Lessons From the Valley
Seasons of Suffering
Seasons of suffering and pain in life cannot be avoided. As people living on this earth, we experience many highs and lows, fear and freedom, love and hate, pain and pleasure.
My time in the valley exposed the deepest parts of me, and I saw who I really am. Strangely, this season of pain and sorrow has made me bigger and braver.
Suffering well and seeking out the lessons hidden in the dark folds is the key I needed to open the gate at the trailhead at the base of my second mountain.
Lesson 1 - God is an Anchor
There really is a God and He never left me. Not once. He was my lifeline and anchor when the storm buffeted me with fierce winds and driving rain on all sides.
There were even a few times I faintly heard Him singing over me to give me His comfort and peace as I cried rivers of tears in the dark.
My faith knows that my entire life has passed through His hands with His blessing and mighty wisdom. So this season of suffering was meant for my good not to harm me.
He uses it all as His love story to me as his precious daughter. The ugly. The beautiful. The hard things.
If life was always smooth sailing, I would never experience the refining of my soul and the absolute need every minute of every day of my Father in heaven.
These lessons and seasons have all sharpened my faith in Him and I am grateful.
Lesson 2 - Courage
Vulnerability will not kill you. Suffering with not kill you. Fear will not kill you.
It felt like I was dying while I was walking on the dark path down in the valley. But it didn't kill me because fear is a liar. Fear is no match for my hope and faith in the creator of earth and heaven.
Courage and bravery are the decision to walk through these doors anyway knowing I am never alone.
Lesson 3 - Letting go
Ego, selfish desire, prominence, prestige, pleasure is no longer where my focus and interests lie.
The things I strived for on my first mountain were thin, fleeting and held no real substance. What matters most to me now is living my true purpose and reaching out beyond myself to love and help others.
I want to make a difference and deeply contribute to those in need. To do this I must practice letting go of my own selfish desires and live in service of others.
Letting go is the ultimate in freedom and liberty.
Lesson 3 - Real Truth
True love and friendship are tested when the people who love you choose to join you in the valley, so you don’t walk alone.
To those of you who walked in the darkness with me, my soul thanks you more than you know. I promise to do the same if you ever find yourself in the wilderness.
When you rest your identity on your job title, the money in your bank account, the social events you are invited too, you are constantly and solely preoccupied by the notion of only yourself.
Power, position and prestige do not fill your heart and soul. They are not where the real truth lies.
My Second Mountain
Happiness is fleeting and self-centered. Pure joy transcends any current circumstance and is the light that radiates from my brokenness and deep cracks.
This is a treasure, a gift from the Holy Spirit. I am clay and He is the master potter. I am dust and His power lasts for eternity.
The sustenance I need to fill the dark hole that caved in under my feet is not the little bag of trail mix I packed to eat on my first mountain.
The food needed to sustain me on my second mountain is rich with meaning and purpose.
It multiplies when given away to feed others. It is deeply satisfying and is best eaten slowly with others who I love.
You are not alone
Thank you for allowing me to share the lessons I have learned spending time in the valley. It is my privilege and honour to open my heart to you.
If you are in a dark valley of suffering, you are not alone. There is always a silver lining, lessons to learn and a God who will hold your hand. There is always a light at the end of every tunnel of hardship. There is always hope.
If you want to keep walking with me on this journey, you can read the last part of my story called "Time to Rise".
Please let me know if you need me. I am always here for you.
Find your freedom.
Live your life.