8.17.2009

I will praise You in this storm

Hello, hello, I feel like I haven't written in forever. I've written stuff, but not really about me. These past few weeks I've just been being. Not doing anything crazy, no travels or fun plans, just being. I was actually dreaded these weeks because I had nothing much going on and I was anxiously waiting for some things this upcoming week to happen so of course I knew the time would just drag on. Silly me, God had plans for these weeks.

I've been on a bit of reading kick and have spent most nights reading, not even turning on the tv or internet and only keeping up with emails/blog stuff during my lunch breaks. It's been great, except when Craig calls and I realize it is almost 9 and I still haven't eaten dinner. Not very healthy for my body, but it allowed my mind to be calm and quite and willing to listen.

I've also had some great fellowship time lately. I was in a women's bible study/book club over the summer and we finished up last week. Even though I know I'll see the girls every week at church and homegroup, it makes me sad that it is over because it was such a great time every week to talk and encourage one another. After we said goodbye, I just sat and thought about how great my God is that he always knows the friends you will need and puts them in your life at just the right times. We all have our own personalities and problems we are struggling with, but when we come together, we have the same spirit in us and God's truth's always seem to pour out. It's amazing.

Thursday night due to retreats, graduations and new babies coming into the world, our home group was small, just five of us. So nobody bothered to put together any "real plans" except to gather and worship. Well, nobody except God. We ate cookies (cookie make everything better, don't you think?) sang some worships songs and old hymns and talked about the scriptures we had been reading lately which turned into some odd theological discussion but it was just perfect. It felt like how I imagine the original church would have been like, except with air conditioning. Because I knew everyone there, I knew when we sang those songs that we all needed the truth in those lines and it was a powerful sense of community but at the same time, I knew that those words were also for meant just for me, as one person in a relationship with the one true God and it was very private. I can't explain it any more than to say - if you don't have a small group of Christians you regular spend time with that you worship with and pray with and know you can depend on, find some! Pray for them, search a community group out in your church, start a group yourself, do what it takes. God uses those people in my life all the time.

It struck me when I was leaving that time that the things I had shared things that week were the same things I had been telling myself for a few months now. But sometimes you sing songs or quote scripture or even just mediate on statements with yourself and you know it but you don't really feel it or believe it. But this time, when I was sharing it, I had faith, I knew it was true. And to be honest, I wasn't sure if I would ever get to that point.

For several reasons that I won't get into here, these past few months have been tough on me and there were weeks when I knew I was just going through the motions of living life. And I didn't want to live like that and I was angry, I just wanted everything to go back to the way it was and be peaceful (not that everything was perfect 6 months ago, it never is, but of course I had forgotten all but the best parts :-) Then I relented, obviously God was trying to teach me something so I tried to be good and just let him so we could get this whole potter shapping clay thing over with. But I didn't like it, it was uncomfortable, even painful, and I didn't feel like myself and I just wanted to get it over with. And I told Him that, that was all I had at the moment, obedience. You want me here God, I'll be here, but that is all I can do. I can't praise you here, I can't see the good here, but I'm here.

And slowly it has been getting better. This week I said things like "I know He has a purpose" and "I wouldn't give my trials back if I had to give back what He has taught me" and it struck me that I believed that now It wasn't just words. He has been drawing me to him and shaping me and I didn't even realize it until this past week, but parts of me that were broken so badly that I didn't think they could be mended, are now being mended. Not back to the way they were, God is still working on me and it will probably be a two steps forward, one step back process but it's happening and it will continue. And they will always be a scar there, the circumstances and relationships of that hurt are now a part of who I am and that will always be the case, but I wouldn't want it any other way. I feel like me again, but a better me, a me that looks more like Him.

The circumstances were not good. But God is. And now I can praise him for that time, for those struggles, for what I lost because before He took it away, He gave it to me, even for just a little while, it was gift from Him, just as the trials were. And the funny thing is, my circumstances haven't changed, I'm still waiting on Him, hoping in His promises for the future, but I do have His peace now and that makes all the difference. It really does surpasses all understanding.

This post may not make sense to you and that's fine, I wrote it more for me than to be read but I still want to post it because if you feel like I did before, like you're barely holding on and it isn't getting any better, like the storm just keeps coming and doesn't show signs of stopping, hold on. The rainbow is coming. He promises. And someday, even if it isn't today because today you are still just working at being present, before you can even think about praising, someday you will be able to sing this, as I am right now.


Here are the lyrics if you don't want to watch.

Praise You In This Storm
I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

2 comments:

Amanda said...

Thank you for always sharing how God is working in your life, even when it seems that He's not working the way you expected Him to. It takes a real strength to share your struggles with people, some of whom you don't know, and I admire how you look to God for relief! I hope the storm blows over soon for you though!

Amanda and Andrew LeJeune said...

Praise God for his mercy to make us like him. We, those who have unveiled faces, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory (2 Cor. 3:18)! Love you sister. Truly. I praise God for you.