Praise Him Anyway

A few years ago when I got pregnant with twins, I was so excited at the thought of having not one, but two little ones to love. I thought God was fulfilling my dream of a big family. My two older children are wonderful, but the Lord gave me a desire to grow our family. After seven years of praying for more children, God finally answered me.

But when the second trimester came, my husband and I learned that one baby was not developing normally; we lost that twin. A few weeks later, the other baby no longer had a heartbeat. We were devastated. I remember crying out to God, “Why would you take me this far only to take my dreams away?”

But then the Lord put this hymn on my heart.

It is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say

It is well, it is well, with my soul

It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul

I played this on repeat and sang it so often with tears streaming down my face. But, I still could not reckon why God would allow this. I definitely wasn’t at total peace with my circumstance, but felt that out of faithfulness to God, I should continue to praise the Lord for all the ways He has been good to me.

Life is often full of hardship: miscarriages, stillbirths, job losses, marriage difficulties, shocking medical diagnoses. We can let the darkness in and be completely overcome by the sorrow and disappointment, or we can respond in praise to God out of a heart of faithfulness. Praising God does not mean that you won’t question Him or avoid pain, but it allows us to keep our hearts in alignment with our Heavenly Father.

I’ve found that spending time in the Psalms is one of the best ways to recenter my heart toward praise. Threaded through the words of each chapter, David and others cry out to the Lord about their circumstances and pleading for God to vindicate their situation, but they are simultaneously praising God for being the Faithful, Almighty King.

This past week marked two years since that miscarriage. I have since had three more miscarriages, and the Lord has shown us that we will not be having children through the natural birth process. We will just wait and continue to pray for God’s leading in adoption or fostering.

Recently, my sweet friend invited me to a worship concert. I definitely needed a fun night out. Halfway through the concert, the singers pulled out a piano and invited thousands of us to sing “It is Well with My Soul” in unison. That moment allowed me to look back and say, Lord, things didn’t work how I expected, but You are still good and have been faithful the whole time. I could truly sing the song and mean every word as if I wrote it myself.

Ladies, I share this not because I have it all together or that those two years weren’t the hardest of my life. I want to encourage you to praise Him anyway in all your circumstances. I encourage you to pull out your Bible and commune with God.  Look in the Psalms and thank Him for being our Savior, Rock, Glory, Sustainer, Shepherd. It’s impossible to not feel His presence. Find some music to play to worship and put it on, even if it’s hard. And pray, pour out your heart asking Him to meet you.

He will. He is Faithful.

“For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness

of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.”

Psalm 117:2