So it's no surprise these words made me think of her...
David says, "You turned my wailing into dancing;
You removed my sack cloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord, my God, I will praise you forever."
I've read Wendy's story and heard it too...there's no doubt God has turned her wailing into dancing. He has given her joy after an experience that left her wondering if she'd survive, let alone be happy. He did this for a reason...so she would praise Him and not be silent. She's doing that as she's sharing her words with readers across the world.
After reading David's Psalm I too praised God for the work He has done and is continuing to do through Wendy. I lifted her new book to Him and prayed for all who will be pointed to His Word through it.
I finished my prayer and after the pause, a new thought entered my mind. God was whispering to my heart, "Jill, those words are not just for her. Think about what I've done in your life. Remember the pit I pulled you from? Don't forget the wounds I've healed. The pain I've helped you overcome. The transforming work I've done in your life and heart. I've taken your sorrow and replaced it with my joy. You can praise me and speak for me too."
Friend, these final verses in Psalm 30 are for you too. It's great and Biblical to celebrate our sister's success, but we need to strive for our own as well. It's important to see the work God has done in another, but we can't forget what He's done for us. We can and should speak words of encouragement to the ones we love, but use the same strategy for yourself, one God loves.
That doesn't mean you need to write a book about your life or author a Bible study, but we do need to speak up and share our story and shine His light. We must proclaim who God is and testify about the work He does.
As I read others share their gratitude with Wendy about her obedience and faithfulness, I'm reminded of a quote from Henry Blackaby, "Anytime someone thanks me for being obedient and writing 'Experiencing God' I respond, 'What do you think God could do if you said yes and obeyed as well?'"
A day that involved celebrating for a friend has also included a bit of conviction for myself. You see there are things God's asked me to do and I'm dragging my feet and I'm not being disciplined, which means I'm being disobedient. Just like Psalm 30 isn't just for my friend neither is God's grace, power or plan.
Friend, He has work for you and for me. He's given us a message and a story that nobody else can tell. An audience too. Be faithful and obedient and do what my friend did...sacrifice, draw near, search the Scriptures and speak up. You'll be blessed, others will witness and God will be glorified. What a way to praise Him!!