I’m at a funky place in life right now. My faith can be so weak at times, and yet I know in my head that the only real solution to all my fears, is greater faith in God.
But the struggle is real.
The other morning as I drove Ellie to school, a familiar song came on the radio. It’s one I’ve sung in church before. Hands lifted high, tears streaming down my face because, at the time, I could wholeheartedly agree that the name of Jesus was indeed beautiful.
But that morning, well…I just wasn’t “feeling it”. I didn’t feel like I had what it took to agree in my spirit that Jesus’ name was above every other name. At least not when everything seemed to just be one letdown after another.
And then I felt convicted. “Marissa, just because your circumstances seem horrible, does it change the fact that Jesus’ name is beautiful?”
Like a dagger to my heart, I had been pierced by my very own words from just a few days prior. What I feel doesn’t change who Jesus is. No matter my circumstances, He is still the same. He is still altogether lovely.
So I had a choice to make. I could either pull back, which is what I felt like doing, or I could push through.
I decided to push through.
I didn’t like it; I didn’t feel like it, but I knew pulling back wasn’t going to get me anywhere. Pulling back hadn’t gotten me anywhere thus far.
As I drove away from the school, another song came on the radio. The song actually came out a few years ago, but I didn’t really pay much attention to it because it wasn’t really my type of music. But this time I didn’t just listen with my ears, I listened with my heart.
Those words. Those beautiful, gut-wrenching words.
Now I don’t recommend bawling in morning rush hour traffic, but all the tears I’d been holding back for so long came out like someone had opened up the floodgates.
Near the end of the song is a powerful drumline paired with these words:
When the storm is raging
And my hope is gone
When my flesh is failing
You’re still holding on
And then the spoken word of Psalm 23:
The Lord is my Shepherd
I have all that I need
He let’s me rest in green meadows
He leads me beside peaceful streams
He renews my strength
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His Name
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid
For You are close beside me
At this point, I am just done. There are tears and snot all over my face. I’m sure other drivers think surely something must be wrong with this crazy lady. Thankfully, I pull into my driveway and I just sit in the silence. The only sound is the gentle rain hitting my windshield as the impending storm rolls in. I let the truth of that song and God’s Word, wash over me like a cleansing flood.
Even when it feels like I’m alone in this and my prayers are not being heard or answered, God’s still holding on to me. In this storm, He remains in control; guarding my soul and surrounding me with His love. The only hope I have is to trust in Him; to trust in His beautiful name. He is everything that I need. He fulfills every longing. He’s my strength, my peace, my rest. The darkest valleys will be but a shadow because He is with me.
Storms are a reality in life. We all face them at one time or another. And there is a choice to be made. To either pull back or to push through. Perhaps it’s my stubborn nature, but I’m gonna push through. God’s not just walking beside me in this valley, often times He is carrying me. So whether by walking, crawling or being carried, I’m going to get through this valley because He is with me.