Praising Him through Frustration?

God is amazing. Seriously though, He constantly baffles me in His goodness and I am always reminded that when He says, “Ask and you shall receive” He means it! Not in a genie way, don’t read this and then pray for a Mustang expecting that it will POOF! into your garage.

Two examples stick out to me of God providing for me this week. The first one, and one that I never want to take for granted, is the kindness of God to motivate peoples hearts to care for me. I have received an abundance of cards, words of encouragement, meals, airfare donations, and prayer. These things are not a given when you get saddled with the big ‘ol cancer. These things are a blessing and I’m humbled and so grateful for every person who has cared for me in some way.

Another example from this week happened a couple nights ago. I was having a hard day, just struggling with those pesky questions of, “Why God?” “Where are you?” “How is this what’s best for me?”. I normally try to avoid questioning God. I find it easier for me at times to just accept that this is my life. I try and find harmony amidst this calamity. To just “deal” with it. But eventually the tension and the outburst of, “this isn’t how it’s supposed to be!” resurfaces. So once again I was laying in my husbands arms just sobbing. Nearly guttural. Side note you guys, as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, my husband is amazing. Take notes here on how to handle someone who is suffering. LISTEN. He does that the best. He listens, he is patient, he is grace filled, and he is selfless. If he hadn’t taken the time to ask me what’s wrong and truly mean it, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. I would be stuck in the same rut of apathy. So he chose to listen rather than sleep, rather than judge, rather than lecture, and after I poured out my heart, he encouraged me to read. See I have tons of books that people have sent me, but I tend to avoid them. Mostly because I felt like I’d just feel bad about reading about others who are going through way more than me and handling it way better. But then he challenged me, “Why don’t you read about someone else to be inspired by them, not to be condemned by them.”

So, I listened.

The next morning I picked up a book sent to me by friends in Spokane called, “Rejoicing in Lament.” It was one on the top of the pile of books about cancer, ones that I was definitely avoiding. I already live out cancer, why do I need to read about it? That was honestly my initial thought. So I flipped open to an old bookmarked page of mine, and the pages to follow were a direct answer to my cry. Did I mention that God was amazing!? And alive!? It’s a sad world to live in if you dismiss everything as a “coincidence” or “lucky”. No. This was planned and ordained by the Lord. The fact that I picked THAT book, the fact that I turned to THAT page, it was no coincidence my friends, it was an answer to my prayers, it was a comfort to my soul because God CARES about me. Whoa.

So I won’t word vomit the last 3 chapters I’ve read but I will talk about one sentence that gripped at my heart, “Even the most shocking psalms expressing outrage, fear, and despair are doing so before God, and that is praise.” How radical is that sentence!? When I bring all my questions, all my cries, all my hurt, and all my frustrations before God, it’s PRAISE! What the what!? How many times have I tried to manicure my prayers? How many times have I felt ashamed for feeling frustrated? How many times have I just decided not to pray at all if all I am going to do is cry? And all along, as it shows in the Psalms, I would have been praising the Lord, because I am coming to Him. RADICAL you guys, and man that once sentence was so freeing to me. I have been holding back in my relationship with God lately if I’m honest. I’ve been hurt, confused, frustrated, and unsure of how to even approach Him. I still feel all those feelings, and I still don’t know what to do with it all, but one thing I do know, I can take them freely to the Lord. I can give it all to Him in it’s raw and flawed state, and it’s praise. That’s the God we believe in, that’s a loving God, that’s a God that, like my husband, will hold you and LISTEN.

I head back to Seattle tomorrow, I get a port put in on Friday so if you could pray for that procedure to go smoothly I would appreciate it! Praise God that because of your generosity Adam gets to go with me for part of the time. I will be there until the 19th. TCells with be on the 16th which is a BIG DEAL, so prayers for that as well please!