Psalm 30:11-12 says "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothes me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
James 1:2 says "Consider it pure Joy, my brothers and sister when you face trials of various kinds.
Pain. Suffering. Tragedy. Fear. Disappointment. Heartache. and......Joy? Can these words go together? How can joy come out of pain? How can someone rejoice in the midst of tragedy? How can someone suffer yet sing forth praise? Before September 8, 2012 I had heard of many stories of people living out these biblical concepts in their lives, yet my own life was full of goodness, grace and blessings.. My experiences were limited. The pain I had suffered was small in comparison to others. I trusted and loved God, but found it easy to do so because adversity had never truly come my way. I found myself in late August on my knees crying out to God asking Him if my faith was genuine. "What if I experienced great loss? Would I still praise you, Lord?? I prayed that He would show me if my faith was real. Would you consider me worthy to suffer for your name?, I asked.
I had no idea what was to come just a couple weeks later. On September 8, 2012 I was brutally attacked and assaulted in our apartment complex. I barely escaped and survived this ordeal........... Pain. Suffering. Tragedy. Fear. Disappointment. Heartache. These words were spoken all around me, and yes I felt them as well. They were real and powerful. However, like I've never known before , the grace and peace of our great God came just as real and just as powerful.
It has been three months since this incident and through the passing time it feels as though each day I am learning and growing in my faith. God is continuously teaching me new attributes of His character and showing me how He can take something intended for evil and redeem it for good.
I now have a story to tell and I am compelled to share it with others, if only for them to turn and praise God in return. My desire is to encourage others with this story and the things that I am learning. I want to answer the questions I asked above. Yes, Joy can come out of pain. Yes, someone can rejoice in the midst of tragedy. and yes, someone can suffer yet sing forth praise. I know this to be true and I know this not to be easy.
I have been and continue to be on a journey recovering and healing from this event. It is not behind me. Its a daily battle to choose to rejoice and not despair. Honestly, I don't always win that battle, but with God's grace I can grow in wisdom and strength. I am excited to share my journey with you.