There are no valleys for me.
People often speak of peaks and valleys in life, describing darker seasons as the valleys and seasons of light as peaks but for me… there are no valleys.
This is when you shout, “Yeah right!” at the screen and at me for lying, right?
But I’m not lying!
I say there are no valleys because my MO is to trudge through the muck that is before me… I really don’t ever stand still, even in the midst of the wreckage. I actually keep moving through it.
Am I saying I am oh so brave and be like me? Nope.
Papa lets us experience the valley for a critical purpose, to teach us to rely on His strength in all seasons and locations of our lives. For Him to be our source of sustenance in the peaks and the valleys… it’s an important lesson to learn.
But what do I do (And maybe a few of you are like me)? I trudge forward, relying on what I know about God’s strength and His empowerment in me to attempt the climb, hiking up the hill of doubt with good intentions, where I stretch with everything I have to reach the top… the next peak.
Maybe the imagery works in your brain like it does mine but in case not, let me explain differently.
I recently mentioned to you about a conversation with my mom outside of a local bagel shop (Find this post about community here!), where I unintentionally cried out to God about my need for people and their strength through community… and He brought it to me… IMMEDIATELY!
That was a moment where I was in the valley and attempted to climb to the peak on my own but when unsuccessful, I clambered for God to save me from this hill of doubt with His safety and major belaying skills.
He just waits for me. He waits for me to come to Him.
I can tell he does this for me because He loves me. And sometimes the slang term, “SMH” reminds me of what I picture God doing, every time I try to depend on myself to get from a valley to a peak. Now I don’t believe He shakes His head in shame but more so in humor… if you’ll give me the grace to let me picture God in a slightly cynical way.
Now I ask myself… why on GOD’S GREEN EARTH would I continuously CHOOSE to depend on myself when I have my Creator waiting for me in the valley… arms outstretched… they never grow weary. Why?
I’m trying to prove something. No doubt in my mind about that. Trying to prove that I’m worthy of the task. The Christian life expectancy. People’s trust who watch to see what I do. It becomes about the proof of God in me, the declaration of my “Close relationship” with God, even my partnership with Him in miraculous, overcoming (or rather over-achiever) moments… it becomes about “us” (You know, God and me. SMH), instead of Him. Just Him. Only Him.
I’d like to change that. Really. I’m on the road to recovery but honestly I’ve only just begun and instead of it being a “take the first step” moment, it’s a sit under the bus stop gazebo and wait for Him to pick me up kind of moment. It’s me waiting to be picked up for a road trek to the next peak with God has my driver.
“God is never defeated. Though he may be opposed, attacked, resisted, still the ultimate outcome can never be in doubt.” – Anonymous
Another reason I think I try to go at it on my own… I don’t like to wait for the driver to decide when we get there.
None of us like to wait… or wade… through a difficult time and we all know that the valley is filled with harsh and sometimes shocking moments. We want to push past and I want to get ahead… to not feel or face realities of being in the valley.
But I’m stronger if I do. My spirit becomes more patient when I wait. When I let Him drive me to the next peak, stopping here and there in uncomfortable situations, taking longer than it should to get to the top in my way of thinking… I submit myself to the Driver, the One in charge. The One Who owns the map…
The One Who knows what is the best route for my journey.
And I find that when I do choose this better way… the way of dependency on God, I make it to the top with less scratches on my knees and scars on my hands from climbing.
Doubt in the ways of God and His methods of leading us is not the hike that brings victory. Don’t let the enemy confuse you into thinking it is the same. He wants nothing else more than for you to go it alone.
I think it will take some practice but I know it’s what I want most. I know that God’s way needs to be my way.
I choose today to trust God’s way and stop doubting that what He says and does is true. Every. Single. Time. May He bless my willingness to stay the valley, still in His presence.
And may He take me to the next peak in His perfect timing because He is such a good God and NEVER leaves us without hope for our future.
Have you recently experienced the shadow of the valley, the hill of doubt, or the light found in the peaks? Tell us about it below in a comment! Also, feel free to share if you too find it difficult to wait on God’s leadership as Lauren as described!