When Pain Partners with Praise

Mar 15, 2022

Hi!!! It's been three years since our little miracle man was born, March 12, 2019.  I realized I have never shared this blog I wrote which first appeared on ”DebbyThompson.com, Living With Eternal Intentionality®️"   Maybe you want to be reminded of the power of praise today in your own life or share our story with someone you know! 

And here is some exciting news!!! My first Six Session online video course, Power of Praiseis now available for purchase for an investment of any amount. It's already impacting lives!!  My "Certificate of Praisey-ness" has meant more to my day to day life than my master's degree in many ways!  Check it out, share it with others!!! 

When Pain Partners with Praise

Guest Post: A Praise Coach Tells Her Story

Praise is an intentional choice we make to call attention to our God and His greatness in the midst of all of our circumstances. 

Hi! I am Hannah Picard, the founder of Made to Praise and the first-ever Praise Coach. The passion of my heart is to call attention to God’s greatness in my life and equip others to do the same. 

I’ve come to realize in my journey, that praise is not always pompoms and praise songs, answered prayers and blessings, but more often praise is a choice to intentionally call attention to His greatness in the midst of really hard or even mundane times. This means calling attention to His greatness as our Comforter in the midst of grief, Security in the midst of uncertainty, Companion in the midst of isolation, Love in the midst of fear, Hope in the midst of darkness and so much more… 

In August 2018, my husband Jonny and I found out that we were expecting our first baby. Everything seemed to be going well until our 21-week gender reveal ultrasound. And, as Providence would have it, this was also the day before our major move from Florida to Ohio. 

At our appointment, we excitedly found out we were having a baby boy, but quickly learned from our doctor the tragic news that he did not have any amniotic fluid around him. The high-risk team recommended that day that we terminate his little life due to the reality he and I both were in danger. 

Termination was not an option for my husband and me, as we had just heard his perfect little heartbeat. With all our hearts we believed Jesus would guide us through to the end—an end we believed could be miraculous! 

Important side note from my lifeIn 2008, I unexpectedly lost my only sister after years of hardships and relentless prayers of believing God could do the miraculous in her life. I never saw that miracle come to pass. Now, I found myself again facing another journey of choosing to trust God, no matter what the end would be, and choosing to hope and believe this could be different. 

Team Asher! 

Once in Ohio, the first of many miracles connected us with Dr. Radha Reddy at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Dr. Reddy heard our story and moved heaven and earth to see us on Monday, December 23rd. At our appointment, she and the team determined that bed rest in the hospital would be our best plan until Asher made his own arrival or an emergency happened that deemed it necessary to take him sooner. No one knew what the end would bring, but we united our hearts in hopes for the best. Together, we became Team Asher! 

I entered the hospital, and we embarked on a 95-day journey of praise. For 65 of those days I was confined to bed rest. Each day I faced a choice: I had to choose—as an act of my will—to call attention to God’s greatness in the midst of our uncertainty and the grim outlook we were given. 

Gloom Room 

Daily, I allowed myself entry into what I called my gloom room, a place to be sad and to be honest with the Lord. Then, after spending time in this space, I would, figuratively, come out, and intentionally call attention to God’s greatness. 

called attention to His comfort. I called attention to His voice encouraging me through His Word. I called attention to His great love through the visitors and staff that came by each day to support me. I called attention to His great hope in believing and speaking His word. I called attention to His timing, even with a “placental abruption” at Day 10, which threatened to bring Asher’s immediate arrival. I called attention to His provision as all our bills, which mounted to over a half-million dollars, were covered, I called attention to His peace, when I doubted and wondered about our outcome.

Together, Jonny and I called attention to His grace when we found ourselves angry with God at the thought life might not work out like we prayed. As parents in pain, we didn’t do it perfectly, but with His great help, we made it through day by day by day

Miraculous Birth 

Then… on day 65, March 12th, 2019, I called attention to His mighty, miracle-working power when Asher Benjamin Picard arrived, and he was PERFECT! Our baby boy—4 pounds,13 ounces, 18 inches long—had no respiratory problems at all. 

For precaution and stability, he spent one day on the ventilator and four days on CPAP, a high-tech breathing machine. Then, for the next 32 days we stayed with him in the NICU as he grew stronger and prepared to face the outside world. 

Life Lessons 

Now, more than a year has passed since I spent those painful, uncertain days at Miami Valley Hospital. Though doctors don’t often speak of the miraculous over science, our Team Asher certainly does! And, lessons learned from that journey stay with me: 

  1. God is certain in the midst of uncertainty! 
  2. Praise is an intentional choice we make to call attentionto our God and His greatness in the midst of all of our circumstances. 
  3. There is a difference between inall circumstances and forall circumstances. Notice, I did not say “for all of our circumstances.” I don’t praise Him for death, but I do praise Him for His comfort during times of loss. I don’t praise Him for brokenness, but I do praise Him for His healing power. I don’t praise Him for the COVID-19 virus, but I do praise Him for His wisdom and guidance to socially distance, so more people don’t get sick. 

Going Forward 

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). I believe there is always a way to call attention to His greatness no matter what we are walking through. If you are struggling, especially in these days of uncertainty, I would love to encourage you regardless of what you are facing. I’d love to hear your story, I invite you to reach out to me at [email protected]

Guest Post by Hannah Picard - Hannah describes herself in these words: I am a Jesus-loving girl, wife to Jonny and momma to Asher. I get to stay home with Asher, work part-time as a Praise Coach, and experience God each day in a myriad of ways - through friendship, food, naps, flowers, walks, His Word, and so much more!”