I go through the motions. I wake up and put my feet on the floor. Go throughout my day with no sign of the valley that I am walking through.
Sometimes the sun breaks through. Little kisses from Maddie. Pictures drawn by Hannah. Small hand of Owen in mine. A note from a friend. An appreciative word from Paul.
Like balm, they soothe my soul. But sadly, so sadly, it does not last.
I've asked myself countless times, "how long do valleys last?"
Because it seems this one is a bit endless. I can't even remember when it began.
And I have no idea when it will end.
How do you cope with the valleys?
What do you do when you are in the middle of them?
I have hesitated for so long to type this out. I don't want to be a downer, and I don't want to alarm anyone.
I'm in a valley. I know I am. And I think I have been waiting to be rescued. To be plucked out of the middle of the valley. Placed in the sunshine. The dark behind me.
But, as odd as it may sound, I don't think God wants us to escape the valleys.
Sometimes he asks us to walk through them. ALL the way through them. Some may be short. Some much longer.
But when you are in the midst of the valley, it's hard to see just how long it will last.
I can't look too far out in front of me. I get disoriented, discontent, discouraged.
Perhaps that is why God tells us that His word is lamp to our feet, and a light to our path. Lights shine out just far enough so we can see where to take the next step.
I take solace in that circle of light. I step only where I can see. And right now, in the middle of the valley, I step out in hope.
Hope that there is an end to valleys, there are mountaintops somewhere.
Hope that I will come out stronger.
Hope that heaven has something, a lot of things, better - waiting for me.
So today, in the midst of my tears that threaten to fall, I walk in the Light of Hope.
Rejoice in our confident hope.
Be patient in trouble,
and keep on praying.