This week’s blog was supposed to be one of celebration. My first published article came out in the March issue of Guideposts magazine, and I was planning to share the lesson I learned through that deeply personal experience.
But God had other plans, and I pray my story really speaks to those who are feeling the weight of life’s challenges. I hope what I share today helps to lift that load off your shoulders.
Last month I wrote about the experience of taking my youngest daughter Kassadi for an MRI on her knee. Recurring pain after playing volleyball led to an X-ray, and the results required an MRI for further investigation. I shared my experience of peace throughout the entire process and spoke words of faith concerning the results of her testing (find story here).
We received the testing results, and consulted 3 different doctors, who all came to the same conclusion about her diagnosis – osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). Go ahead and Google it (like we did) and then come back to the story. I’ll wait…
So there it is, the report that we were waiting on. Sigh.
But God, this isn’t a good report! I trusted you with the results. And THIS is what your response is? How does this line up with my faith and declaration? I’m boldly proclaiming your power every week, encouraging people to trust in You with all their problems. How can this be the result?
I know that every situation I pray about, declare about, and have faith about is not going to automatically turn out exactly the way I want. God is not a genie in a bottle, treating my prayers as wishes and happily granting them in the way I request and desire.
But He is a loving God who cares about His children. He wants to see us bring every concern and worry that we have to Him. And He wants us to trust Him with the response.
So that’s where I am now. Walking through this new test, determined to trust God every step of the way.
That was easy to type. But I know, by no means is that a simple task. I’ve probably shed tears every day since receiving the explanation of the diagnosis and scheduling the medical procedure with the Children’s Hospital of Philadephia.
On this past Sunday morning, I felt such a heaviness as I walked through the doors of my church. The morning prayer was in progress and I joined along, silently lifting prayers to God for my Kass.
Next came Praise and Worship songs – I sang along but wasn’t really feeling the words in my spirit. Why was this heavy burden still on me? I wanted to get rid of it as I felt really bound – and while singing songs to God, I thought about today’s Defensive Strategy.
In Isaiah 61, we read that God comforts us who mourn, and gives us a covering of praise in exchange for our negative spirit of heaviness and despair.
YES! That was the key – I refocused myself during that worship time, and as the music played, I concentrated on the words I was singing, blocking all other thoughts out. By not thinking about what was ahead of us with Kass, and just focused my complete and full attention on praising God.
As I worshipped, that weight suddenly lifted off of me! Just like that! I was able to enjoy the rest of the service without thoughts about Kassadi’s condition distracting me.
But this was not a one-time thing. As the day went on, I noticed the weight would try to settle back on me. Sometimes it was a weight of worry, sometimes a weight of sadness, sometimes hopelessness.
But as soon as I would feel it, I turned my worship music on, and shifted my attention to praising God. And He really does take away the spirit of heaviness and despair when our praise is sincerely focused on Him.
Music is my personal pathway to worship, but there are other ways that you may prefer to worship. Some people connect with God while enjoying nature and being outdoors, others through directly reading His Word, and still others in quiet solitude and contemplation. And there are still different ways – each of us is unique and have distinct paths we take to worship and feel close to God.
As we live each day, there are difficulties we each experience, and sometimes dealing with our own personal issues can really weigh us down. Some of us wake up in the morning already feeling down in the pit of our stomachs. For others of us, the negative feelings can be brought on by a thought or memory.
Whatever the case, you don’t have to accept those feelings and struggle through each day, which sometimes can lead to prolonged depression. Use your weapon of praise and fight those feelings off of you – praise is the key!
Do you have worship songs that you regularly listen to? Whether it’s a favorite CD or streaming playlist?
If music isn’t your pathway to God, determine how you can worship God anywhere and anytime – whether at work, home, or in the car. How can you attack any negative spirits by praising God? Start using your pathway to worship the next time you experience a heavy burden or feeling that you can’t shake loose.
If you don’t have a playlist of worship songs, please check out mine on Spotify (click here) and use it the next time you feel negative thoughts trying to weigh you down.
Feel free to respond in the comments section… and share this story with someone in your life that could use the encouragement.
Follow Destined 4 the Dub for the Inspiration you need each week as you journey through the highs and lows of life!