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 creatively 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 we terminate his little life due to the reality that we were both in danger.
Termination was not an option for my husband and I, 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 life: In 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.
Once in Ohio, the first of many miracles connected us with Dr. Radha Reddy at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, OH. Dr. Reddy heard our story and moved heaven and earth to see us on Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24th.
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.
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.
I 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.
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.
Now, more than two years 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 each and every day:
1. God is certain in the midst of uncertainty!
2. Praise is an intentional choice we make to call attention to our God and His greatness in the midst of all of our circumstances.
3. There is a difference between in all circumstances and for all 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 encouragement, wisdom, and guidance throughout this season.
“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.
Now, I love seeing how God has used the pain in my journey as a tool to help others learn to lean on Him in the midst of their toughest times.
Jennifer recently shared this from her experience through the Praise Coaching journey, “We often look at the promises of God and then at the circumstances of our lives and feel confused and hopeless when they seemingly don’t line up. When I started my coaching with Hannah, I was wrestling with my trust in God’s sovereignty over my life, my husband’s chronic illness, and provision for my family. My world had been turned upside down and I found myself paralyzed with grief and disappointment. Hannah’s Spirit-led praise coaching empowered me to shape the atmosphere in my daily life in order to shift my perspective from pain to hope. Her coaching equipped me to confidently transition from doubt to trust and ultimately exchange my shame for praise.”
I’d love to encourage you to live a life of praise!
If you enjoyed Hannah’s post click here to read more
To connect with Hannah on: