Praise God Anyway!

It's easy to praise God when things are going good in your life. That new job that you've been praying for...that new promotion...more money in your bank account. But what about praising God through the bad times? That's when God does his best work!

I felt led to come on here and share with you guys my testimony.

Let's rewind to two years ago:

I was engaged in October of 2012. I was 20 years old, and my fiance at the time was 22. From the very beginning, we got so much opposition from people about us being married so young. People telling us we're too young to get married. We should wait. Of course, we had people who were happy for us, but then we had others giving the side eye like "Are you sure you know what you're doing???" At that point, our decision to get married had nothing to do with us thinking we know it all, thinking we have it all together (cause we knew we didn't, and still don't), or thinking that marriage would be a walk in the park (because let's be real, marriage isn't easy all the time). We made the decision to get married with every intention of being obedient to God and to do what was pleasing to Him. I mean, we had been together for five years at the time, so it was about time we take it to the next level. That's what some people didn't get.

To add fuel to the fire, my then fiance didn't have steady job and was on unemployment. He saved what he could while also paying his monthly bills. I was a full time student working only 15 hours a week and saved what I could.

But we somehow came up with enough money to put a $1400 down payment to secure our venue for our July 26, 2014 wedding. Even then, we had folks telling us maybe we should change the date and wait until 2015 so we could save more money. But our God is greater than our circumstance! We continued to believe and trust that God would bless us and we would have all that we would need to pay for both our wedding and have enough saved for an apartment.

The end of 2013 came, and I started to get a bit worried because we didn't have nearly enough money to pay for anything. We had maybe $2,000 saved, but the rest of our venue would cost us another $4,000, plus we needed money for other wedding expenses and at least $3000 for first month's rent and a security deposit for an apartment.

But God!

In December, my husband started a new job, but it was only temporary. The concern then was what would he do as far as employment once his time was up. How would we pay rent once we find an apartment based on my income alone? How could we even get an apartment? My husband had made enough money while working, so we were able to save a huge chunk, and we both saved a majority of our tax refunds for 2013. But there was still that question of how would things work out? 

After much prayer and walking by faith and not by sight alone:

He got hired permanently at his job in March of this year...with benefits!

We had family members bless us with money before the wedding.

My father gave his entire tax refund to us to help with the cost of the wedding. Every. Single. Penny.

My mom paid for our cake and our limos.

My grandmother paid for our honeymoon to Puerto Rico.

Mind you, we never asked anyone to pay for anything. We just continued to believe the Lord would bless us someway and somehow, and boy did He show up.

With all of our monthly expenses, we still had enough money to pay for whatever was not covered. We had everything we needed for our wedding day, and our special day couldn't have been any better.

Only thing we needed was an apartment, and we're still on the hunt for one now. The devil has been hitting us left and right with stuff from the very beginning, and I can tell you one thing: he does not give up! I'm convinced that he didn't want us to get married. He doesn't want to see people married, especially young people. His plan is to kill, steal, and destroy, and any way he could sabotage and prevent our day from happening, he did. But did he win? NO! And in the end, he still won't win!

His attacks continue. It's been a headache trying to find an apartment. Just yesterday we were hoping to get some good news from what seemed like the perfect apartment for us. The size of the apartment was great, it was easy for both of us to get to work and for me to get to school, the location was decent, and it was in our budget. But if it's not the length of my husband's employment (in NYC, some apartments require you to be employed for at least a year. He's been employed for only 8 months, 5 months permanently), it's our credit scores that are a problem (which are both good, so I'm not understanding what the problem is! We see one thing when we pull up our credit scores, but landlords see another when they do a credit check, and we've viewed all three...IDK what that's about!) The enemy keeps throwing these monkey wrenches in to trip us up, but I'm not giving him the satisfaction of seeing us discouraged.

I just know that through all of this, God is still good! He brought us this far, so I know he won't fail us now. I know that the best is yet to come. Right now as newlyweds, we're living with my husband's parents, which could be frustrating because we want our own space and privacy. But I can't complain and be unhappy about it. Right now, it is what it is, and I just thank God for bringing us this far. I know that He is in the midst of our situation and things will work out for our good.

I tell you guys this long story to say this:

When things get tough....praise God anyway! Don't give the devil the benefit of seeing you down because of a setback. Don't add fuel to his fire by giving him what he wants. When things don't go as expected, see it as a SET UP to give the Almighty God some praise.

I'm reading a few Bible plans on my Youversion Bible app on my phone, and one is called "When You're Hoping for a Miracle." It's a daily devotional by Rick Warren, and one of the things he says is, "Miracles never happen in your comfort zone, when everything's great and convenient. The path to a miracle is through uncomfortable territory."

Right now, we're in uncomfortable territory, but God is still good. The only thing we can do is practice extreme faith, focus on continuing to be being obedient, praise and thank God despite our circumstances, and learn more of His ways. Then is when we'll experience God's power and He'll turn things around. This is something my Pastor has been talking about over the past couple of weeks, and it just feels so good to get a revelation of what it is God has been saying and put it into practice.

Don't allow a setback to get you down. When you praise God despite your circumstances, you cause confusion in the camp of the enemy. He won't know what to do since he's expecting you to get upset! Don't let the devil steal God's glory. In EVERYTHING, give thanks and praise to God. He'll turn your situation around.  

"Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, And the nations under our feet."
  Psalms 47:1-3 NKJV

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
                  I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
 Romans 8:28 NKJV

I pray this post encourages somebody. It's easy to get caught up in how messed up our situation is and how things aren't going the way we want to. But when you've made it this far, that means God has kept you all this time! That's all the more reason to praise and worship Him! The odds may be against you, but it's not over until God says it's over!

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