Have you ever stubbed your toe or hit your funny bone so badly it leaves you speechless? You know the feeling I’m talking about, the one that takes your breath away and leaves you speechless. Well I’m writing today to share my experience of a pain that left me speechless for a long dark season and how I found breakthrough.
As a worship leader, if you’d have asked me aged 25 if I could worship through any season, just like my favourite song by Brooke Fraser says (“all of my life, In every season, you are still God, I have a reason to sing, I have a reason worship”), then I would have boldly declared: YES! Of course, I will. However, four years later I could not sing, worship or even listen to music, let alone worship music. I was deeply broken after a breakdown in my marriage, rendered speechless from an overwhelming pain deep in my core. Worship has always been my lifeline. My addiction almost. I would save the date of a new worship album’s release and buy it as soon as it was available. Listening to the songs over and over again. My life was saturated in worship and my home was never silent.
But suddenly I was speechless. Worship moved me so deeply and I was not ready to be moved. I was not ready to allow worship to minister to me because facing the pain I was desperately trying to run from was too hard. I remember eating a meal with my sister and she turned a CD on. I tried to push down the urge to tell her to turn it off when suddenly I started weeping and snapped “turn it off”.
Why was I unable to listen to worship and sing through my season of pain? I was afraid. I was so afraid of the outcome that I gave into the lies of the enemy. This cost me greatly.
It’s five years later and now I know personally how much it costs us to worship Him through everyseason. It’s easy to sing lyrics like ‘in every season I will praise you’ when your season is great! It can feel achievable, although still a little hard to praise through mildly difficult seasons. But to praise when you are absolutely devastated, grieving and completely broken can feel impossible. It’s in the latter season that I want to encourage you to rise up and press in.
My friend please, please don’t run. I want to encourage you to find even a single ounce of strength to use and press in and praise Him. By allowing myself to slowly praise my Heavenly Father again meant I had stepped over the starting line towards my healing journey. Was it easy? No. Was it essential? Yes.
Hear me when I say I never, not once stopped loving God. But I did stop loving myself. I didn’t allow my heart to receive His presence. I was so afraid that if I allowed myself to be vulnerable I would break down and never get up again. But this eventually was the very place I found my breakthrough. This was the very place I found a new and deeper level of awareness of the Holy Spirit. This was the place I truly understood His promise of unimaginable peace.
I want to encourage you with some thoughts on how worship and the Psalms can help us in our seasons of pain.
King David wrote most of the Psalms during specific seasons of his life. Even when he was on the run from Saul he still praised God and thanked him for his protection and provision. Whilst he was scared for his future he still worshipped. Praise and worship are a matter of life and death. The Psalms tell us to do what David did, because that will bring us out of the depths of our despair and into His glorious presence. As the Psalms are about God, when we use them in our worship we look to Him. We take our eyes off our sin, our pain and our circumstance and see Him. It is here where we will truly encounter Him. It is here that we will be set free and healed.
I want to encourage you to use the Psalms as a lifeline and to worship again. Take a deep breath and take the first step towards freedom. You are not alone.
“Then he broke through and transformed all my wailing into a whirling dance ofecstatic praise.” Psalm 30:11 (TPT)
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (ESV)
Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, and you only have to be silent. (ESV)
Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (ESV)
Psalm 30:2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. (ESV)
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (TPT)
Psalm 9:1 Lord, I will worship you with extended hands as my whole heart explodes with praise! (TPT)