In this Storm, O Lord, I Will Praise you!

In the spirit of Casting Crowns, I feel like singing one of their songs. What is the reason for this strange urge to sing, even a word of their music, so early in the morning? It's beyond me; I have no clue! But for some reason, as I was pondering over the past few months of my life, a particular song from Casting Crowns came to mind.
Now, whether it was a coinkidink, or something that God actually laid on my hearts, I can't tell; I'm still trying to figure that out. However, for some reason, this song 'I Will Praise You in This Storm' seems to coincide perfectly with my feelings and mixed emotions that have recently surfaced over the past months.
And the song goes like this:
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
  As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
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
I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You
But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
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

I figured, since this song kept popping up in my mind that there was a reason. Was God trying to speak to me through the lyrics of a song? Or was I just going cuckoo? I have had such a rough childhood (told you I was going to get more personal!) with being bullied and having no friends. I was literally alone.

My sister thinks that I was 'popular'; she obviously didn't realize at the time I was no one's friend (just a way to vent their frustration and anger), and I wasn't popular. She wasn't around to see how these 'friends' of mine treated me. And for such a young kid to already be experiencing such trials and tribulations, it is emotionally exhausting and confusing.

My mom always told me to turn the other cheek. I never understood what good that did--they still picked on me and hit me. "She wants me to turn the other cheek and take everything these girls say with a 'grain of salt'? Is she crazy?" I did. But I still wasn't convinced that it would work. "I'll go ahead and turn the other cheek (I only have two; my right one is permanently numbm and my left one is not looking too good, either. But, I'll do what mom tells me to do. She knows best, I guess."

What I really wanted to do was turn those girl's cheeks black and blue with a few good punches to the jaw. It would have gotten my point across ("I am over this! Stop picking on me!"), but I couldn't bring myself to ever stooping to their level.

With my childhood years all but distant painful memories that have scarred me deeply, I have yet to emerge from these youthful trials and tribulations without being scathed by the harm that has been caused by myself and others. The past few years has been the worst part of my young life yet. I know I seemed all optimistic here on my blog, but deep down inside I was in pain. I tried to stay positive hoping that in return I would feel the same energy that I had put into my posts. I did for a while; it soon wore off.

Where did all this pain come from? Along with my intense childhood, I have recently experienced another round of emotional and spiritual attacks (much worse than before).

I worked at Vanatta's Karate Inc. for four years. I was an instructor and taught young children how to defend themselves. I loved that job. Up to about two years ago, I was enjoying every second of my job. It was running smoothly. I was on top of the world.

That was, until I got kicked off that mountain. My boss (the Sensei) was, at first, a man I trusted and idolized. I had known him since I was five and had never thought ill of him until recently. He was like a second father figure to me.

However, about two years ago, my respect and admiration for him began to fade away as he began to blame me for thing I didn't do. It was my fault that his business was declining. I wasn't making the students happy--that was why they were leaving. (Not true). He ordered me to stop rolling my eyes completely, saying that the adults had complained about me making them feel stupid, or that I was being defiant.

(Note: I roll my eyes when I am thinking. I am a facial expressionist and do all of my talking with my face. I never use my hands). I am sorry if I am venting too much, but I need to get this off my chest. I cannot keep it bottled up inside any longer!

So... that really frustrated me. He did it several more times. He also accused me of intentionally getting into a fight with another instructor and that I was 'ungrateful'. He went on and on and on. This was all in a two year time period. And on top of his false accusations (never wanted to hear my side of the story), I was doing three classes in college: Tennessee History, English 1020 and American History 1020. It wasn't a good time for me.

So, overall my life has been filled with the ups and downs of life. I have to say that I have not been able to enjoy my younger years, as well as one aught to be allowed; but I have learned a lot.

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." [1 Peter 5:10]

I have learned and experienced so much at such a young age, that I have to thank God for those experiences. In some cases there is a calm before the storm. But, in my case, I believe that it has been the storm before the calm. And I will wholeheartedly embrace that calmness with open arms and a thankful heart!


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