Praising God Through Grieving

One that has a grieving heart  thinks at times that all is well.  Life does go on, day by day, week by week, year by year.   But then, in unexpected moments, it feels like you are right there again.  In those first few hours after your loved one is gone.  The stillness of a heart, the deep trembling of disbelief and pain, that it scarcely beats.   I was there this morning, as the music was ending of a song I had just finished singing.  This powerful song, though I have sung it a couple of times before, defines the very echo of my pain and the life I now live.   "Praise You in this Storm" by Casting Crowns started playing on the radio years ago and I thought it spoke my heart then.  It has one of my favorite scriptures from Psalms 121: 1&2,  "I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Make of heaven and earth."  At this same time, I had  a sweet sister-in-Christ battling breast cancer.   I had sent the words of this song  to her in a card telling her  that I knew she couldn't sing them so I would be singing them for her.  I did sing them for her, at her memorial service a short time later.  As I was waiting for her service to being, I saw her favorite scripture printed in the program.  It was Psalms 121.  What a honor it was to be the one singing her favorite verses that day.   Having thought that I had walked through some pretty difficult storms already in my life, only God knew the ones that were to come in the days ahead.   The loss of my two sons and my mom in the past 3 years brings me to the place where I was this morning.  It's only by the grace and mercy of my God, that I could ever be able to sing such a song.  When I was in the midst of these storms, I could not even utter a note through the pain and the lump in my throat.  I remember hearing this song on the radio during that time and crying out to God, "I can't praise You in this storm. It hurts too much!"  But while my eyes were closed in that pain, my heart was hanging onto every word.  The chorus says,  "I'll  praise you in this storm,  and I will lift my hands, For  you are who you are, no matter where I am.  And every tear I cry, You hold in Your hands, You never left my side, and though my heart is torn, I'll praise you in this storm."   I have come to realize that although I wasn't able to sing for many months when the pain was so close to the surface, I believed with all of my heart that my God was right there with me.   When I couldn't open my mouth to sing in our worship services, I would close my eyes and hang onto the words of those singing around me.  That is how I praised my God through the those days of my storms.  It was a wonderful Sunday morning when I found myself singing along with my church family.  God had given my "song" back!  So today, my husband and I were ministering at a church where they had recently been forced to say "good bye" to one of their own.  I shared this song with them.  I knew how it has given me hope and strength through my times of grieving and was asking God to use it to encourage them, too.  By the time my last note was coming to an end,  their grieving hearts connected with my own.  The stillness, the pain, the trembling…….filled me with praise to the One who gives and takes away.  My God has never left my side.  I will continue to praise Him through my storms. My name is Mary Ann Anderson, a wife, mother, step-mom, Grammie to 2 beautiful boys. I have been in leadership of women's ministry for 20 years, co-founder of The Faithful Weigh, a faith-based weight-loss support group and a vocalist. My desire is to encourage hearts towards the amazing love of God. He has walked before me and with me through many hard times and has given me His joy, peace and laughter. My God is always with me and is always good. Come visit me: Blessings!