Some are ditches. Some are craters. But when you are in it they feel like black holes. Big deep dark nasty holes.
For me, when something hits I can't hear, I can't see, I can't process ANYTHING. There isn't much that shakes me, but there have been a few valleys over the past few years where all I heard was sirens and all I felt was anxiety coursing through my body. It takes me days to work through the initial scariness.
I'm currently in a ditch. The end of July was the darkest place I've been in a while. So dark, that Jason had to remind me to start my day with gratitude or I wasn't going to get out of it. Gratitude and prayer is the only thing that truly gives me peace. The safest, cleanest, overwhelming faithful peace.
On a recent Sunday, pastor finished the set free to live free series. It was so good. It was a study of the commandments and how when followed, that we can truly live free in this temporary world. The worship team sang a song I've never heard, it brought pure joy to my heart and tears to my face. It was on time. I needed those words, my soul needed that reminder, and my faith needed that redemption.
"For the spirit of heaviness, Put on the garment of Praise. That's how we fight our battles. This is how I fight my battles". Lord, THANK YOU for telling me how to fight my battle through one of my favorite forms of praise. WORSHIP.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is James 1: 2-6. When troubles come your way, consider it pure joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. Such an amazing relief that I can let go of the fear, anxiety and simply know to fight my battles through worship and prayer. Relief.
Actually working through it is hard. It's easy to say that I have faith, but to really be able to let go of the fear is HARD, really really HARD.
I started this blog a few weeks ago and have just been marinating on it. Since I have started it, I have had 3 women, not complete strangers, but not my people I talk to every day, tell me how encouraging my blog is and how I have a way with words. I don't seek recognition from people, but sometimes hearing it is a gentle sweet reminder that it is ok to share my gift, my words and my life.
I have gone sort of radio silent since the end of July to just process all the valleys I have been walking. I feel like I an under full attack! I am so thankful for my friends who see it, feel it and pray for it. They don't ask what's going on- they just say, I know you are in a valley, I'm praying. I've prayed for those friends. I am so grateful for those friends. Those are the moments that my faith is strengthened and I gain the endurance I need for the next valley.
This morning on facebook, my sweet encouraging friend shared a bible verse that went straight to my heart. That is all I am going to chew on during this season. I hope that my sharing will help someone today. Being able to write this down sure helps me! Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.Proverbs 19:21