Blooms and Baggage in “A Year in Flowers”

ACFWEncouragement, Faith Leave a Comment

by Suzanne Woods Fisher @suzannewfisher

Picture this: three best friends, teenage girls, elbow-deep in petals and dreams, working alongside their mentor in a cozy flower shop. Then, bam! Something terrible goes down, and they bolt, leaving behind a trail of shame.

Shame packs a punch, doesn’t it? Call it what you will—personal insecurities, perceived flaws, secrets, mistakes, unconfessed sins— it doesn’t just mess with your head; it’s a full-body experience. Studies show feeling ashamed can crank up your stress levels, leading to a laundry list of health issues from anxiety to heart problems to digestive issues. And it doesn’t stop there; shame can sour even the sweetest of friendships.

Everyone grapples with shame. Yep, everyone. (And if you happen to stumble upon someone who claims they’ve never felt an ounce of shame or guilt, well, I’d suggest you make a run for it, pronto.) As Scripture says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sure, the triggers for shame may vary from person to person, but one thing’s for sure: most of us resort to avoidance as our trusty coping mechanism. But here’s the kicker—trying to dodge shame only gives it more power over you. It’s like feeding a monster; the more you evade it, the more monstrous it becomes.

And guess where you’ll find those three girls from A Year in Flowers? Right smack in the middle of this tangled mess.

Fast forward seven years, and we’re diving into the separate journeys of these three young women—each one tangled up with flowers, friendship, and the weight of their past.

Meet Jaime Turner in “An Apology in Bloom,” hustling through New York City, creating floral masterpieces for weddings, yet hiding her deep-seated insecurities. In “A Bouquet of Dreams,” Claire Murphy dreams of transforming her dull Savannah flower shop, but shame holds her back. Meanwhile, Tessa Anderson finds solace in building a flower farm in Asheville in “A Field of Beauty,” but beneath her calm exterior lies a girl hobbled by her past.

Now, let’s fast forward to “A Future in Blossom,” where the girls reunite at the original flower shop. It’s like a showdown, a moment for them to stare their past in the face and roll up their sleeves to deal with the mess they left behind. If they really want to be set free from their past, they have to dig deep and face up.

You know, it’s like what the Scriptures say—confess your sins (1 John 1:9) and trust that you’ve been washed clean (Hebrews 10:22). It’s all about owning up to your mistakes and believing in God’s power of forgiveness to set you free.

So, what’s the moral of this story? Well, it’s like tending to a garden—sometimes you gotta pull out the weeds and deal with the mess before you can let the flowers bloom. So next time you’re faced with a pile of shame, don’t run from it—confront it, confess it, repent from it, and watch as the blooms of redemption start to unfurl.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling, award winning author behind the four novellas in “A Year in Flowers.” With a passion for petals and a knack for storytelling, Suzanne crafts captivating tales of friendship, redemption, and the colorful world of blossoms. If you’re into contemporary women’s fiction and you happen to like flowers, Suzanne’s books are a must-read! Visit her on her website at


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