Death was Arrested–So was My Doubt

This past Friday night our church had a Night of Worship. Part of me didn’t feel like worshiping. I had a lot on my mind. I decided to just stay home.

I’d taken Mother to the rheumatologist on Monday. Something was desperately wrong–a physical, emotional, and spiritual weakness. It had been coming on for weeks.

She has three autoimmune illnesses. She couldn’t eat. Didn’t care to talk.

Our family had been praying.

The doctor mentioned clinical depression. I’ve been there. Twice. I knew the symptoms and the dangers. 

He ordered blood work and discussed a medication change. As I drove her home, gloom and doom filled the car. By Thursday, she was worse. She said if she didn’t get better, she was ready for a nursing home.

Friday afternoon I called my husband. “Let’s skip worship tonight. Traffic will be terrible, and you’ll have to leave straight from work and meet me there.”

But he wanted to go. 

Inside the sanctuary, rustic decorations and small white candles covered the communion tables. I sank into my seat and breathed.

Just breathed. 

Kneeling mats were everywhere–simple brown pieces of cardboard.

Oh, y’all–

That’s when the change began.

When I knelt.

I opened my fingers. Turned my palms upward. 

I love You. I need You. I’m sorry. I trust You. Whatever happens. 

The worship team sang a new song called “Death was Arrested.”

Oh, this song! This song!

It arrested my doubt. My concerns. I didn’t hold back. I couldn’t hold back!

I worshiped wide-open–with my whole my heart. 

Something supernatural happens when we praise God. 

Worship welcomes us into His Presence.

I thought I might float out of the building–all the way to heaven.

Mother called the next morning.

SHE WAS LAUGHING. Laughing!

“Julie, you won’t believe it, but last night the depression lifted. I can’t explain it, but it’s gone! I’m myself again.”

Lord, I don’t understand how or why, but thank You. 

Sunday morning, the praise team sang my song at our church campus.

I took a 50-second video of the end of the song. If you can’t see it, click here.

Northpoint Church Worship Team wrote “Death was Arrested.” They sing the entire song below. The video quality is much better than mine. 🙂

If you can’t see it, click here. 

Worship Him–even when you don’t feel like it. Beautiful things happen. 

Have you ever praised God when you didn’t feel like? Awesome, isn’t it.  

Love,

Julie

( First 4 pictures from 12Stone Church Facebook.)

Comments

  1. There have been many times in the last six weeks when I haven’t felt like praising. I heard a pastor say this just a couple of weeks ago, “you have to just keep praising Him through to the victory.” That so resonated in my heart that morning. I’m praising Him through to the victory with you and your mom.

    • Thank you so much, Felicia….So, I’m not the only one. I guess we start thinking …. maybe praising Him is a waste of time, and things don’t look all that great…and why bother.

      These thoughts don’t come from our Father!

      Great big hug this morning!!

  2. Pat Garczynski says:

    Exceptional, outstanding, profound. Heartfelt Love to you & your Mom!

  3. Patricia Martin says:

    I am so glad your mom is doing better!(: Our family has a long history of depression, diagnosed and undiagnosed, so I said a prayer that your mom will be her cheerful self and be healed. I think God loves it when we praise Him when things are going wrong because it shows that we trust God will make things better and help us through it. Have you landed that turkey gobbler yet?
    Xoxox

  4. Thank you, Patricia!!! I can tell–you understand. 🙂

    Love how you said it–we praise Him when thing are going wrong!

    What’s the latest with your speeches? How are you? Are you ready for a GF Thanksgiving?

    So much love to you and your family!

  5. Oh, Julie. Tears here. Beautiful. God moves to our earnest pleas. You’ve got me on my knees today … thank you. xoxo

  6. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Ok, so first, what’s up with the time thing? My computer says 9:58 right now, and your last comment above was…is…at 10:09? Strange!

    Anyway, soooooooooooooo grateful for your mother doing better. And loooooooovvvvvveeee your thoughts here! Two thoughts: first, I read a small book called The Worship Answer Book, and for the first time heard about how worship permeates ALL our life. It is not just singing in church or at home. It is not attending every service your church has. It is doing dishes – in an attitude of worship to the One who created the water to do so. It is scrubbing the floor – in an attitude of worship for the solid presence beneath our feet and the Solid Presence of our Savior in our lives. Worship is breathing, sitting, walking, driving, doing anything at all in the attitude of worship to Our
    Jesus! My heart spills over and chills spread through my soul when I am at the “heart of worship.”

    And second, your near miss of that worship service reminds me…urges me to not let things – company coming later, papers to critique, gifts to finish – become more important than getting to my church on Sunday. For too many years, my seizure problems kept me from driving myself there, and now, seizure-free, getting into the mode of making myself go has been a struggle. It was different when our daughters lived at home and went with me. It was different before my husband stopped going. (Prayers appreciated for his return to it!) Now, it’s just me and the 15-minute drive, but all too often, Satan teases me, taunts me, uses whatever he can to keep from going. I love my church and my church family. When I returned several weeks ago, it felt like coming home. As mentioned above, I try to live in an attitude of worship from Monday-Saturday, not just on Sunday, but oh, how I miss the corporate prayer and worship, the fellowship with people of like minds. I need this more than I need to breathe. Thank You, precious Lord for my church. And thank you, Julie, for the beautiful post today. Love you!

    • YES! YES! YES! One hundred yeses Cathy!! Worship is every minute of every day. And I’d forgotten that.

      Once again, I’m tearing up. Comments just do that to me! And thank You, Lord, that Cathy is seizure-free!!!!!!!! Wow! Wow!~!

      I’ll be praying for you this Sunday morning (and for your hubby) that your heart will lead you. So good to hear you love your church.

      Yes. We need this more than air.

      Love you, my Dear friend. Thank you so much for sharing how this touched you.

      All Him.

    • P.S. And I have no clue about the time ! Makes no sense to me.

  7. Julie Gilleand says:

    Wonderful testimony Julie and so glad your mom is feeling better too!

    A memory sprang to mind as I read this. When one of my sons was little and very sick, I was worried. His fever was way too high for just having the chicken pox. I always freaked out whenever he got a fever because as an infant he’d gotten such a high fever, he’d gone into convulsions and it had scared the daylights out of me. He had turned gray and looked lifeless so that I’d thought he was dead. It happened twice within the first two years of his life. So every time he had a fever, I started shaking. And praying. The doctor wasn’t concerned when I called him, saying sometimes there CAN be a high fever with chicken pox. I did all the things I’d learned to do during those two previous scary experiences. Gave him his aspirin, made sure he was not bundled in blankets, trapping the fever in, and sponged him down with lukewarm water, despite his screams because to him if felt so cold. I’d prayed and prayed and did’t know what to pray anymore. It came to mind that I should stop praying and just worship. I determined I would praise God until the fever broke. I intermingled singing worship songs with praising God. Two hours later, his fever broke! He got well fast after that and it turned out he’d had strep throat on top of the chicken pox. He really got hit! But where the doctor couldn’t help, God intervened.

    I suppose that dramatic life lesson stayed with me so that later in life when circumstances were putting the squeeze on me, and nothing was seeming to help or change anything, eventually my dull mind would remember — worship. And each time I’ve done that, I found myself lifted from the gloom and doom. Maybe not completely set free, but a start.

    Thanks again for reminding me of something I so need to remember still!

    Blessings to you and your sweet mother.

    Other Leafy Julie 🙂

    • Oh Leafy,

      How beautiful!! And the thing is–worship DOESN’T seem logical, does it?! It feel like we should panic, worry, fret, and yes, pray–but plead with God. Not worship Him.

      I’m so glad you worshiped him that day and He healed your son.

      YES. Worship is a start. And I believe the enemy doesn’t want us to worship. Or even whisper the name, “Jesus.”

      So much love and thank you!

  8. oh how i know this to be true! the very time i don’t “feel like” (whether physical or emotional) going to church is the very time i most need to be there. and i’m always—ALWAYS—rewarded for being obedient. (on occasion, my worship is must me and Father, at home, on a walk, or even sitting on my couch. the point is worship) Julie, this is twice i’ve seen someone post about not “feeling like” going, and the beautiful ministry because you did go anyway! i can’t begin to count the number of times it’s happened to me! thank you for sharing and PRAISE GOD for your mother!!! what a wonderful report!!

    • Yes, Robin. ALWAYS. And I thought Friday, I’ll just stay home and rest. I’m tired.

      Can you believe it?!

      Yes! We can worship anywhere. Everywhere. Always.

      I know–my mother. I’ve called her several times this week. “Are you still okay?”

      She says, “I’m totally fine. Better than before.”

      XOXOXOXOXOXO

  9. Lori Milner says:

    I love that y’all were worshiping on that horrible Friday night when so much terror was happening in Paris. That’s the power that pushes the enemy back! Hugs and prayers for you and your mom, glad she is feeling better. Now I better get back to work, and offer that as worship. I have to finish a report. Love you!

    • So true, Lori. Our church prayed for Paris. I should’ve added that to the blog. And we prayed Sun morning too.

      RIGHT! That power pushes the enemy back. Love how you said that.

      I have to remember this. When I worship, God’s Spirit is soooo close.

      Love you too!

  10. Wow–wow–wow!! Praising God with you! He’s still in the miracle business…

  11. What a beautiful song! I’m so happy your mom is feeling better and that she was LAUGHING the morning after worship. The power, Julie, the power!

  12. Anna Haney says:

    By now I should no longer be surprised when I discover how much alike you and I are, but I am. God does that, though. He loves to surprise us when we are least expecting it. Little blessings that bring us closer to Him. Your mom, and mine are the same age and share the same illnesses. As you know, there have been days when my mom’s illnesses have caused her depression and other horrendous mood changes. In those dark times, it was really hard to worship. And when I hear folks complain about aches and pains and see Momma, unable to walk, it’s hard to worship. Then she will talk to me—or maybe He is talking to me through her–and I know that He has plans for her. She has such a good outlook on life. Joy comes in the morning. My mother, most likely like yours, taught me about prayer, about praising God when praise seemed the furthest from my mind.
    I praise Him for the miracle that is my momma, for Marion, and for you, sweet friend.
    Love you
    Happy Thanksgiving

    • Simply beautiful, Anna. My sister. 🙂

      We have to remember this…worship always! Especially when we don’t feel like it.

      Thank you for being happy with me. I’m praying right now–for you mother and for you, and for today to be filled with unexpected moments of deep JOY.

      xo

  13. Patricia Martin says:

    Thank you for asking!(: I am well, and have my last speech coming up in early December–it has to be a celebration speech and I am brainstorming ideas. Do you have any suggestions? I am now thinking about what to have for Thanksgiving and hope to watch the Macy’s Parade unless I am busy in the kitchen sneaking a dessert or two (I mean helping with food). Have a blessed almost Thanksgiving!((;

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, a celebration speech! I love that!!!! I have an idea….What if you celebrate having Celiac? Celebrate new recipes. Being healthy. Feeling better eating GF. Meeting new friends with Celiac, like me :). Maybe it’s all in the way we look at it. By changing your diet, you change your health–your outlook, your attitude?? I think this would work. You could even make some GF cookies to share with you class. Not sure how many people will be there, but maybe it would work.

      Thomas had to give a speech this week…on how to shake hands. 🙂 He said he got an A.

      Let me know if you need any help with recipes for Thanksgiving. Thomas’s fiance Brittany also has Celiac. She gave me her dressing recipe. Hers was much better than mine last year. Brittany’s sister also has Celiac!

      xoxooxox And I’m praying His Spirit will rise up in you as you speak and you’ll be totally fearless. He’s done that for me. Once I open my mouth, the fear vanishes!

  14. marci says:

    Oh, Julie, I so needed this today! The reminder to praise even when not feeling it.
    Yesterday was very difficult dealing with issues concerning my father, since his death.
    And fighting those little grimlins of what if this? what if that? I somehow, with the grace of God knew I also had to think of things I was thankful for and put things in a prayer to the Lord.
    I don’t know what I will have to do about the problem, but I know the Lord is with me and He has given me such a wonderful support group of friends, including friends I meet here. Much I have read on today’s blog, is helping me get through this difficult situation.

    And just like- the anticipation and the storms that rolled through here yesterday –, that mellowed before doing any major harm in this area, ..and the sun shining today– that is what I need to remember. The sun will shine again after things are settled. And I have the Lord by my side during this time. I don’t know what direction to take, but He does. Thank you, Thank God, for a blog I needed to see, and that God can answer prayers so quickly.
    I am very happy for you and your mom who I hold dear. I am so glad that she was laughing again. What joy, and that too gives me joy.

    Speaking of songs. Monday on The Voice, the young man (wish I remembered his name but it escapes me at the moment) sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness” with just a little piano playing by him. I sat there enveloped by the song, his beautiful voice, and the words.. Yesterday, I kept thinking of him singing that song, and it also kept me going. All I could think after hearing it was, “Wow” I was blessed with that before the challenges that came to me Tuesday. God is going before us.. even before we know- He knows our need.

    God Bless you dear Julie,
    Love, Marci’a

    • Marci’a, I love how you put it. Gremlins. Perfect word!

      I’m praying for you right now. This morning, when I woke up, in my mind I saw a bread crumb trail and said, “Okay, God, You’re just going to one tiny crumb ahead of me.” It was dark in my mental picture, but I could see one tiny white crumb a few inches in front of my feet. There was a light shining on that one crumb. And I knew, in my heart, I was going to have to keep walking and when it was time to take the next step, He’d provide another bread crumb.

      Wish I’d seen The Voice that night. I love that song!! I think it would be beautiful sung in a wedding.

      Yes, He goes before us, sprinkling bread crumbs…His Words.

      So much love, my precious friend. One day, I believe we’ll meet. Before Heaven.

      • marci says:

        The song on The Voice, They should have it on You Tube (did I spell that right?) I think if you could hear him sing it, it might touch you as much as it did me. BTW, He was the first one saved by the votes this week. I think his name is Jordon Smith? Not sure about the spelling of the first name, maybe with an e instead of an o. ? If you get to hear it, I would love to know what you think.

        Yes, I like the way you put it, and I can visualize that! Just the one crumb at a time. And that is where I am dealing with Dad’s trust and the house. I cannot think of it all at once or I am sure it would be too much for me. I am glad you had that vision and now it is helping me. Yes, there are verses that help, that are the bread crumbs.
        How wonderful it would be if the Lord provided a way for us to meet sometime! I can think of that and smile. Today I saw a cardinal, and that always lifts my spirit, like the Lord saying, Marci’a, it is all going to be OK. I am here.

  15. Norma says:

    Julie, Look forward to your blog every Wednesday. My husband enjoys it as much as I do. There is nothing like prayer and praise!!!

    • Norma. Norma. Thank you. And please give your husband a hug. It always encourages me to discover that a guy would actually want to read my blog. 🙂 🙂

      So much love this Thursday morning!

      XOXOXOXO

  16. Praise God! The depression lifted! Oh Julie, that is simply breathtaking! Do you know, its the day after chemo, its windy and rain is drizzling down. A part of me doesn’t want to go to our Wednesday night service either… but a part of me NEEDS to go. I feel the same way- I just breathe, and thank Him, and let it all go. Thank you for spurring me on- my son is hesitating too, but I think we’ll go!!

    • It’s Thursday morning, Vicky…I have a feeling you went. Can’t wait to hear if you did. And bless your son’s heart. I bet he went with you! Boys can be so sweet to their mamas.

      You know, as I wrote this post, I prayed for you. “Lord, let this worship touch Vicky’s heart right now.” I reminded Him (Ha! Like He didn’t know) of where you were and what you were doing, and I soooo hoped/prayed my time of worship would fill you up. I guess vicariously. 🙂

      Love you dearly.

  17. Patricia Martin says:

    Thank you, Julie! Love your speech idea!((:

  18. Patricia Martin says:

    I just need to make sure that topic will be alright with my teacher and textbook. Although, my teacher is really nice, our textbook is like a straight jacket and limits the kind of topics we can give speeches on. I wish you wrote our textbook, more people would enjoy giving speeches and not try to wait to the last day of presentations to do it! If I am not allowed to use GF celebration as a topic for this speech, I can still use it in the future as the pastor of our church has Celiac, diary, and soy allergies (I thought I had it tough !) This topic would be perfect for my church audience. (; Hugs to your family.((:
    xoxo

  19. Mary says:

    You know what this reminds me of? It makes me think of the old hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” I’m specifically thinking of the line that says, “Morning by morning, new mercies I see.” You know, Julie, how I struggle with the anxiety / depression monsters, so when I heard your mom was having a rough time, I felt bad for her. But, new mercies came with the morning! I hope she is feeling even better now.

    • Hey, Mary. Yes! She is absolutely back to her old self. She’s great!

      Love, love, love the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” One of my all-time favorites. Sometimes I sing out loud–it sure beats fretting, doesn’t it.

      Thanks for your sweet comment.

  20. Shelley Elaine says:

    OHHH sooooo glad to know your Sweet Momma is feeling better-depression can be such a cruel, unwanted and unexpected guest! Thank you so much for this post Julie-haven’t yet watched the video but fully intend to-and it is really encouraging to know we ALL have that times of soul weariness when we feel like worshipping the least and such an AWESOME reminder that “that” is when we need it the most. Love you Julie! And your Momma!

    • So kind of you, Shelley. Thank you. Just makes me smile to ‘hear’ you say that we ALL have times of soul weariness. That’s exactly what depression feels like. For sure. Amen! It’s cruel, unwanted, and definitely unexpected guest. And The Shadow can take its own sweet time leaving, too.

      Love you.

  21. Praise evicts the enemy! Hallelujah!

  22. I know, Elizabeth! I’ve called her several times this week…”Are you sure you’re okay?”

    “Absolutely fine,” she says.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Thank you!!

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