The blog has been a little quiet in recent months because it’s been a new growth season for me personally.
After speaking for a ladies conference in November 2015, I hit another wall of intense grief. I think as I had been studying and preparing for the conference, I was also reliving so much of my own pain and personal struggles from the death of my mom. I wasn’t prepared for the intense after-effect of such an emotional event of sharing God’s work in my life through my pain and loss. I began to “crash” after the conference as I entered the holiday season and the anniversary of Mom’s death in February.
Winter really tried to take hold of my soul in numerous ways. I was battling some intense periods of grieving, some depression, and anxiety. In general, I’ve found the holiday season a difficult one since losing mom. Life was good but just seemed to get harder for me in many ways.
But I took to heart my own message of “speaking truth” to myself and began claiming His Word over my own feelings, discouragement, grief, and anxiety. Each day was started with a prayer to adore Christ rather than dwell on the anxieties. I kept faithfully reading and studying the Word of God.
I pursued a more regular schedule of exercise. I cut out all gluten from my diet. (This has been a huge help for me.) I saw a Christian counselor and therapist who introduced me to EMDR and encouraged me to give it a try. I have found it be very effective. I daily shared my struggles and blessings with my husband and closest friends. And I consistently “truthed” myself with the Word of God through Scripture, music, and the writings of Christian authors.
As Spring entered in, I felt that my own heart was entering a new season as well. God was birthing new parts of my own heart and healing deep brokenness within. He is such a faithful God to give Himself in fresh ways to us. I began to feel stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I’ve always loved Spring and the invigoration that comes with warmer weather, more sunshine, fresh blooms, and new calves.
Throughout the months of January-April, I was weekly volunteering at my daughter’s elementary school for the musical Annie. With my background in music education, I was asked to come alongside the school’s music teacher and give input, rehearse music and lines with students, and perform various other roles. Every Wednesday I looked forward to spending time with the students, singing, and rehearsing for the big performance night on April 21.
As the musical performance drew near, I began to sense how God was using my involvement in the musical to encourage my own heart. I’m learning that God is ALWAYS at work in our lives. I desperately needed the laughter and life and love from these elementary students. My time spent working with Mrs. Turner was always refreshing and fun. I loved every minute spent directing rehearsals, working the sound, laughing with students and teachers, and singing the fun songs from Annie.
The night of the performance was just incredible! It took me back to my own school years of being involved in dramas, musicals, and choir performances. Many of those with my mom as the director. She was such a natural at leading the BEST shows and making music so fun! She would have been so proud of Lauryn that night in the show! She would have been right up front cheering us both on and smiling the entire performance! I like to think she was watching from up above.
As the entire cast gathered on stage to sing the finale Tomorrow, big tears rolled down my cheeks as my heart just wanted to burst with praise at all God was doing in my own heart and the lives of these students and others involved. It was incredible awesomeness! I was just so proud of these kids! And I was humbly grateful that God had allowed me to be a small part in the lives of these students and teachers. I realized at that point that so much healing had come into my own heart in the last year. A year ago, I would not have had the emotional, physical, or mental energy to engage in such a production. Grief tends to sap the life right out of you. . . but the sun was shining once more in my life!
Bet your bottom dollar
There´ll be sun
Clears away the cobwebs
And the sorrow
I just stick out my chin
So ya gotta hang on
Come what may
I love ya
Sometimes, life seems really dark, dreary, and gray. We wonder when the sun will break through the clouds in our own souls. It can feel that “Tomorrow” will never come!
But I encourage you to keep pressing on. Keep leaning into Christ . . . running to Him for true rest. Stay in the Word and fill your daily thoughts with truth. Pray continually. Take action steps needed for accountability, encouragement, and counsel. God will be faithful-even when we are not. He’s that good! And He is ALWAYS working in our lives for His glory and our good.
God has been actively working in my life through these last few months and His Son has been shining brightly into my heart. The days still get heavy with my own clouds and rain, the grief tries to capture my joy, and the discouragement still comes. If we’re all honest, life is just plain hard here on this earth. We live in a broken world filled with broken people full of hurts and pain.
But I’m continually looking toward the Son with an expected hope that He is healing my brokenness and renewing my soul. It is Christ who is the only hope and joy for all my tomorrows! And He is the hope for you as well.