(Re-post from Facebook ~ November 2, 2016)
I was coming home from work at 6:30 this morning, after working 3rd shift, it was dark, quiet on the roads, peaceful … I had SO much on my mind, troubles of life, the hard stuff that really brings anxiety & sadness if you let it ~ to be really honest I was really starting to feel sorry for myself. If you know anything about my story I’m sure you can understand that on the most basic level. For me, those are the times I worship. Honestly the reality of it is that sometimes I just big, fat don’t want to – but I do it anyways because through every one of our trials and tribulations, the grief and the depth of loss that my family and I have endured I’ve learned that my worship shuts down the noise.
One of my favorite songs right now is Lauren Daigles “First.” As I went into battle with my praise .. the words of the song started to come ALIVE I could feel them in my Spirit slaying the lies… “Before I bring my need I will bring my heart, before I lift my cares I will lift my arms ~ I wanna know You, I wanna find You, In EVERY season, in EVERY moment. Before I bring my need I will bring my heart and seek You FIRST. More than ANYTHING I want, I want You.”
I started to remember papers that I wrote for school before we lost Elijah, conversations that I had with God before the accident … the way He pursued me, the way He showed Himself to me. That He would provide, that He would meet every single unmet need IF I would put down my own will and just allow Him to do so. IF I put Him FIRST … as I grew and let His Word and Truth fill my being and I climbed the mountain of lies that the world (the enemy) had built up around me He brought me to the knowing that NO MATTER WHAT His truth prevails. The Holy Spirit started to ask the question “Amanda, will you Trust Me?”.
During that time there was a song that the kids and I used to listen to often and it spoke to me much like this one … when It came on the meaning came alive and I knew it was for a purpose that it touched me the way it did. It was a song by Kutless called “I’m Still Yours.” I started to wonder If I lost it all … would my hands stay lifted? As God began to heal all the lies I believed and started speaking TRUTH into my Spirit … as I grew in Him and Him in me I came to a knowing that I would, my hands would stay lifted. Then the accident happened … and I got to KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would. Hard stuff? Definitely.
Back to today’s song and my revelation: the next line of the song hit me with enormous impact: “and in the midst of pain let me feel Your Joy.” With that verse He took me to some of the hardest things I have ever been through in my life, moments when you would think a smile and laughter may never happen again. Moments when ALL seems lost and the grief threatens to consume everything there is …. But you know what God did for me? He GAVE ME JOY. I remember the laughter, pure joy that came at the most absurd times … laughter at my baby boy’s funeral when the butterflies refused to fly and they stayed on us. When I left the hospital and had my very first REAL anxiety attack because I had been stuck in a room/bed for so long and I tried to run from it (in my wheelchair) because I thought I was having a heart attack! You didn’t know that you could run (without legs that work btw) from a heart attack??
I have laughed and had Joy in my life when there is just NO possible way that I could fake it. I have always hated that saying (Fake it til’ you make it) But the reality is; It doesn’t have to be faked because it’s not coming from this imperfect human, It comes from the One who created Joy to begin with. So I’ve adopted a new saying: FAITH It til’ You Make it!! Because I’ve been given the ability to do it and NOT in my own strength ~ That, is one of the many, many reasons that I will always put Him First.
It is probably true, some people just have a born in, God-given ability to fight, to re-frame any situation and look at the light instead of the darkness, but the fact remains that ability STILL comes from God and He is NO respecter of persons. Love you all!