Going through the valley


Sometimes there’s more going on in a picture then you might realize. These precious people have offered me support in ways I never could have imagined. I love them beyond words. The Hubs isn’t in the picture but I love that man with all my heart.

Sometimes when I look at other people’s facebooks and blogs, I think to myself, “those people sure are having a great time. They all look so happy. It doesn’t look like they have any problems.” Huh.

I can further surmise that those people always have a clean house, plenty of extra money, no significant struggles. Can you relate? Have you ever done the same thing?

Recently an acquaintance of mine posted a picture of her family. Had she not mentioned that her daughter had nearly barricaded herself in her bedroom just moments prior, I would have had no idea. Everyone had  fashioned lovely smiles, they looked perfect. Behind the scenes though, it had been a different story.

I was at another gathering and a godly woman I greatly admire shared how she had completely lost her temper with her children. She had become so frustrated, she shattered a plate on the ground. I would have never expected.

I don’t enjoy knowing people are struggling but sometimes it can help me feel better about my circumstances.

To say that I have been in great emotional struggle for the last several months would be a major understatement. If not for the LORD, the Hubs and my olive shoots, it might not be an exaggeration to say that my blog might not be the only thing that didn’t exist.

Foggy places

Foggy places

The only way I can write this is because God has been moving mountains. The dense patches of fog I experienced when going to and from Chicago in October were emblematic for what it’s been like for me personally. With great reluctance, I have been examining painful parts of my past I really wanted to ignore. It wasn’t like I just woke up one day and decided it was time to tackle this junk. Trust me. It’s been a messy process.

I have literally been clinging to Jesus uncertain of the path He was taking me on. Had I been given the option, I would have gladly retreated and not seen my way out of the mire. The valley has been deep and treacherous.

The LORD has been my strength and my shield. He is seeing me through the darkness. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an archaeologist. It intrigued me to imagine unearthing hidden artifacts. In order to get to the treasure though, archeologists dig and sift. They bend over the dusty ground and tediously rummage through the worthless in the hopes of discovery. I never pursued that career option but I’ve been doing spiritual and emotional archeology. At times when I was unable to see what was before me and tremendous, horrible anxiety gripped every part of my being, the LORD granted me courage to move through it all. My husband and my olive shoots offered me unconditional love when it would have been easier to not walk alongside me. With the help of a Biblical counselor, my pastor and others, there has been restoration and promise.

Today at church during our prayer time, I publicly thanked the LORD for what My Holy One has been doing. We attend a very small church, we don’t handle snakes or do anything weird. It is a real and honest place full of sincere, imperfect people. I feel safe there in every way. I couldn’t stop the tears even though it was slightly embarrassing. Crying and praying out loud require concentration! I know personally what Psalm 31:8 means. The LORD did not give me into the hands of the enemy but set my feet in a spacious place.

I pray that this post encourages someone who might be going through the same thing. I send you my love and support.

12 thoughts on “Going through the valley

  1. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerablity! The Lord is so kind and merciful to let us see how broken we really are and yet how big His love and sacrfice are. The more I try to hide my mess, the more I miss His grace, May the clarity of coming through the fog bring a newness of Him and abundant healing. Hugs to you!

    • As I was praying in church today, I just became so emotional as I reflect on how the Lord has been my fortress and my shelf. I feel that my face has been more salty from tears than most people would have known. Thank you for blessing me with your kind words and empathy! Love you!

    • For your sake, I hope not! However, if your journey is bringing you closer to Jesus, than may you experience Him in ways you never dreamed possible. I am still taking it all in and walking through it, not there yet but I sure do appreciate your empathy! Keep pressing on, we can’t give up!

  2. Hey, sorry to hear that you have been going through some hard times. I know the pain of going deeper with God to those places that need healing, restoration, cleansing, etc. I also know for a fact from experience that the end result is so worth it. Each time I let him deal with me in places that I have kept hidden or guarded, I feel more like the true, authentic person he created me to be, which is the ultimate cry of my heart and he knows it. Freedom is the word that comes to mind. I am more free to be, which then allows me to love myself and others with less and less fear. Regardless of your state of mind or heart at this point in your life, just know you are in God’s eyes, and in mine, a wonderful, mysteriously delicious, worthy of love and adoration, person. Merry Christmas my friend. Love you. P.S. I love, love, love seeing you excel in your creative mode and making a go at a business of it. The world will only benefit from your artistic endeavors!

    • Thank you so much Carol! I remember very well the emotional places you have journeyed through and how creative you were during that time. Your words bless my heart and I need to read them again just to absorb all the love and kindness! I love and admire you, friend!

  3. Praise to God for carrying you through this valley. I think you don’t yet see what a beautiful person you are. Although we have never met, I see God working in you and when you are finished with this valley I hope you see yourself as a beautiful butterfly that was transformed by the majestic hand of God. Love to you my sister in Christ!

    • Wow, Carol, I’m not sure what to say except you are probably correct and I am very reluctant to notice anything good about myself because without the Lord I am a miserable wretch and sometimes even with Him, I fall short. I truly appreciate your generous words, all of these comments have ministered to me in ways I never expected.

  4. Pingback: Watercolor works wonders this Christmas | My Awesome Olive Shoots

  5. Pingback: One-word prayers | My Awesome Olive Shoots

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