This past Sunday my Bishop discussed praising God even when we don't feel like it. He shared that no matter what we're going through, we always have a reason to praise God. Simply because we woke up in the morning, we should be praising Him, because we're winning. His grace that caused us to wake up in the morning, means the enemy's plan to snuff out our lives was canceled.
In the following excerpt from Is The Grass Really Greener, Courtney is not in a place to praise God. Her heart is broken over the loss of her baby and now her marriage is in shambles. It's taking all she has to push her way into the church just to draw near to His presence. Yet, if you know anything, you know that's exactly where she needs to be. Read on...
They were avid church goers, but this Sunday Nate did not sit at her side. This Sunday she had come in with her head held high, but her spirit was broke down so low. Anyone who looked into her eyes could tell that she was broken and tattered. When she first walked in everyone greeted her and wanted to know where Brother Nathaniel was. She had made excuses for his absence by telling them he was under the weather. The way Courtney saw it, he had to be under the weather because he simply was not acting like himself.
Courtney sat in the pew with her head bowed unable to stop the tears that flowed from her eyes. As she sat and listened to the song the music ministry played, and the congregation cheering the praise dancers, she could not find it in her heart to worship. She hurt too badly and it wouldn’t stop. She rocked back and forth listening to the words of “Already Here,” and felt a hand on her back rubbing up and down to calm her. It was one of the church mothers. She recognized Mother Henderson’s fragrant perfume and then came the low whisper of her praying over Courtney.
“Lord, we pray for Your healing hands on Sister Courtney today, dear Lord. We ask that You stretch forth Your glorious hand and bring restoration and healing into her heart, her home, and her marriage. Father we call on You because You are our Strength and our Deliverer. You are our Healer, Jehovah Rapha. There is no other like You, Lord. Father, I cannot understand her pain, but You, oh omniscient One know what she is going through. Only You can be the balm for her soul. Father, I don’t ask that You take away her pain, but I ask that You fill her with Your peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding and hold her in the cradle of Your arms while she goes through. Be her fortress in her turmoil and her shelter from the storm. We rebuke the hands of the enemy on her life, Lord. We declare victory, Father, over the barren areas; we declare mending for her brokenness. We know that you will cause this Phoenix to rise again from the ashes that have consumed her, oh Merciful One. It’s in Your Son’s name we pray.”
Mother Henderson began rocking with her and singing along with the words to the song. Courtney rocked with her and as she laid her head on the older woman’s shoulder, she found some measure of comfort.
Her mother and father had raised her and her two older brothers and older sister in the church. Her mother had always told her when times got rough to take it back home to the house of the Lord, but she had never left. So why was all this happening to her? She was faithful in her giving and in her marriage; she loved the Lord, and she gave of her time, talent, and tithe. She prayed for everyone and gave Him the glory for all He had done in her life. But it just seemed as if she was destined to be punished for some unforeseen wrong. She had been told that hard times like these came to build you and to strengthen your character. Wasn’t she strong enough? How much more character did she need?
Her family had been a rock for her, praying her and Nate through the loss of their child. But she had not shared with them the troubles their marriage was going through. If she had said anything to her mother, she knew it would get back to her father. And while he liked Nate, Courtney would always be his baby girl. And if anyone caused a tear to fall from her eyes, her father and older brothers would be ready to cause damage. She didn’t need that, what she needed was a miracle.
A lesson that Courtney will have to learn, along with many people in life is that we cannot truly appreciate God's grace and His abundant mercies until we have experienced some trials. While Courtney is questioning why she's going through the rain when she lives according to the Word, she doesn't understand the need for her faith to be strengthened.
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About Chelle Ramsey...
Women's fiction author and blogger, Chelle Ramsey brings a refreshing perspective into the lives of her readers and wants them to find entertainment, healing and inspiration in each novel. Using real problems and challenges faced by ordinary people, Chelle wants readers to become empowered to rise above life's adversities, with faith in God, and belief in themselves.
Her stories are relatable to individuals of diverse demographics, who have suffered a loss, been hurt, have low self-esteem, have lost hope, or need a word of encouragement. She strives to take your emotions on a roller coaster ride, one page at a time. Chelle holds an MBA in Human Resource Management, which she puts to use in her Human Resources role by day, while she writes her fiction novels at night. And in her spare time, she’s a blogger, freelance writer, and ghostwriter.
Her most important roles are those of a wife and mother of three. During her “me time,” she becomes enraptured with the enthralling stories of Terry McMillan, Nora Roberts, James Patterson and Stuart Woods. Chelle Ramsey resides in a rural community in Atlanta, Georgia and enjoys writing, family time, and watching NBA games.
She hosts the annual 20 Days of Love authors’ blogging campaign, March Madness authors’ giveaways campaign, and showcases other authors on her blog at www.chelleramsey.com/beautifully-inspired-blog. Her novels can be found online at Chelle Ramsey Amazon.
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