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a woman dancing in the rain despite the storm outside. She demonstrates the act of fully rely on God
Art by Nalah Life

You know those cliché sayings about making the most out of life’s lemons? Such as, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, or “Learn to dance in the rain”. Sayings like these encourage us to change our mindset, look for the positives and seek to change our situation. 

Which is always easier said than done.

When you are surviving trauma, those are some massive lemons to deal with. With hard times come hard choices. The choices include running from God or to Him, self-medicating or praying and seeking counsel, and either intentionally seeking healing or keeping yourself so busy that you suppress the pain rumbling inside you.

One of the biggest choices I faced was to trust and praise God in the storm, or to keep struggling as the pain consumed me. 

Feeling Abandoned By God

As I mentioned previously, going through trauma presents some BIG lemons to handle. Trauma can bring a storm of physical and emotional pain, mental illness, feeling a loss of self and connection with others, and a wavering faith and trust in God.

A painterly seascape with a lone woman and distant figures under a dynamic sky.
impressionistic, seascape, sunset, solitude, painterly
Art by Nalah Life

It can also make us feel like we have been abandoned by God. 

Have you heard the song Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns? It’s marvellous. I’m going to use their lyrics to emphasize the process of navigating the aftermath of trauma and choosing to praise and trust God in the storm. 

“I was sure by now
God, You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say, “Amen” and it’s still raining”

Vivid painting of a woman by a window with a swirling wave of colors.
abstract, vibrant, contrast, contemplation, dynamic
Art by Nalah Life

I can relate to this. When the pain seems beyond bearable the main questions we ask are “God, why is this happening?” or “God, what are you doing?”

If you have journeyed long enough with the Father, you have hopefully learned He doesn’t normally swoop in and “save the day” in an instant. Instead the rains keep coming, and our tears keep falling. It’s in these moments we may be tempted to believe God is cold-hearted, or doesn’t care about us. For me, this is where I questioned His goodness and if He really was a good Father. 

Well, as the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”

Dramatic thunderstorm over a forest with a sunlit horizon. thunderstorm, dramatic, forest, lightning, sunset
Art by Nalah Life

Whose voice are you listening to when the storm is loud and the thunder roars?

This is a hard one, because the voice of trauma is loud and boisterous. So it’s no wonder if hearing God is difficult during a valley! 

How can you hear Him in the mess?

You need to get quiet. Believe He will speak to you. Stop entertaining all the fears in your head. His gentle whisper CAN be heard.

Even if you can only still yourself for 5 minutes, use that time intentionally. I found journaling my prayers, and what God was saying, helped keep me focused and engaged for those 5 minutes. 

What would it do for your heart to simply hear Him simply say, “I’m with you?”

Feeling abandoned by God is just that—a feeling.

I know this, not only from personal experience, but in Deuteronomy 31:8 AMP it says,

“It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

“And as Your mercy falls
I’ll raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away”

This is not meant to sound harsh or unloving, but how you respond to your hard times is your choice. I fully support a grieving, crying, laying in bed and eating ice cream season. I did it myself.

We aren’t robots, and we do need to feel in order to deal with the tough stuff. 

But, my friend, you cannot stay there. You have to choose to slowly put one foot in front of the other, and lean on God.

Figure bathed in light amidst a vibrant burst of paint strokes.
expressive, illumination, energy, color burst, uplifted
Art by Nalah Life

We can lift our hands up to God to praise Him, or lift our hands to curse Him in our anger and frustration.

“And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm”

Person in a wildflower field with a stormy sky above.
contrast, wildflowers, storm, serenity, lightning
Art by Nalah Life

What does it mean to praise God in the storm? 

I think it’s really simple:

  • engage in praise and worship despite how you feel (your praise is a weapon in your battle!)
  • pray a lot and often
  • acknowledge your pain, but do not dwell on it
  • cast your cares on God
  • you can even journal your praises and prayers!

The chorus of this song is beautiful. It professes that praise is a choice, and to fully rely on God is also a choice. No matter what is going on in your life, God is who He is and He will not change on you. He is right beside you when the tears fall, and when your heart is torn, He is the one to mend it. 

He will not abandon you.

“I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
And raised me up again
But my strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You?”

Contemplative woman by a tranquil riverside in a dreamy landscape.
 introspection, riverside, impressionistic, tranquility, lush landscape
Art by Nalah Life

I can just feel the heart of the author of these lyrics. 

These words remind me that we need to continually choose to praise and pray in our hard times. “One and done” does not apply here. In fact, praising God in the storms of life is a lifestyle. 

He will raise you up again and again and again. 

“I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The maker of Heaven and Earth”

Woman with arms open facing a radiant valley and river.
serenity, valley, sunrays, open arms, river landscape
Art by Nalah Life

As you work through your pain, as you praise through the storm, you are healing more and more. Remember that your pain may be as loud as thunder right now, but over time and with intentional healing, it can subside to a dull roar. Until it is no more.

He is our Father and we can fully rely on God. Don’t shame yourself if you struggle to believe this right now. It took me years to make peace with God being a good Father. 

But choose to rely on God.

Choose to praise in this storm that you are in.

No storm lasts forever. 

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We are stronger together.

He is faithful,

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