds move
everything depends on you.
all waiting for your cue.
Copyright Amber Dover 2012
“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being…” Acts 17:28
A quote from Beth Moore:
As the people of God, we don’t answer to dried up ink. We answer to a living orator who still oxygenates His word with warm breath and as in the days of Jeremiah, still watches to see that His word is fulfilled.
~Beth Moore (from James: Mercy Triumphs)
God bless and remember The High King Lives!~Amber Dover