“If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears” Issac Hayes

As we approach the end of 2020,  I began to reflect on the type of year I’ve had. While I pondered this thought, an image of a rose emerged.  Why a rose? Because roses are beautiful. They come in an assortment of vivid colors, have a robust fragrance, but much like life, they also have prickly painful THORNS. 2020 has certainly delivered its share of THORNS. The pandemic and the deadly devastation it has caused has been a THORN. Sheltering in place, mask-covered faces, lockdowns, school closures, working from home have all been THORNS. For me, 2020 has been a year of peaks and valleys. It has been a year of grief and loss. It has been a year filled with both possibilities and limitations. It has been a year of self-reflection, patience, and growth. How would you summarize or describe your year? Did you experience any THORNS? For this week’s blog, let’s talk SHIP about the THORNS IN LIFE!!

According to the dictionary, a THORN is defined as a source of discomfort, annoyance, or difficulty, an irritation, and or obstacle. BUT, a THORN is also one of the most ancient symbols in the world. It denotes sin, sorrow, and hardships, and together with the ROSE, it represents pain and pleasure. Ironically, in the same way, that roses and THORNS go together, so do the challenges and difficulties of life which also connects us directly to some of our greatest moments of success, joy, and celebration. THORNS IN LIFE are inevitable. We experience them in virtually every area of living, especially, in relationSHIPS- with ourselves and others. THORNS can be very painful experiences, but like roses, they offer us the opportunity to grow and blossom. THORNS may be necessary for our forward progress.

When I look back over 2020, certain THORNS come to mind-my father’s passing, the unnecessary death of George Floyd and other African Americans, the 300k deaths caused by the Coronavirus, racial tensions, and protests, police brutality, poor presidential leadership, the republican party, 35.4 million unemployed Americans, etc. and there are plenty of other THORNS that I could mention. But, even as I remember the pain and difficulty of these THORNS, I am reminded of the beauty and fragrance of the rose itself. Because in 2020, we’ve also had some incredible moments of people loving, healing, overcoming, and thriving throughout the year.

In spite of the THORNS IN MY LIFE, 2020 has been a reminder of the assurances that Jesus Christ made when HE wore the crown of THORNSthat HE would never leave me or forsake me, and HE HASN’T. 2020 taught me better coping strategies through self-care, mindfulness, gratitude, and connections with self that showed me how resilient I really am. 2020 taught me that if I want to enjoy the fragrance and the beauty of the rose, I must also appreciate its THORNS. 2020 has presented us ALL with THORNS IN LIFE but it has also delivered us some stunning bouquets of roses. 2020 has taught us that no matter what we are going through or what kind of THORNS we may be experiencing, we must always remember that the THORNS IN LIFE are inevitable BUT SO ARE ROSES!!!

SHIP TALK: Did you have any THORNS in 2020? What were they?

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8 Replies to “THORNS IN LIFE”

  1. Thanks, Dora!!! I appreciate your support. I am pleased that you are reading my blog. I didn’t know. Wishing you and your family a NAPPY NEW Year!!!

  2. Valerie, I thoroughly enjoyed this insightful blog! I am happy to see you exercise your faith & expand your God-given gift of expression & exhortation! You challenged us to recognize the thorns while we focus on the rose! Praying for you & your family!

  3. Praying for your family. 2020 has been a year but GOD has held my hand every day and for this I am grateful. Merry Christmas.

  4. Praise GOD. But through those THORNS, you found your calling. It is so very true, good things ALWAYS come but we have to move past the thorn.

  5. I had a few dips! Started the year with a bad car accident which broke my sternum 😞I lost my client of 6 yrs, my only source of income & had a lumpectomy…not cancerous thank God & still I got up every morning & smelled the roses you speak of! Changed everything. I found myself literally. Perception is everything & I have found that some good can be found in most things 🦋

  6. Thank you Valerie. A beautiful blog. 2020 thorns for me is family separate, loss of love ones and watching others selfishness.
    Our family members are very close but we have remained steadfast in social distance orders. It caused us to develop new strategies through technology to see one another. Such has FaceTime, Zoom, House Party app. It has allowed us to check up on one another. I have also used this thorn to communicate by way of writing letters. This thorn 2020 has kept my family from participating in home going celebrations but we support through calls, text, cards and sending condolences. We have adjusted with Gods help. The thorn of self directed ways like not wearing mask and continuing to attend gatherings has created lamenting for me. As a nurse it grieves me to see selfishness and hardened hearts ♥️ But God has tugged me to pray and listen to the Holy Spirit concerning me. 2020 has brought lots of opportunities their fragrance is like a rose 🌹 and I’m grateful. God has blessed my family beyond measure and for that I give him praise and glory. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  7. 2020 has been, to say the least, an interesting year. It’s been emotionally tough, however, the only real thorns have been the lost of loved ones. The elders that I’ve lost to covid, my friends who have lost parents and other family members, and then more recently, a cousin that killed himself. He has been married to my first cousin for 20 years and suffered from depression. He had gotten much worse since covid caused the lockdown, and could not bear the thought of his wife leaving him alone to go to work for a few hours. He shot himself before she pulled out of the garage. I am thankful that God has kept me safe. I am thankful for everything I have been able to endure this year. Grateful for so much. No matter how bad it can be, I know so many others that are so much worse off than me and mine. I pray for us all daily.

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