One of my favorite music albums is Steven Curtis Chapman’s The Glorious Unfolding. Steven writes these songs from his own raw, vulnerable, and painful suffering. He has walked the dark roads of intense suffering and questioning. He has personally experienced deep grief. And he has found God to be faithful and the hope of Heaven to be very comforting.
As I was listening and singing along to his song Take Another Step this morning in my mommy-van, I was reminded of several steps that I’ve taken along my personal grief journey. God has been so faithful to me as well and Heaven grows sweeter each day.
But taking another step in the middle of deep pain and suffering is not easy. AT ALL. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that I couldn’t keep pushing through the fog. I’ve wanted to quit and give up on so many days. I’ve cried more tears than I ever dreamed possible. I’ve felt numb but yet so sensitive to people, places, and memories. Many days it has seemed near to impossible to crawl out of bed, take a step into my kitchen, or get dressed to care for my family. Yet, I am making it. . .one step at a time. I am moving from my emptiness to His fullness. . .little by little. And I am loving God more with each day. . .as I daily take steps into His light.
Throughout my journey of suffering, God has reminded my heart countless times that it is His strength alone that enables me to take a step. He reminds me that He is for me- never against me. He reminds my heart that I have ultimate victory in Him.
But what does “taking a step” look like in the everyday normal of life? When I am fighting hard to press on in the struggles?
Taking a step is RESTING in His strength. . .knowing that He fights for me daily.
Taking a step is TRUSTING His Word and His promises to carry me on eagle’s wings. . .knowing that He fulfills His every written word.
Taking a step is STAYING in the Word and filling my mind and heart with His truth. . .knowing that He gives victory when the Enemy whispers lies into my weak heart and feelings try to conquer what I know to be true.
Taking a step is ASKING God and others for healing and help. . .knowing that He offers and extends grace through various means of counseling, physicians, supplements, medications, etc.
Taking a step is CRYING to release the deep emotional pain and heartache. . .knowing that my tears matter to Him and He understands my pain having experienced it all Himself.
Taking a step is LISTENING to words of truth through worship music, Christian podcasts, sermons at church, and Godly books.
Taking a step is TALKING truth to myself rather than listening to my feelings. . .knowing that His truth sets me free.
Taking a step is SURROUNDING myself with Godly, wise, and loving people who encourage my broken heart to keep trusting, keep walking, and keep loving Jesus and others. . .knowing that He first established community and chooses to bless our lives with others.
Taking a step is NOURISHING my physical body with sleep, nutrition, hydration, and exercise. . .knowing that my Creator is intimately acquainted with my body and heals in His own way and time.
Taking a step is RECOGNIZING that suffering is a part of living in this broken world and no one is exempt from pain. . .knowing that God didn’t create the world to be this way but yet extends amazing grace in the here and now and will ultimately restore all broken things for His glory!
Taking a step is GIVING myself grace to acknowledge the hurt, frustration, pain, and suffering in my life and and understanding that life changes in so many ways during the hard, dark seasons of pain. . .knowing that He will comfort my heart and bring me into a new season of light in His time.
Taking a step is SHOWING up for my husband, my kids, my family, my friends, my church body, and my community peeps when it feels impossible to be around people and I’m drawn toward isolation. . .knowing that God will give strength to engage in the normal activities of my life.
Taking a step is RUNNING to the Cross for the victory that is mine in Christ. . .knowing that Jesus has conquered death, hell, and the grave!
Taking a step is RELEASING my shame, fears, anger, and insecurities to Christ. . .knowing there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
Taking a step is CLINGING to the Rock of Ages. . .knowing He is a secure and steady place in which I can’t fall through or slip through the cracks.
Taking a step is ACKNOWLEDGING to God and those people in my life who care that I am hurting and need attention. . .knowing that God cares and will whisper His grace into my heart through the love of others.
Taking a step is LOOKING at my circumstances through the lens of the Gospel. . .knowing that I am a chosen child of God, I am set free from sin, and I have a forever home in Heaven with my Savior.
Taking a step is PRAYING constantly. . .knowing that He delights in answering the prayers of my heart.
Taking a step is LETTING go. . .knowing that He is sovereign and never makes a mistake.
Taking a step is DOING the next thing right in front of me. . .knowing that my Jesus will carry me through and bless my feeble efforts to walk on.
Friend, we are all walking this hard journey of life in a broken world. You may be in a very difficult season right now where it seems impossible to push through and keep walking. My prayer is that God will help you to “take another step” today and extend your arms up to Heaven toward the Savior who died for you, who loves you with an extravagant love, who cares deeply about the intimate details of your life. Accept His love. Cry out for His help. Rest in His strength alone. Do the next thing.
I promise you that my God will be faithful in every way. He always upholds His word and never disappoints. He is for you and never against you. He is constantly working things for your good and His glory. You are safe to trust Him. You are very loved.