Thorns Among The Roses // The Weekend Brew — 57 Comments

  1. Sweet Barbie,

    I was thinking of you as I wrote this week’s Saturday post for subscribers…Thank you for you how share so honestly and how you cling to God even in the hard…I pray God will fill your heart with hope in His presence and in His promise to work all things together for good …I have wavered between hope and despair in the past so I can empathize…((Hugs))

  2. We talked about choosing joy today in our small group. It’s hard to do some days. But I believe life is much more blessed when we choose joy despite our circumstances. Have a wonderful week, friend!

  3. Roses and thorns and wavering between hope and despair! Powerful metaphorical description of the garden I’m walking in this season, too, milady. We all have them and in the long run–are better for them. Learning to focus on the petals and not the sharp points.

  4. Ah friend, I think it is great you are living life here, struggle and all. I totally get it, last year was the WORST year ever, and this year started out very the same. But when I take an honest moment to look up I do see the mountains the He, and only He, has moved for us. I’m am praying for mountains move for you and your family this year.

  5. Barbie, thank you for your honesty and willingness to show vulnerability. It’s often difficult for us encouragers to admit that we’re struggling. I so understand where you are. I pray that you can find the balance in the beauty and the pain. When life is bogging us down, sometimes the first thing we want to do is blog; sometimes it’s the last. We just don’t want the responsibility. I admire you for being here for us every weekend, whether it’s you or Mary. Thank you! Take care and be good to yourself, my friend.

  6. I know how you feel, Barbie. There is one who is sowing discouragement in us all the time, and makes us weary of pulling back those thorny branches. But the roses for ashes (like those violets I sent you) are coming from His hand! keep holding on!

  7. Dear Barbie, I know life can be such a struggle and the challenges we have to face sometimes seem so unbearable – but I also know that there is always a high after a valley and I am sure yours is right ahead of you, you are just not able to see it just yet! Hugs xxx

  8. This is such a beautiful and inspiring post. I shared it with my daughter who is definitely coping with much despair these days. I am always inspired by your words.

  9. Barbie,

    Many times the grace of walking with a friend on the journey as they are processing the issues life has placed before them is the highest and most intimate form of encouragement. It also puts us right in the place where we can ask and receive prayer and encouragement ourselves.

    I love the analogy of the thorn and the rose, the beauty with the pain. Sometimes we need to be pierced so we can bleed out the dead within and be filled with more of Him.
    Beautiful words of hope and encouragement.
    Thank you!

  10. Thankful for God’s grace that allows us to weather the ups and downs of life. I have clung to the Hope that Jesus is desperately and He never lets go. Never. When I keep my head down I tend to lose my way so I grab hold of Hope and look up too. Prayers from me for you…

  11. Praying for you, Barbie! After my mom passed away in July of 2011, I joined the church choir, specifically to praise and worship my way through that first hard Christmas. Yes, there were still thorns, but the beautiful aroma of the rose overpowered! Thank you for sharing your heart so openly and honestly here, and for making this a safe haven for us all!

  12. Barbie – There seems to be so many as of late going through hard and/or dark times. Praying for you this morning – – may you continue to find the strength to not give up – – “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing IF we don’t give up.” (Gal. 6:9, NLT)

  13. I used to think this all the time while picking blackberries with my grandmother. I just didn’t understand why it had to have those thorns. But, of course, now I’m grateful for those memories and even for the thorns because they made the picking so much more of an experience.

    • I did paint something last Sunday, and I painted something that signifies healing today. Forgot to snag a photo before I placed it in the church bookstore. I’ll post it soon.

  14. Oh Barbie, I’m so sorry you are still going through a season of trial and endurance. I’ve read the comments of those before me, and they have such great wisdom to offer. I especially like the suggestion to read Catherine Marshall’s words on the “The Prayer of Relinquishment.” Surrendering our will to God’s gives Him all the glory for the victory in our lives and works a heart of trust in us that God truly has our best in His plans for our lives.
    I will be praying~

  15. I know exactly how you feel, Barbie – swinging between hope and despair. After 3 years, big changes are taking place – but it took much pain and challenge to get there. Praying for you sweet friend! ~Maryleigh

  16. Barbie, It’s been a long time since I visited this community – and you were exactly who I needed to see. “Thank you for allowing me to continually process life out loud here in this space. You come for a daily cup of grace and my hope is to always encourage you, even when I walk through the valley.” I have fought despair recently as well, and then I read this – your encouragement to us – even though…. What a wonderful example you set. I pray that hope blooms in your life like those roses in your Grandmother’s garden – but without the great, big, giant thorns… Big grateful hugs! Janet

    • I am so grateful this post ministered to you Janet. I so appreciate your words of encouragement and pray you felt encouraged as you read. Have a blessed week.

  17. When we worship through pain and look up to the Father, the evil one can’t stand it. Choosing hope in pain. I loved the analogy of the rose and the thorns, beauty and pain. Thank you for sharing your heart with us here. Praying for you! Tammy

  18. This is a great description of life and it’s ups and downs. We must go through feeling some thorns, but also get to smell many roses. One of the hardest examples for me is with relationships (esp.with family).

  19. Reading through the Bible with she reads truth I thought it odd that after reading Genesis and John they had us read Job and James. Then I noticed for the first time that James mentions Job in chapter 5 as an example of steadfast endurance. I don’t know why you are going through such a long Job season, but I do know that God is watching over you and doing a good work in you as you steadfastly endure.

  20. Yes, life is like a rose: the flowers and thorns together. May the Lord continue to lift up your face to Him and renew your hope. I know what it’s like to walk along with my head downward. 🙂

  21. Oh, Barbie! I just read yesterday – and shared with my three girls – an old Guideposts article written by Christy author, Catherine Marshall. She was sharing how she prayed mightily for God to heal her lung infection and she wasn’t getting any answer to her prayers. Like your banging on Heaven’s door for a response. She said it wasn’t until she gave up – literally told God I give up, I can’t do this anymore – that God did indeed answer her! The article is called “The Prayer of Relinquishment”..You may be able to Google it or go to the Guideposts site to read. Our culture doesn’t like quitters, but I’m beginning to understand God is waiting for us to give up and surrender our self will to Him! Blessings, friend!

    • Carrie, thank you! I’m going to look up that prayer of relinquishment. I fear sometimes letting go. But in reality, that only means I am lacking in trust. I know my Father in heaven is good and I know He will take care of me.

  22. Oh sweet Barbie! I remember when I was fourteen, crushed over my first boyfriend who broke up with me, pondering His rose still sitting on the side table near my bed. It tormented me with this same reality, how can thorns co-exist with such beauty? Do we have a mean God, who just when we try to pick the stem to attain those soften, tender peddles, we get pricked with the reality that true beauty comes at a cost? Oh, how I wrestled these thoughts.
    My rose eventually grew dark and died, but the mental picture of why God finds a way to offer us all of life….roses and thorns…is something that has always gripped me deeply. But now, as I join you in praying for a season full of roses…I think time has taught us both exactly what you mentioned… That yes, good is coming, even if we can’t see it yet. It’s a new day friend! A time where we proverbially looking over the hedge of the horizon waiting, knowing, trusting, the sun WILL come up! His scripture guarantees it, amen? Lots of love and prayers to you today, friend. And thanks for stirring my heart with this beautiful post!

  23. Barbie… it really is all about choices. Glad you chose to look up today.

    Several weeks ago I was in despair. I was weary in this long journey. You might remember my ‘atrium’ post. I too had to choose to not live in despair. It doesn’t honor God, it makes me physically sick, and I don’t think it helps anyone see Jesus. So…I chose to do some things differently…keeping a gratitude journal in a new way and choosing to see the good in my life and not dwell on what isn’t. It really isn’t all that much of a change… but I cannot tell you the difference it has made in my outlook. Dwelling on what isn’t was very harmful to me. I guess it’s like dwelling on the thorns rather than on the beauty and scent of the roses. We have both in life. We may or may not be able to remove those thorns, but I do believe that many will diminish without attention. Regardless…dwelling on the beauty of the rose will lift my spirits and engage my senses in the awe of the rose’s creator.

    Thanks for your thoughtful post, Barbie. Believing and trusting with you for God’s deliverance and restoration. [[hugs]]

    • Thank you so much Diane. I’ve considered keeping a gratitude journal again. I think it will help shift my perspective. Have a blessed weekend.

  24. This post is just a big “Amen”. I understand your struggle even though my life is not like yours. I struggle for different reasons and wondering why beauty and pain coexist side by side is a question that could be pondered forever. I continue to pray for strength and provision for you my friend. I pray that in life’s struggles we continue to look up to our Father and His promises.

    Love this and your brave honesty on this page. Hugs and love!

    • Thank you Mary! I know I’ve said this before, but I am truly thankful God allowed our paths to cross. You are a rich blessing in my life.

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