It’s strange how fast things enter our lives. One day I was adjusting to our youngest son going off to college and grieving the loss of my dad when a lump showed up on my husband’s neck.
Within days our lives changed. Every single part of it changed.
Our routine changed . . . our relationship changed . . . even our souls changed. Because this is what happens when cancer enters life.
And honestly, it wouldn’t have hurt so deeply to see him suffer if I hadn’t loved him so much. But this is the cost of love.
To choose love always means we’ll taste some suffering, too.
We’ve experienced pain beside each other before, but this time was different. You see, we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary just hours before the doctor called to tell us the news. And I honestly kept questioning the timing of it all. But the truth is—it’s never the right time to get this kind of news.
And perhaps the wounds felt the most are the ones where the scalpel cuts the deepest. Because I’ve never felt so close to God as when he’s pruning me in the valley.
Inside these days and in the midst of what felt like the hardest climb through the valley, we sent a text to our family. We asked them to join us in our battle ahead by turning their worry into worship. Because when battles are unleashed in our lives, our stance is essential to the outcome. Our declaration of who God is in these hard seasons shouts out what we truly believe.
And it was almost instant what happened . . . our playlist began filling up with songs they were playing and re-playing to get through the nightmare. The word spread from family members to friends scattered all over the country and reaching even across the world.
You see, when sorrow comes into our lives and brokenness speaks from the depths of our souls, our voices seem louder because there are so many who are suffering through their own versions of hard, looking for an answer to pain. So, when a wounded soul speaks of a powerful way to fight the war raging within, people stop and listen.
This began a new fight for us.
We knew if we didn’t make the choice to surrender our worry in worship, we would lose a piece of ourselves in the battle.
I’d struggled with anxiety for years—often pushing it aside as stress and disregarding the pressure building. We often do this when the struggle seems beyond our control because it’s often messy and painful. But what we choose to shove down eventually surfaces.
And when seasons like this fall upon us, we’re tempted to let them take over our souls. I know, because I’d lived this way for years. So, I knew we had to do it differently this time. We needed a place to settle our souls.
As we fought through the darkness of our situation, we pressed play over and over again. Every anxiety or painful experience was fought in Heaven as we called upon all of Heaven to fight with us. We knew we didn’t have it, but they did.
And we found something amazing inside this journey. We discovered an untapped resource lying deep beyond our realm in the presence of God.
And as we worshiped, we found a community singing alongside us through their own dark seasons. Some fighting bleaker situations than ours—babies struggling to survive, marriages broken far beyond what seemed humanly repairable, addictions raging their own vicious wars, people fighting demons of darkness inside their souls. But inside all this heartache, we worshiped and we found comfort. We found as we stood together, there was a restored strength to carry on.
Friend, life is hard and what I’m learning these days is even in the hardest days of healing—worry and worship cannot coexist. Because within every battle, one will win.
So, as we take the steps ahead we’re continuing to embrace God within the shadows of worship because it’s here we’re finding peace.
And even though we may walk through the darkest of valleys ahead, we will worship God.
Because, friend, we don’t worship Him for what he’s doing but for WHO He is!
And as we continue chasing these sacred moments, God is restoring us. Because when we choose to keep the voice of God as the One who is speaking into us, we find it is so much easier to exhale praise.