God is sooooooooooooooooooooooo good. I honestly feel like I can’t say this enough. You are a good God.
I love how you remain. Your remaining-ness should be spoken about more often. I know I have just made up a word but I feel like that should be allowed considering that I am talking about the creator. 😀
So we are two weeks into the last half of the year and I feel like I have lived a lot of lifetimes already; in just two weeks. Something happened that threatened to tear me to pieces. I was devastated. I did not in a million years see it coming. So on the first day, which coincidentally was 1st July, I cried myself into dehydration; I kid you not. I cried on and off from about 2pm up until I forced myself to go to bed at around 9pm. It was like an avalanche. I woke up super thirsty and I knew why.
The thing about grief, and maybe scientists might have an explanation tied to hormones about this is it sits heavily in your chest; or is it just me? Heavy to the point of laboured breathing. Heavy to the point of putting your hand on your chest. Heavy of shoulders slumped forward. Heavy like it is literally pulling you to the ground. Heavy like only tight hugs will do. I have felt chest pains the past weeks.
On Tuesday 4th July, I woke up a little earlier than I usually do. I don’t have to be at work until 10am and I live only thirty minutes away. I woke up at about 5:30-6 ish and my chest was heavy. I couldn’t take it anymore. I got out of bed, went to the living room and talked to God about my heavy chest. God is funny. I don’t know how he balances comfort and encouragement. I mean, I know and felt beyond reasonable doubt that he was/is feeling all my pain alongside me. Yet at the same time, He was showing me light. He was pulling me up. He was making me smile. The chest pains were leaving. I was surprised. I was delighted. I was relieved.
I think that’s my favourite God attribute. I mean I love all of Him because cheiiii, this God!!! I find so much comfort in knowing, seeing and thinking on His faithfulness. Maybe I have had trust issues growing up and this aspect is super important to me. However, I have learnt that in the storms of life, I need to know that He is faithful. That He will come through for me.
In the first days when the pain was still super fresh, the enemy tried to whisper lies about Him not being on my side. I cried several times “Where is my advocate?” “Where is my vindicator?” I heard voices telling me, “This is your punishment, don’t think you can escape what you have done”
I thank God for God. Thank you Jesus for the Holy Spirit who I shall also start referring to as the “Truth sayer”. He didn’t stop rebuking those lies. He didn’t stop hugging me. He didn’t stop quietly reaching for my hand. He didn’t stop just sitting with me. He didn’t stop rubbing my back when I was crying. He didn’t stop listening to me vent. He didn’t stop reminding me of the promise of His faithfulness. He remained. How do we even give to you, God? How?
I made a conscious decision from day one that I would not participate in making myself sad. I refused to listen to songs that identified with my feelings. I actively looked for music that spoke about the contrary. In fact I looked for music that just spoke about God’s goodness. The first one was Andrae Crouch’s The Lord is my light. More than what she is saying in that song is how she is saying it.
It is in this time that I also discovered Darlene Zschech’s 2017 album, “Here I am , send me” . I have had this album for about two months now but had never got round to listening to. This album is dripping with beauty, truth and honesty. Darlene was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. We bless the Lord for her healing but that also means she has been through one of the worst things ever. She was facing death. A lot of the music on this album talks about God’s love, His remaining-ness(there goes that word again) through every situation, our intimate relationship with Him, praising and recognizing His goodness regardless of the situation. Wow. I love the entire album. I wake up early in the morning, get my flash, play it off some good speakers and I just pray along.
My favourite tracks at the moment are the last two; “You will be praised” and “Your eyes”. First of all “your eyes” sounds a little different from the rest of the songs. It sounds more relaxed, as if jazzy and it’s a duet with a man I believe is her husband. It has the lines
“ …I know your eyes are on me,
You won’t turn your face away
Only love within your gaze
I know my heart is on you
I will rest under your shade
All my hope is in your name…”
The first time I heard that song, I felt like God was watching me. I have this image in my mind, of slow dancing before His throne. I feel like I’m either slow dancing with Him or I am dancing for Him and He is watching me. He is watching me and He is smiling. I love that song. I feel like I am almost always dancing with or for my father, amusing Him.
“For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people…” Psalms 149:4a
You will be praised is…wow. It speaks of a determined faith. Of, I have made up my mind this is what I will do.
“You will be praised.
You will be praised
Through every storm
You will remain
In death and in life
I’ll not be afraid
In joy or in pain
You will be praised”
It’s amazing how it re-aligns your focus to God; and the more you see God, the better everything becomes. My friends, press into God always. Everything should be seen through Him. There are days I don’t even want to go to work. I just want to like sit somewhere and sit with God and sing and laugh. He’s so funny and just enjoy each other. I thank God my job allows me to do that a lot more than other jobs may.
“Your heart is Gold
Your strength is God
Your path is glory”
A very good friend of mine sent me that today. I stared at it over and over again especially number two. There is no lie there. My strength is God. I am shocked. I don’t remember ever being this strong in my life. Strength does not mean there are no tears by the way. In the past, I have fallen apart. I have pretty much resigned and just camped in my pits. It’s only by God. It’s only by God who even way before this happened was strengthening me. God who from the very start said, “I got you”. God who has spent my entire life telling me and proving to me that He is not going anywhere. This is not me friends. My strength is God.
I don’t believe you have to suffer to learn but oh the lessons that tough times will teach you. Press into God, I beseech you. Press into Him. Choose to believe Him even when physical evidence seems to suggest there’s no reason to. Cry on His shoulder, in His chest. Vent to Him. Receive His comfort. Sit quietly with Him. Enjoy His presence. Delight yourself in Him. Beloved, child of God, our father loves us very much. Our father is the king of pursuit. Our father can remain!
There are days I pinch myself because how dare I not recognize that Lazarus has been dead four days! How dare I step out of the boat! How dare I sleep though the storm! How dare I sing while in chains! My strength is God. Your strength is God.
The valley of the shadow of death probably looks different for each one of us. I know about two constants though. God, the truth. The enemy and His lies. Choose God.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thou art with me. They rod and they staff they comfort me” Psalms 23:4