Tuesday, March 3, 2015

a weapon against hardship

i've got a friend in marriage counseling after discovering her husband has been hiding an addiction.

i've got a friend battling depression and anxiety.

i've got a friend adjusting to a new city and realizing the reason she moved there isn't what 
she thought it would be.

i've got a friend fighting aggressive cancer.

i've got a friend struggling to make the pennies stretch.

i've got a friend unhappy about how her body looks and feels.

i've got a friend purposefully carrying a few layers of fat as a shield from the world.

i've got a friend bottling emotions so deeply they make her hyperventilate when they come to the surface.

i've got a friend concerned about her son's development, unsure what to do for him.

i've got a friend filling the void by shopping.

i've got a friend exhausted by the unspoken expectations of motherhood.

i've got a friend going the extra mile to help others but feels unworthy of receiving help herself.

i've got a friend who had one daughter released from the hospital only to have her other daughter admitted. double sickness, double stress, double bills.


these lives we lead aren't easy. there is struggle and strife and sadness. there is hurt and pain and emptiness. there is a relentless pursuit, a dirty scoundrel desperate to mire us in a spirit of heaviness and make us feel alone.

but there is a weapon against such sorrow: praise.

praising god in the midst of a trial is kryptonite to a heavy heart.

he will give you: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise for heaviness. for god has planted you like a strong and graceful oak for his own glory,  isaiah 61:3

sometimes praise is the furthest thing from our lips. maybe gratitude seems too hard. maybe the depths are so deep you cannot see what you have to be thankful for. the good news is that praise doesn't have to be verbal. it doesn't have to be documented five bullet points per day in a journal. it doesn't have to be sung with hands lifted high during a church worship service. praise is not an extra task on your already long to-do list. 

praise can be as simple as living life anyway. 

getting out of bed anyway. being kind to a stranger (or your children) anyway. unloading the dishwasher anyway. saying i love you anyway. 

praising means refusing to roll over and despair  when all the world is gripped in darkness. to praise is to remember the victory that already belongs to us, even when our reality makes us sad. praising means soldiering on in the face of dismal odds and getting out of bed every day because god gives us the strength to do hard things. praise is sitting in the dark with my tears but knowing i don't sit there alone. - shannan martin, flower patch farmgirl

i have many lovely friends. they are beautiful humans inside and out, gifted in such various ways. each one is unique yet aren't we all the same? we plow forward in this thing called life, facing the trials, holding hands in the valleys and hugging on the hilltops. 

this is my encouraging word to you today; a lengthened version of texts i sent last week to three special ladies who needed a weapon to take into battle. 

life is hard. but you can do hard things. and by doing the hard you become the physical embodiment of praise. and by being the praise you automatically make the hard things just enough easier. 

trudging on together,

No comments: