Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Guest Post: Praising God even when it Hurts


“All our troubles and, all our tears, God our hope, He has overcome. All our failures and, all our fear, God our love, He has overcome. All our heartache and, all our pain, God our healer, He has overcome. All our burdens and, all our shame, God our freedom, He has overcome...”
 ~ Take Heart, Hillsong United.

It’s 2011. I stood in the balcony of our church, arms outstretched to God, tears streaming down my face, overcome by grief, unable to utter the words of the song that everyone else was giving their all to. He has overcome? God our hope? God our healer? God our freedom?

The previous Sunday morning I hadn’t been in church. Laying in A&E, I had stared at bloodstained ceiling tiles while a consultant picked the remains of our twelve week old baby from my insides. I had awoken that morning, finally at week twelve, the safe zone, only to find that I was bleeding. The following day, the day I was actually booked in for our twelve week scan to check our baby’s health and growth, I was having a scan to check that the baby had been removed successfully.

We had had one early miscarriage two years previously, but had been so hopeful that this pregnancy would not be a repeat of the last. This time we had prayed, we had sought God in earnest, we had trusted that everything would be fine, that our prayers would be answered, that we would walk in the blessing that God had promised us.

And yet there I was, my troubles of pregnancy loss, so many tears, my hopes dashed, my failure as a woman, my fears of infertility, my heartache, my pain, the burden of motherhood I carried, the shame of not being an instant baby making success – had God overcome in my situation? It certainly didn’t feel like it. My heart cried out, God you could have overcome! You could have intervened! You could have prevented this from happening!

And yet He didn’t.

Why?

I don’t know.

I’ll never know.

But I’ll tell you what I do know.

I know that God is sovereign. I know that God had, and continues to have, a plan and a purpose for my life that included motherhood. I know that God’s plans cannot be thwarted. I know that God loves me.

I know that God Himself has experienced the loss of a child. In fact, He looked at me (and you) and He looked at His Son Jesus, and He chose me (and you). He chose to sacrifice Jesus so that He could have me (and you). I know that despite my grief and pain at the time, despite my fears for the future, He has blessed me beyond measure in the child that I now have.

I know that even when I could only focus on that moment of grief, He could see the bigger picture, a picture that I cannot and will not ever understand.

So why, despite all the pain, grief and hurt in those moments, do I still declare myself a lover of Christ? Why am I a Christian? Why do I love a God who for whatever reason did not intervene in my situation in the way that I wanted Him to?

Taya Smith sings it so beautifully in another Hillsong United song, Even When It Hurts:

Even when my strength is lost, I'll praise You.
Even when I have no song, I'll praise You.
Even when it's hard to find the words,
Louder then I'll sing Your praise.

Even when the fight seems lost, I'll praise You.
Even when it hurts like hell, I'll praise You.
Even when it makes no sense to sing,
Louder then I'll sing Your praise

Sometimes it hurts like hell.

I don’t know what hell actually feels like, but sometimes we feel trapped in our own personal hell. The hell of grief. The hell of despair. The hell of loss.

Sometimes life crashes over you from all sides and you feel like you’re drowning. Sometimes you have no idea how you will wake up in the morning and continue on, struggling, every, single, day, whilst everyone around you appears to be flying.

And it’s in those moments that all you can do is praise Him.

In those moments what you need is something that will take your eyes off of your own circumstance and focus on something bigger. Something greater. Something of far higher importance than you and your life.

In those moments you have to know that there is a bigger picture.

In those moments you have to know that there is hope.

In those moments you have to know that whatever is going on right now, God is just simply worthy of praise.

It is the only thing that keeps you going.

When you feel like all hope is lost and you have nothing left to live for, praising God is a reminder that you at least have Him. And you always will. Of that, you can be certain.

And trust me, if you can push through and praise Him anyway, it’s in those moments that you’ll find relief. Short lived at first. But ultimately, praise will lead you on a journey towards the light at the end of the tunnel. And you will come out fighting.

I am a Christian because whatever my circumstance, God is worthy of praise.

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart. For I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33

It took a long time for me to ‘take heart’. It was a year before I had the courage to get up and try again, during which time we experienced a baby boom in our extended family – something which was incredibly hard for me to deal with.

But on April 1st 2013, we welcomed Ruby Hope Rose into the world. Ruby, because of how precious she was. Hope, because she is our hope fulfilled. And Rose because roses are blood red, signifying the grace of Jesus’ blood poured out for us so that we might have life and life in abundance.

***


Emily is a 30-year-old former craft journalist turned SAHM who loves knitting, coffee and dairy free cake. She and her husband are assistant Pastors of a church in Kent, where they live with their two year old daughter, Ruby Hope Rose. She blogs at www.emilydavieswrites.com.

Thank you so much Emily, this is a really amazing post.
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