“On the mountains I will bow my life to the One who set me there
In the valley I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone” – Tauren Wells, Hills and Valleys
I found myself in a valley. I should have realized that dreadful place, without needing someone pointing it out for me. But how is one to recognize a valley when you had been traipsing along the hilltops, only to find yourself thrust into a valley in a blink of an eye? What landed me down there – there were so many things. I could have asked, Why God, why? Regardless of the reason, I found myself in that valley, as terrible as it felt down there, I had the peace of mind to recognize, I wasn’t alone.
Psalms 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.“
The valley that I found myself in – it came out of nowhere and knocked me to the ground. Those circumstances, that I had to endure – I felt like I couldn’t endure. At least, in those moments, I thought I couldn’t, I definitely didn’t want to. But, somehow, in some way, I managed to stand up, put one foot in front of the other, and began to make my way through. There had to be a way out!
“Every valley has a beginning and an ending.”
I have both heard it said and read it: “If you are not moving forward you are moving backwards.” I forced myself to keep moving forward, can’t stop, won’t stand still, must keep going. It’s the up and out – or out and up – that kept propelling me forward. “I can’t stay like this. I can’t stay down here,” echoing in my mind. But, it was in that valley I learned some of my most valuable life lessons. If you’re never down, you never appreciate how wonderful it truly is to be up. You never recognize when your fellow man is down, and never truly relate… In that valley, I saw me for the first time, it seemed. For all the growing I’ve done, I still have so much growing to grow.
The valley I recently endured, was unlike anything I had ever experienced. It was not a valley of depression. It was not filled with fear. I trudged through the mire buried within myself, my pride, my past – intermingled with tears. When I finally reached a point of surrender, I laid down every weight, just as quickly as I found myself inside that valley, I found myself climbing towards higher ground again.