Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Praising Him During Times of Stress

Previously, during stressful times in my life I would throw my hands in the air, get frustrated, and ultimately ask God loads of "why" questions. These tactics would of course get me no where, just more frustration, anger, and disappointment. How long did it take me to learn my lesson and change my ways? Oh lets see here now. . .only 34 years. Just call me a slow learner!!

If you've been reading this blog or following my other blog Two Pink Peas in a Pod then you know my family and I are in the middle of an incredibly stressful and emotionally draining time in our lives. This is not a situation my husband and I can keep to ourselves. We can not hide this stress from our children, everyone in our family is affected; even our dog and cat. February 9th, when the youngest two members of our family were born our lives were thrown head first into a whirlwind of emotions and situations that I never thought I'd have to deal with in my life. But here I am, 8 weeks into a 4 month stay in a level 3 NICU, 1.5 hours away from my family, and advocating everyday for my precious miracles.

What have I learned over the past 8 weeks? Too much to completely write here on this blog, that much is for sure. But I will do my best to communicate what my Heavenly Father has taught me and is urging me to put into words for the rest of you.

I am a bit of a control freak, that much I will admit to. I was particularly bad with control before having children and in my college years. I used to harbor a lot of anxiety, anger, and stress when things did not go as I had planned or wanted. If you are a parent you know very well that all forms of absolute control have to fly out the window as soon as you have kids. There are just too many curve balls thrown at you everyday as a parent to worry about and try to control every little thing. Letting go of the little things in life was fairly easy for me but from time to time I still struggle with the bigger things. Letting go and letting God take control is something I have really been trying to work on over the past few years.

When the girls were born 8 weeks ago (tomorrow) I immediately lost all control of every aspect of my life. No longer was I home to direct homeschooling, house cleaning, grocery shopping, and taking care of my children. I was also thrown into the unknown abyss of the NICU. The care of my girls was under someone else's control and direction. My daily routine had been put in a blender and set on high speed. There were days in those first few weeks here at the NICU that I couldn't keep my head from spinning so I began to write. I can remember one day in particular, it was a Thursday. On that day Britian took a turn for the worse, doctor's and nurses were constantly flowing in and out of her room, all I could do to cope was write. I must have written in my journal for 2 hours straight. Anything and everything that came to my mind was put on paper. Why did I do it? I am not sure to be quite honest, it is just all I knew to do. Perhaps when this roller coaster is said and done I will look back on that journal and cry tears of joy for how far my girls have come because of His healing powers.

Everything happens for a reason. I learned his hard lesson very early on in my stressful childhood. God does not bring you or I to a place that we can not get through. As the dust is settling and I am in a new NICU routine I can now see more clearly the areas of my life where I should be praising Him rather than questioning Him. Where I was once overwhelmed at the large number of staff and faculty here at the hospital I can now give praise to Him for placing some very special doctors and nurses in our lives. Caring, educated, and genuine people who will always hold a special place in my heart and people I will do my best to chronicle to my girls when they are older. I have found a special friendship in a fellow NICU Mom here. A fellowship that would have not otherwise been possible had it not been for the blessings God has given us both. Also through our stay in the NICU my family and I have been surrounded with an enormous amount of love and support. For this He is owed an enormous amount of praise.

Could I question God for this chapter in my life? Of course I could. Could I wallow in grief and frustration asking Him why my family and I are enduring these struggles? Of course I could. Could I scream and yell at Him for giving my twins this and all the ongoing challenges? Absolutely. But am I? For a few days to be honest, yes I did. But through prayer and time in His word I have come to a beautiful and comforting place in my heart where I can give Him praise for everything He has set before my family and I.

For friendships, lessons learned, outpouring of love and financial support, and for all of the experiences yet to come I will give Him praise daily.

Praising God during a stressful time is not easy at all. But from experience I can tell you it gets easier and lifts your spirit. When I began praying in earnest and giving God all the praise and glory He is owed for my current stresses I was immediately able to see the joy and beauty in our situation. What a beautiful gift that was!

Rather than questioning, I will give God all the praise and glory for this stressful situation as well as all future challenges He sees fit for me to endure and overcome.

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