Editor’s note:  This story was submitted in response to the Chapter 17 query, “When have you encountered the Light through music?”  We received the story too late to publish in Chapter 17, so it is posted here as a Reflection on Chapter 17. 


The Rose

In one of the darkest times of my life, I found myself in the middle of a painful separation after a long term marriage. I took my marriage vows seriously as commitment is one of my very strong values.


After the initial separation, my husband returned two different times and left again.  After a year plus, we agreed to try yet one more time. We renewed our vows and attempted to make a fresh start.  In listening to Bette Midler sing “the Rose” one morning, the lyrics spoke so very deeply to my soul. The tears flowed in a steady stream for a long time. The simple message I came away with was ‘hope’.  The little seed survived the bitter cold and snow yet emerged triumphant with the sun’s warmth in the spring. This was a powerful metaphor I strongly clung to.  Hope was renewed, we would rebuild and carry on hopefully forever ‘until death do us part.’


Alas, a year later we divorced.  I failed to see why.  Was the message of ‘hope’ not real? I wondered. Had I failed to try hard enough or have a strong enough faith to believe ‘hope’ would make my marriage hold together?  I felt guilty and responsible for the failure.


One day God spoke afresh to my heart in my quiet time.  The message felt something like this and was so clear.  You’ve been digging in your heels and preventing a plan I have for your life to be birthed in you.  The light flooded my whole being and made me smile.


Even though the days ahead were painful and challenging, I was able to gather fresh ‘hope’ and together, God and I stooped and gathered up the broken pieces of my l life and began to build brand new.  It was a period of time where I felt the presence of God in an indescribable way. I had powerful dreams and messages from angels.  This made the pain so bitter sweet and the pain felt sacred somehow.


Almost six years passed, and I met a new partner. I’m happier than I’ve ever been.  We both love to dance and each time we dance, we fall in love all over again. We live in the country where we share our lives with deer, wild turkey, lots of trees, wild flowers and fresh air.  It’s close to heaven on earth.


I will always cling to HOPE.  It gets us through the hard times, the cold winter, and then the sun’s warmth causes the seed to spring forth yet one more time. We begin again, dancing down the yellow brick road on our joyful journey home.

—Helen K.

Listen to The Rose by Andre Rieu at this link: