Dear Christian Sisters,
How do you handle life’s challenges?
If you’ve read my testimony (see the links on the “About” page), then you know that both of my siblings have schizophrenia. The first time schizophrenia affected my life, I turned away from God and made bad, life-changing decisions, including abortion.
The second time schizophrenia affected my life, I pressed into God and learned how not to worry.
Thirteen years later—one-and-a-half years ago—my brother disappeared from his apartment in the Twin Cities. My mom and I live on the east cost. My dad lives in Minnesota. But we were on the phone together, heartbroken.
I wasn’t worried. Honestly, I wasn’t. I remember taking an inventory of my feelings because I can still today be detached. I was heartbroken. Just heartbroken. I guess I truly did learn not to worry.
“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew 6:27 NASB
We searched. We followed paper trails. We contacted people. But we couldn’t find my brother.
What could I do but praise God?
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalms 118:24 ESV
Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Hebrews 13:15 NASB
I praised God by singing the “Doxology”:
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him, all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
I remembered the “Doxology” from my church upbringing. Singing it brought me peace. I made it my go-to praise song.
I was still crying. I would sing while crying.
Then I remembered “The Lord’s Prayer” in song. My dad used to sing it. He really likes a version with an African beat, but I like Malotte’s, which is what I remember him singing when I was young.
I found a phenom, Jackie Evancho, on YouTube who sings “The Lord’s Prayer’ beautifully and pretty much in my range. I listened to it over and over. And when no one else was in the car, I sang along with her.
Can you guess what I felt?
I felt peace! Peace that passes all understanding.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 NASB
I was still sad. I was still heartbroken. But I trusted that the Lord was watching over my brother.
In the last year-and-a-half, the Lord has called me into His plan for my life. It was if the Lord said, “Okay, good. You understand how to respond to life’s difficulties. Now, pick up your cross and follow me.”
God sent me to Uganda on a short-term mission trip. While there, He convicted me that I needed to change the conversation about abortion.
In the last year, He has sent me to speak on abortion and sex outside of marriage both here and in Uganda.
Then He gave me the name of His new ministry: MybodyMyworship and told me what it’s to look like. (Find @MybodyMyworship on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.)
I learned to obey Him in this last year-and-a-half. I learned to worship him in all circumstances.
Honestly, I am on fire for the Lord. I’m so on fire for the Lord that I am annoying to my friends. They are going through difficulties, real and big difficulties. My encouragement? Sing a praise song.
But guess what? Life is still difficult at my house, too.
So, I have to take my own advice and sing a praise song. Sometimes I turn on Christian radio in every room of the house to shower my house with praise.
And the atmosphere changes.
Then three weeks ago, something amazing happened. I got a phone call from a psychiatric hospital that is an hour away from me here on the east coast. My brother is there!
My brother left the Twin Cities on his own accord and ended up one hour away from me.
God did that. Only God could do that.
Things are not perfect. It’s not like my brother is suddenly healed of schizophrenia. But he has a roof over his head, he has clothes, and he has food for the time being.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
I continue to pray for my brother’s complete healing. I praise God as we wait to see if my brother will make good decisions or become homeless again.
I praise God because it’s good for my soul.
What’s your go-to praise song?