Thursday, March 22, 2012

Turning Back To Praise

Good Morning Dear Ones:

I told you when God spoke to me that I would jump at the chance to turn back and praise His glorious name. Sometimes when He speaks it is like a gentle breeze, and others, well... it's more like hurricane force winds.

Last night it was just like the song "How He Loves." You know the part, "loves like a hurricane, I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy." I became totally aware of the next line too, "When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful you are and and how great your affections are for me."

As I sit here and type I am still stunned and amazed. It all came at me full force, last night at Bible study. It was our third session of Beth Moore's study on James. The session literally took my breath away. I sat in that church sanctuary and I think my jaw could have plainly gaped open. I mean it was like session three was written for just for me, Michelle, for this exact moment in time, for my story right now. I know it was probably applicable to every person in that room last night but that is exactly how individual and personal it felt to me.

The topic was on joy and anguish. It hit me right between the eyes. The past few months I can accurately describe my emotional state as experiencing anguish. Beth defined it as mental distress. Some examples were when you have pain plus anxiety or suffering plus dread or hurt plus harassment.  I could check yes to all three examples.

The biggest comfort to me was when Beth described how anguish and joy, both intense emotions, can coexist, trade places and my personal favorite morph into joy. When your nightmare becomes your dream. When God's redeeming power is majestically displayed. When your pain displays your purpose and passion. Your deliverance becomes a birth. She described how mental anguish is like childbirth. The Hebrew definition was "to turn in a circle, twist, revolve, to writhe, travail (in childbirth), bear a child...The main idea is that of writhing in pain, which is particularly associated with childbirth."

I having physically given birth four times and can relate to that incredible pain, but also to the incredible relief and joy that comes once the birth has taken place. The miracle of the new life. The delight of the gift that came with the birth. Pure excitement rises up in me when I recall those memories. And you know what came to mind, was my girls. My body did not carry them but my heart has. Those girls entering our home and hearts has not been without labor. They have brought birth pains, but you know what, they have also brought with those pains... incredible joy. Yes the two can coexist. Yes they can trade places, but what I am most stirred up about is how my God is going to convert and change all the anguish for joy. No one is going to ever be able to tell me I did not give birth to my precious chocolattes. Pure natural, no epidural births.

Pressing in once again has proved fruitful and bountiful. Personal and uplifting. I am rejuvenated and encouraged. Motivated and expectant. Thank you to those who have left me comments, sent e mails and text messages. Above all for your invaluable prayers. I am grateful. Be sure to see the small post after this one if you haven't already it has some recent news on Big Sister.


"As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord."

Joshua 24:15

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