Photo By Brianne Campos Photography
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults. And with my song I shall thank Him.” Psalm 28:7
I made a decision a long time ago that I would praise You, always, Lord.
There was a time in my life when I didn’t understand what praising You meant.
There was a time in my life when You whispered to me to praise You, and I replied with, “I will not praise You when my life is a mess… fix this and then I’ll praise You.”
What a victim mentality that was.
That particular night 4 years ago is a moment I will never forget. The Lord got a hold of my heart and revealed Himself to me in a whole new light. I began to realize it’s not about what God can do for us… We shouldn’t praise Him for what He can do… We should praise Him simply for Who He is. He is The Lord of Lord’s, The King of King’s. He is worthy of all of our praise, all of the time. No matter our circumstances.
Even when we’re hurting.
Especially when we’re hurting.
There is power in praising God through the Pain. There is power in praising God through the storms of life.
And I’m not talking about a flat tire kind of day storm—I am referring to the hurricanes and tornadoes of life… broken relationships, dreaded news…death. Through the dark chaos of life—God still deserves our praises.
Through learning to praise God during what was my greatest fear at that time—a near failed marriage (which God redeemed)… That trial changed my praise. God showed me the power of praising Him through the darkness. A supernatural power arises within us and around us when we lift our hands and eyes to the heavens and pour out our praises to our Creator. Some may think it’s weird, uncomfortable or mystical even. But we were made to praise God. There is something threaded in our souls that yearns for fellowship with Christ. We may not even realize it. But I am living proof of the strength that can be born from praising in the most un-praise-able scenarios. The above picture was captured at my late husband’s funeral on January 24, 2017.
When I look at this picture a swarm of emotions arise within me. I look at my face and don’t even recognize the woman in that picture. I remember that moment as if it were yesterday. It was one of those moments that changes who you are… forever. I will never be the same woman I was a moment before this photo was captured. The praise happening in this picture was one of absolute and complete surrender to God. I woke up that morning not wanting to face the day of burying my husband and the father of my then 9 month old baby girl. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to do this hard thing in front of me.
Getting dressed that morning was a blur. The drive to the church was a blur. Entering the building and being guided to a secluded room was a blur. The walk down the aisle to take my seat in front of the cedar casket that held my husband’s lifeless body was a blur.
But when the music began… When the words of worship emitted through the air… Something happened inside of me. I have always considered myself a ‘worshipper’. But this day changed that meaning to me.
The Holy Spirit came and ministered to me in my seat. He began to engulf me in peace. He began to shower me with an out of this world strength. In that moment—I knew I was going to be okay. I knew I was not alone. I knew God was bigger than my pain. I could feel the Holy Spirit tell me to surrender. He told me to TRUST. He told me this was not about me.
This tragedy was not about me.
This pain was not about me.
It was not about the cedar casket in front of me that held my husband.
It was not about anyone in that building.
It was about my Jesus.
My Redeemer. My Creator. The One who lives and reigns forever. Because of HIM I had the assurance to know and see in the spirit my husband was ALIVE.
He’s not in that cedar casket. He’s not lifeless.
He is living out his eternity with Jesus. He is more alive than we are.
I couldn’t stay seated any longer. I had to stand and praise my creator for giving LIFE to my husband and all that believe in Christ as their savior.
Christ was to be glorified through this tragedy. I was not to bottle up my hurt and sink into a dark pit.
The Holy Spirit whispered His love to me. He whispered parts of His plan to me. I knew it was going to be a hard road. I knew the grief that lay ahead would be gut-wrenching… But I knew I would survive with Christ living in me. By His power—not mine.
And you will survive the pain of whatever you’re facing too. God is bigger than our earthly pain and sorrow.
I hesitated posting this picture and this blog… But the pull in my spirit is someone needs these words. The pain is real. The pain of death is very real, almost tangible. Grief is its own entity. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to grieve. Just remember not to stay there forever. Ask God to help you through the darkness. Ask Him to guide you minute to minute. Ask Him what His purpose for this pain is. He will show you. Going through these last 12 months navigating life after deep loss has allowed me to feel others pain as if it were my own again. The compassion that has been etched into my heart specifically for other widowers is so real. I am thankful for that new emotion. I will carry it for the remainder of my life. I will always pray strategically for ones who face this same road. A road no one wants to travel or thinks of having to travel—This road is hard, but allow God to change your heart on the journey. He will not leave or forsake you, Ever. Even on the hardest and darkest day—HE is there, holding you, breathing life into your loss.
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers. John 4:23-24.
Praise Him in those moments. Praise Him when it hurts the most. He will show up in the middle of your pain. I promise He will.
“The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the LORD…” Psalm 9:9-11.
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5-6.
“And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all the day long.” Psalm 35:28
When life brings pain, remember you are never alone. The Lord is our strong tower, our ever present help in times of trouble. He makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him, Romans 8:28.
You are so much stronger than you know…
Just repeat after me…
I Trust my God, I Trust my God, I Trust my God.