After yesterday’s writing, I was reminded of something Breanne once shared with me.

She had met someone in ministry and was sharing some things with her. She shared with me how she told her about the difficult challenge I went through with my Dad dying of cancer, then Jesse dying and then one year later my sister went to be with the Lord. She shared several things with this woman in conversation. She said the woman said, “how in the world do you continue to minister during times like that?”

Breanne responded, “I love to listen to my Mom minister, and I will tell you, the best teachings she did were during those times, the most anointed messages came out of those times.” This blessed my Mom’s heart more than words can say. However, the next thing she shared broke my heart that day.

She went on to tell this new friend that it had been a very difficult time for me personally, but I continued to minister. She said “you would have to know my Mom, she cultivates peace in her home. She always keeps worship music playing. She prays and worships often in her home. When you walk in her door, peace hits you immediately. You literally walk into peace.” She continued “but when she was going through that season, when you walked in her door, death hit you in the face, it was heavy and oppressive.”

Oh, my goodness, how that broke my heart. I did not realize the atmosphere I allowed when I permitted the darkness of that time to remain.

I knew I was hurting. I knew I was grieving. I knew I was fighting for peace. I knew I was fighting depression. But I didn’t know the atmosphere I was allowing from that place of depression and overwhelming grief. And I certainly didn’t know it was affecting those around me.

Isaiah 60:1 in the Amplified Bible says; Arise from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life! Shine, be radiant with the glory of the Lord, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!

We hear this scripture quoted all the time. It sounds wonderful. Yet, it is not always easy to arise from the depression in which circumstances have kept you. I, as a seasoned minister, battled this for nine months. Just when I thought I had come out of the darkness, my sister died unexpectedly. It was a difficult few years. I know that God was with me, He kept me through that season, but it was hard beyond words.

Frankly, I thought I was still cultivating peace in my home during that time, I did not realize the depth of the darkness that was attempting to overtake me. Thank God that when it is darkest, God, himself, is our light. Thank God that when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, HE IS WITH US!

This past week a close friend had a loved one go home to be with the Lord. She has been on my mind every hour. I have continued to pray for her. I know she will hurt and I know she will grieve but I have wanted to caution her. I want to tell her, “be careful what you feed your spirit, especially during this time.” I want to say to her, “be careful to not allow darkness to overtake you.” I want to tell her to worship and praise God daily. To keep peace in you and in your home.

I have found if you allow the darkness, even for a day, it is very hard to arise out of it.

I am reminded of the first Sunday after we buried my Dad. I sat in church, doing all I could to keep from having a meltdown during praise and worship. As I listened to the music, God said to me “Am I still God?” I replied, “of course you are.” He then asked, “Am I still your God?” With tears running down my face, I responded, “Yes, you are still my God.” What he said next wasn’t what I expected. He said, “then go up front and dance before me.”

It was the longest walk I have ever made. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I made my way to the front of that church and I danced before the Lord. That very moment, He broke all grief off me. To this day, I have never grieved my Dad again.

With Jesse, and my sister, I didn’t do that. I don’t know why. The hurt was so deep and so sudden. It was so devastating that I didn’t remember what God had taught me. But I want to share that nugget with you today. Worship and praise will break grief and it will break the power of darkness. Always remember that. Worship and praise, especially praise will absolutely destroy the spirit of grief.

Friends, we all go through dark seasons, but they don’t define us. Sometimes all we can do is keep walking. I wish I had gone through it better, but I didn’t. However, I have come out on the other side with much more wisdom and revelation. I have come out on the other side with more love and compassion. And I have come out on the other side with more faith and trust in God than ever before. Most people, even those closest to me, have no idea how difficult it was for me. I continued to minister. I continued to write and encourage each day. It was only through God that I was able to do that. He is so faithful. He is so very faithful.

What do I want you to get from this? Guard the atmosphere around you. Fight to cultivate an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Fight to cultivate an atmosphere of faith and trust in God. As you do, remember, it not only affects you, it affects all those around you.

Whatever you are walking through today, don’t allow darkness to remain. Don’t allow unbelief to overtake you. Don’t allow fear to dominate your life. Feed your spirit daily. Praise and worship God daily. Confess His word over your life. Ask God to help you to arise and shine. He will help you. I know, because He did just that for me.

“Remember, what you tolerate, God tolerates. What you allow, God allows.”- K Potter

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