Unfulfilled dreams. Lost hopes. Fiery places.
The valley of suffering is full of blazing fire that refines us day in and day out. This fire reaches the depths of our soul, penetrates our bodies, pierces our hearts, and purges who we are so we can become who we were meant to be. Although we may want to escape, we can’t climb up the sides of the valley to find freedom and we can’t run fast enough through it to avoid the pain. There’s really no way out. There’s no healthy way of escape except to walk slowly through it until we reach the end. We have to put one foot in front of the other and take in both the darkness and the light. The darkness will seem deeper than anything else and the light will always surprise our eyes. Either way, we will ask the question “why me?” We will expect to find the answer; the REASON for our pain.
- My sweet friend buried her son when he was just 17 years old.
- My other dear friend has been battling brain cancer for 15 years.
- My precious sister in Christ has walked through 4 open heart surgeries with her teenage son since he was a toddler.
- Then I buried my husband just 9 months ago after he died in a car accident.
What is the REASON for all this heartache? What could possibly be the answer for why I am suffering and so many around me are dying on the inside? How can this be good?
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” —Romans 8:28
It sounds so simple. God works all things for the good of those who love Him. All things, on mountain tops and in valleys, will work out for good. ALL THINGS.
Maybe It’s Not About Me
I have had the privilege of sharing my story with over 600 people in the past few months. The ears of men, women, and teenagers have heard my cries, my heartbreak, and how my kids ache for their daddy. I’ve been able to share how this valley has moments of gut wrenching pain but also more times of comfort, warmth, and hope than I can count. God’s glory and His goodness are wrapped in and around this journey so beautifully.
I have come to the amazing realization that maybe it’s not about me.
My valley is refining me and God will waste none of my pain. He will use it to glorify Himself as He shows Himself real, true, and Sovereign. In the end I will be stronger, healthier, and shine brighter after walking all the way through this suffering. These are all incredibly good things!
But what if our suffering is not so much about us, but rather to comfort those in need?
“Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” —2 Corinthians 1:3–5
People need HOPE!! So many are drowning in their pain and need someone to pull them up.
We are to comfort others and show them how to walk in victory through Christ Jesus!
How to NOT quit.
How to stand firm.
How to trust the Lord.
How to fight through the battles.
I don’t like being in my valley of unfulfilled dreams, lost hopes, and fiery places. In fact, I so often want to climb out and find my own way of escape. Each time I cry out to the Lord and ask Him how much longer…He says, “Oh sweet girl, My plans are not your plans and My ways are not your ways. I am doing something. Be patient and wait for Me. This isn’t the end of the story.”
This Isn’t The End
Oh sweet friend, are you struggling to wait on the Lord in your suffering? Has your light dimmed and your hope gotten lost?
The Lord will meet you where you’re at as you seek His face. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a puddle on the ground or you are limping along the valley floor. Jesus wants to restore you, renew you, and give you HOPE for your future. Trust Him. Love Him. Lean into Him. He will never leave your side. This is not the end of your story.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” —2 Corinthians 4:16–18