As I read the stories of different heroines of the Christian faith, I come up with one recurring theme – the ability they had to praise and trust God in the midst of trouble, and not just ordinary troubles, but life-threatening persecution and trial.
I wish I had faced some fairly minor crises in my life years ago with as much strength and dignity as these women faced their losses. It is my hope in bringing these heroines to life that young women will catch on. That they will know deeply that God can be trusted – that they will not panic or complain about life’s adventurous course, even when the adventure is disguised as the humdrum routine many must follow, just to pay the mortgage, get along with a husband, and keep the children safe, nourished, loved.
After years of doing it wrong I learned that I could praise God and laugh in the midst of hurt and sadness, and I received confirmation that I believe was divine in nature. The grief I was dealing with was profound, so strong as to cripple all joy, and yet I did not want to be useless to my family. I learned that I could cope best with the despair by singing some chorus, some hymn, over and over, so many times that I would finally begin to laugh at the absurdity of the repetition, and the black cloud would lift. I got hooked on the camp song from my childhood, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.”
I used the singing method most when driving, when there was the greatest need to distract myself from negativity. One morning as I drove up a winding road on a wooded hill, I passed a spot that brought back many memories related to my loss. Hit by a tsunami of pain, I thought, “I have to sing.” I started out, “I’ve got…, I’ve got” and then was hit by a second wave.
“Lord, I can’t remember the words,” was all I could whisper. Just as I spoke those words, a car approached over the crest of the hill, with a brightly colored personalized license plate. The license plate had only two words on it, THE JOY.
In one awesome moment God showed me that praise was my lifeline and that He was very much at the other end of the line.
I pray that my story as well as the stories of the faith heroines I share will help you with the difficulties you are facing, that you will have the “peace that passes all understanding”. Susie Tucker