Before the storm and in it

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A few months before our first storm, in our everything is finally going smoothly again season, I had painted a picture. Now clearly I am not a great artist, but this picture represented praising God through the storms of life. I had decided I was going to praise Him through anything.

I had no idea how much I would need to remember those words and that initial feeling when the painting was complete that praise was my offering, no matter what.

I have learned that the praise from my lips brings me joy. I have learned focusing my eyes on greatness rather than the destruction around me brings me joy.

I have found that a God that cares enough to keep me in a home when income was cut by 2/3 for over six months now,  cares enough that my husband crashed a car and survived, cares enough that there are days of strength in the midst of illness,  cares enough that my children bringing me laughter after days that they make me want to pull out my hair, is a God that cares ENOUGH.

Life is not JUST what you see in front of your face or in your moment. There is a whole world going on around you despite that storm. There is ALWAYS something to find to praise.

When I was consumed with depression and despair, all I spoke out of my mouth was anger, frustration, hopelessness and turmoil that was inside me. It was bringing about death and destruction.

I decided it was time for a heart change when I sat in the shower dreaming of my blood pouring down the drain. I was awakened by the Spirit of the Lord stirring in me… “This is NOT what I have for you!”

The strange thing is, my despondent depressing days surrounding mostly my illness. Nothing tragically frustrating had happened in our life for  a few years at my darkest time. Things were quiet and mostly good, except I was physically sick and felt miserable. The pain was blinding and living in a fog had broken me…for a moment.

It is now that I can look back and see God was saying, you are stronger than this. He had a testimony for me to share, and the work had only just begun.

I decided at my worst that it was time to get my heart right. Out of the heart your mouth will speak. I had aloud despair to consume me and to be my heart condition and I would not settle for  it!

It was after that shower that I had looked up and saw the painting I had painted. I painted this painting by ‘accident’ I had no intention of a tree, or a storm or hands raised, I was painting and it took shape.

I decided looking at this picture that I wanted to WALK in a heart of praise. I wanted praise to consume me, I wanted praise to pour from my lips continually.

I have had these moments before, I have always been a worshiper, but God was doing something even deeper than I could imagine!

I had no idea the battle front I would be facing when I made that decision all those months ago to praise Him in every storm. But praise Him I have, and praise Him I will. I know that He has awesome plans for us, and while I blog and learn new joys every morning, you watch and see, He is going to do GREAT things in the midst of these storms. I mean my lands, look at what He already had done through my last blogs.

Challenge this day my friends: It is time for a starting place, I do not care how small it seems, praise Him this day for something. Praise Him for a sunrise, for a hope, for a moment, or for the simple fact that

He is GOOD.

Psalm 30:12

That I might sing praises to you and not be silent. OH LORD MY GOD, I will give you thanks forever!

(NLT)

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8 thoughts on “Before the storm and in it

  1. I have Fibromyalgia and so many words you use describe my thoughts and feelings. I feel there are so many women who suffer from pain and depression because they keep so much bottled in their body breaks down physically and mentally….THAT’S MY OPINION. I wish there was some way to help women who are so broken yet are so tightly bottled up inside so they don’t have to suffer this same pain I feel. God is the medicine but how do you convince someone that He is all you need to take to get better, to drink in His Word, to let the Holy Spirit BE your comforter and your helper? I wish I would always make the right choice but yet I don’t. But I am looking deeper for joy.

    • I hate Fibromyalgia, at the same time, God has used it to form me into a much better person.
      I agree that your opinion on the bottled up feelings have merit for sure. .
      I am at the point where I want to say, ok I learned, it can go away now 🙂
      By blogging the feelings, focusing on joy and making myself do something on the good days, I have found some relief. My next goal is to cut out sugars, gluten and add lots o water! Let me know what things have worked for you! I pray you find strength and peace in the midst of this battle. It is not one I would wish on anyone…. well mostly anyone 😉

  2. Bless you! You wrote about yourself “My heart is to encourage others and to bless them.” You’ve done this, what He’s given you to do. Thank you!
    Ps. 119:54
    Your statutes have been my songs
    In the house of my pilgrimage.
    Maria
    Love your gravatar pic!

  3. Pingback: Choose Joy | writingforjoy

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