The past few years have felt that way for me, but oddly, they’ve also been some of the best so far in my life. There are details I would change if given the chance, but if it meant sacrificing one ultimate outcome, then I’ll keep things as they are.
I’m an all or nothing gal, if I can’t do it well, I don’t want to do it at all. Sometimes this works to my advantage, sometimes I am challenged by my own expectant standards.
My reluctance to submit myself to God’s passionate pursuit of me is directly related to the knowledge that I could not do, or be, good enough. That’s why it took a metaphorical brick between my eyes for Him to get my attention in 1997. In my case, this came in the form of near death, following a severe allergic reaction to post-surgery pain meds. I didn’t file a lawsuit, how could I? As I would come to see, this was a loving act of God.
I discovered my life motto verse the day I looked up at the white tiles in that hospital ceiling. Job 13:15a ESV says, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”
All these years later, my commitment remains intact — though admittedly, sometimes wobbly.
So often we forget that the things we define as bad are really meant for our good. There’s a plan much greater than what involves us at work. If we’re too self-absorbed, we’ll miss it, and the blessings that come with submission. Some of us, (see my hand raised high), get caught in the trap of complaint, the opposite of praise, especially when blindsided by news that shakes up what we thought we knew.
In May of 2009, I began what I called An Experiment in Praise. For months, I blogged weekly as I explored what an intentional pre-determination to praise God no matter what, might look like. I could not have imagined how dramatically, and how quickly, my life would twist and turn. But one piece of news especially threw me off balance, and as I began to blog my emotions through the discovery that my dad was not my biological father, my public praise experiment became a private habit. Until recently.
This past year, life once again kicked me in the teeth from a variety of directions. Physically. Financially. Mentally. Relationally. Emotionally. Spiritually. You name something we humans deal with, and I think I was hit in that area. Before long, I jumped on the hamster wheel habit of complaint — not realizing I was running in circles, until I was dizzy with disgust.
However, recent events spurred me to re-institute my commitment to praise God no matter what. I was reminded of all He had provided in the past, during my brightest, and my darkest days — and remembered, He has never left me alone.
He has taken my sorrows and turned them into more beauty than I could ever have imagined. So why would I doubt Him now?
I feel sorry for those who don’t know the passion, the promise, and the peace that follows a committed dare to praise. Does it mean life gets easier? No.
But it does mean life gets easier to handle on hard days, especially those that kick us in the teeth. And it also gives us reason to smile in spite of our circumstances — because we know a greater good is underway. At the end of anything I endure, I must continue to say, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”
When life kicks you in the teeth, do you dare to praise, or do you catch yourself complaining?
Anita Fresh Faith
Anita Brooks, CPT, CLTF, CCS, motivates others to dynamic break-throughs. Blending mind, heart, body, and spirit, as an Inspirational Business/Life Coach, International Speaker, and Common Trauma Expert. She shares hope and encouragement on the stage and from the page — reminding audiences, “It’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.”
Anita is also a multi-published, award-winning author. Her titles include Amazon Best Seller and Readers’ Favorite International Book Award winner: Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, Barbour Publishing, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market, Leafwood Publishing, and Death Defied-Life Defined: A Miracle Man’s Memoir, Clovercroft Publishing. She’s a contributor to the global book phenomenon, The Change: Insights Into Self Empowerment Book #4. Her titles are available at major and independent bookstores as well as from online retailers.
Anita’s favorite pastime is watching sunsets with her husband of thirty-three years, while they laugh and dip their toes in the water. She adores her grandchildren, but she also wants to hear about those you love. Her favorite passion is inspiring others to transform life’s battles into lasting victories.
You can connect with Anita on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Periscope, and Twitter. Check out her live inspirational broadcasts as Anita Fresh Faith on Periscope. Keep up with her latest happenings at anitabrooks.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request information on having Anita inspirationally speak or train at your next event.