The song, “Praise You in the Storm”, by Casting Crowns expanded on in the following post by friend and fellow writer, Jodie Bailey, came out during one of my family’s most difficult times. It felt like the world was falling apart around me, under me, like I’d fall apart, too. Through this song (and verses, devotionals, and a million other God-moments sprinkled throughout our day) God carried us through. Looking back, that painful time miraculously transformed our family and brought about some incredible healing. Not one tear was wasted and standing on the other side of the valley seven (or so) years later, I can honestly say if given the choice, I’d go through it all again. (You can read a snippet of this story in Majesty House’s Kernels of Faith, coming out in September. I’ll link when it goes to print.) If you’re going through a valley or a hurricane-like storm today, hold tight to the words in this song and God’s promise to stay beside, to carry you, and to hold you close to His heart. He’ll never leave you nor forsake you. Let Him be your strength made perfect in weakness.
The Song We’re Singing by Jodie Bailey
If you don’t know this by now, you’ve been living under a rock… I’m a Southern girl, a Carolina girl (“best in the world”), a true blue Tarheel. I’m proud of where I come from. I’m proud of belonging to the Bible belt. Since my husband and I were married in 1996, we’ve lived all over the country, but you truly can’t take the Southern out of this girl.
As a Carolina girl, I am not a big fan of March. Okay, wait. March Madness and ACC basketball… yes. March weather… not so much. You see, March is notorious. On March 28, 1984, there were 24 confirmed tornadoes in the Carolinas. A whopping seven of them rated F4. One storm that tore through Red Springs stayed on the ground for 45 miles and was, in places, two miles wide. The nearest one to us was probably ten miles away, but I can remember driving through a few weeks later with my dad, to a small town that had been leveled. It looked like the pictures you see of Hiroshima after the bomb. It was surreal, etched in my brain, scary…
Last week, I realized we are entering March. For a little while, I got a little concerned and started wondering what I’d do when the storm came. I’m always relieved when it passes, but sometimes, I get a little pre-emptive and start to worry about the next storm when it’s not even on the horizon yet. Because, you see, there will always be another storm.
Isn’t life like that? We don’t know when it’s coming, but there will always be another storm. In fact, just a handful of months after that weather disaster, my parents divorced. I had my own personal storm. Somehow, in my head, the two events twined together and, for months, I hated thunderstorms, lived in fear of them ripping my life away. One puffy cloud in a clear blue sky sent me into hysterics. My ten-year-old self didn’t know how to cope.
Then, one day, I sat on the deck of a beach house and watched a storm out at sea. Lightning chased through the clouds and made beautiful patterns and flashes. In that moment, God showed me how beautiful a storm can be. Don’t get me wrong, I hate going through them, but even in the most horrid moment, there is something worth noticing. See, God never allows us to weather a storm for no reason. There is always beauty to be found, always something that–maybe in the midst of it and maybe on the other side–can change us for His glory. I think knowing He is in charge is why we can praise him in the storm….
Jodie Bailey was Playwright of the Year in Methodist University’s annual Hail! Dionysus competition and has written plays performed by the Monarch Playmakers. She has been published in Teen magazine and collaborated on PWOC International’s latest Bible study. She has a B.A. double major in English literature and writing, and an M.Ed. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, the Christian Writers Guild, and Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter.
Jodie is an avid reader, a life-long writer, and an aspiring beach bum. She is a stubborn child who resisted God’s calling for two decades until He hit her over the head with a Beth Moore Bible Study book, and she finally figured out He wanted her to be a writer. When not tapping away at the keyboard, she watches NCIS reruns, eats too many chocolate chip cookies, wishes she were at the beach, roughhouses with her daughter, and follows her Army husband around the country. (Her debut novel, Freefall, releases in November from Steeple Hill.)
Remember, if you loved today’s post, leave a comment, FB share it, “like” it, or tweet it, and I’ll tally each comment, share, like, and tweet to determine which three posts were your favorite. I have one more post for my top 20 of 2011. After I post that, I’ll announce the top three sometime in the next three days.