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This hit me hard tonight. For one reason, in September it will have been three years since my little sister, Addison Ruth, passed away. Three days before she would hopefully make her appearance in this world, God decided it was time for her to come home, she had already pleased God with her life of 9 months, and her time here was finished. When we lost Addison we relived the same days for months, we sank into this never ending black whole, and oh the pain was, and some days still is torturous. We clung to God, knowing that He is the only one that could carry us through such a time, that never seemed to end.
But you see we had a choice to make, and it was not any easy choice, would we choose to praise Him in that time? Regardless of the fact that most days we didn't have he energy to get out of bed, we didn't want to see people, or deal with the bantering of the exhausted, confused, sad, little ones that still needed to be tended too, eating was out of the question, and well the tears they never stopped, regardless of out tiredness, sadness, anger, and exhaustion, would we choose to praise Him even when He takes away?
Did we want to? Well I'll speak for myself and say that no, I didn't. I was angry, furious even, I felt like God had teased me. He gave me the little sister that I had asked for, for so long, and then had taken her from me, before I was able to truly enjoy her, I felt cheated. I didn't sign up for this, why me, it wasn't fair. So, why would I praise Him in that time, it was almost like I was trying to punish God.
As the days got worse, I knew in the back of my mind that turning away from God, and choosing not to worship Him, and not trusting that He is all knowing, all powerful, and all mighty was only going to hurt me, and damage me even further than I was already. So, I turned to God and I told Him I was angry with Him, that I didn't understand, and I was not okay with what was happening, but that I would praise Him anyways because He is the God who gives, and takes away all for a purpose and bigger picture that I cannot see. I clung to Him for dear life, because I was sure that I would not make it through loosing Addison, I was sure that my heart would never heal, I was sure that there was "no purpose" for this, I was sure.
But here I am, three years later about to celebrate Addison's 9 months of life, and I can look back and see where praising God even when He takes away had benefited me. Addion's 9 months of life, and God calling her home, have allowed me to share, and witness to other young women who have had a sibling be still born. I have now been able to be a crutch, a listening ear, a soft heart, and open hand to families, and young women who have suffered the same loss as I have. Addison's life, changed my life, and God used her to strengthen my walk, trust, and hope in Him.
Choosing to praise Him even when He takes away is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do, but it is so worth it in the long run.
So now I have a question for you, will you choose to praise Him even when He takes away?