Bed of Roses

I always say that marriage isn’t all rainbows & sunshine or lollipops & gum drops or my favorite…a bed of roses.  But actually…I was wrong. 

When my husband and I were going through a very dark time a dear friend told me something.  She said “Marriage is like a rose.  For every beautiful blossom there are many thorns.”  That has stuck with me for over 7 years!  However the Lord has shown me so much more to add to the analogy since. 

Going through the storms of life that seemed like they were going to destroy us what God has shown me through His overwhelming grace and mercy is that there is nothing that He cannot fix.  With God, NOTHING is beyond repair.  That rose my friend was talking about…what God made me realize is that our marriage is really like a rose bush.  For every beautiful blossom comes many thorns.  Sometimes the thorns feel like a thicket…a forest of thistles and the blossoms are nowhere in sight.  Sometimes all we could see was the sunshine of God’s grace and gorgeous blooms everywhere.  But just like sometimes the sunshine is still there but behind the clouds and you can’t see it, we couldn’t always see God’s grace.  But because our roots were deeply planted in Christ even though we may have been battered and bruised, there was no storm we could not withstand.  Those thorns…those trials…existed to protect us, to make us stronger.

Sometimes I wish I could go back and take back the hurtful things I said and did when I lashed out in pain.  Sometimes I wish I just could’ve seen God’s grace through the clouds instead of simply feeling the wind and rain.  But what God has made me realize is that because I remember it so vividly I am convicted by the weight of my sin and never, ever want to return to living that way.  I can also appreciate that while the shameful blemishes of my past are not fun or easy to talk about or admit, they have made me…and us in turn…stronger and much more able to resist the temptation of going back to that life…the dark side I call it…and when we choose walk in the Light of Jesus, darkness can’t get a foothold.

When I married my husband 10 years ago tomorrow at (barely) the age of 21 I really couldn’t imagine thorns or darkness or storms.  I thought everything would be rainbows and sunshine, lollipops and sunshine and though it took me a while I realize our life really is like a bed of roses…full of thorns, dependent upon the sunshine of God’s grace, His streams of Living Water, His Word, His  Truth as our ultimate weed-be-gone and Christ as our root system to really live fully and experience true joy.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.   James 1:2-4

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Psalm 119:11

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”  John 7:38

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  Matthew 7:24

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”   Joshua 25:15

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