2019 was hard. The year started hard and only got harder. July and August devastated me. By September, things were so complicated and overwhelming that I wondered how we would ever make it. I just didn’t feel strong enough to face the mountains before us. It felt like they were more than I could endure. Grief was a way of life. Tears came daily. There were problems too big for me to figure out. There were circumstances beyond my control that caused me to lay awake at night speaking Truth to myself to combat the anxiety.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.

When I am afraid, I will trust in Him.

September of that year I turned 48. Mentally, I had prepared myself for the worst birthday ever and I was going to be okay with that.

But God.

Slowly, I was learning to rejoice in my trials. It was either that or give up in despair. I was learning to mediate on the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are the poor in spirit – and I was poor in a lot of ways. But I learned to say THANK YOU God, I am blessed.

Then a day before my 48th birthday, at the most painful and needy time of my life, God worked a miracle. He did what only God can do . . . and I will never be the same.

My trial didn’t go away, but I saw God’s provision in immense proportions. He was with us and He would not let us be overcome. He provided for every need and the needs were GREAT.

That is who God is . . . the great God! He worked a miracle in my life that changed me forever. If I had not been in such a desperate state, I would have missed seeing God glorified greatly in a situation that was overwhelming my family. I would have missed the opportunity to know God deeper as my provider and shelter. I would have missed seeing a miracle happen that I had prayed specifically for. I KNOW He can do ALL things.

A day before my birthday, I wrote these words:

“I don’t even know where to start – but to say God is faithful and provides for every need.

I don’t have to have it all together for You to do it. I can be messy and complicated – wrestling through.

I can choose Jesus. I choose to worship and praise you Lord, right here in the messy parts that hurt and feel chaotic. I’m very broken.”

When you feel like a failure, The Lord still meets us at our point of need as we look to Him and give thanks.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ!

We will not be put to shame – and we don’t have to deserve blessing to be blessed.

That’s the Gospel!

I really did think that birthday would be the WORST EVER! So much pain and brokenness. BUT I worshipped and God showed up . . . BIG!

He met me in my hurt, sin, and pain. He used people to show me WHO HE IS.

Thoughtful, kind, loving, faithful.

Jehovah Jireh . . . He meets every need . . . He provides.

So if you are in that hard place today, He sees you – He hears you – He loves you! He really is working all things for good in your life, if you love Him and are called according to His promises.

When pain enters our lives we have a choice. We can accept it as God’s best for us or complain. Our response will determine what we become . . . better or bitter.

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Trust the process. YES . . . it . . . is . . . HARD and it HURTS. Your pain is real and it matters. You need community to walk with you through these hard days. What a gift to have a friend who walks with us through the hard and doesn’t give up on us. Jesus is the best friend we could have, but He also blesses us with people who reflect His character in our lives. Thus, giving us a glimpse of how deeply He cares for us.

His ways are not our ways. He allows pain for our good. Pain is the trenching mechanism that transforms a shallow faith into a deeper walk with The Lord. We learn to depend on Him and not ourselves through pain. We are shaped to become more like Jesus through pain.

So, worship where you are today. Come to Him with all the “not so pretty places” of your heart and cast them down. Choose to praise Him even when life is hard. Wait and see how your perspective changes and how He works in your circumstances.

And now back to my 48th birthday in 2019, IT WAS THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. My circumstances were the hardest I’ve ever known, but what most people don’t know is that God gave me the best birthday gift EVER. I saw Him moved powerfully in my life and family. Even though we were walking out hard days, HE WAS WITH US and HE WOULD PROVIDE. God worked a miracle when the flood waters were about to overtake us. I am forever changed!

So worship and give Him praise right now, even in the middle of your hard!


Monica and Chuck

4 thoughts

  1. Monica, this is SPOT ON! Thank you for such a wonderful reminder that we must praise Him in the hardest of times! I so appreciate your willingness to share of His grace and strength in your life! Love you! KP

    Liked by 1 person

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