“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”
My babe has always been an excellent sleeper, never needed anything except her orange blanket to go to sleep. But I rock her every night just the same, just because I want to. I sing to her, pray for her, and always whisper Psalm 23 to her. For some reason when I get to the part about the valley of the shadow death I want to say it quieter, I don’t want her to hear the word “death”. I don’t want her to know there will be valleys in her life. Of course she doesn’t even know what I’m saying really. But someday she will.
And that’s hard.
I’ve learned a thing or two about valleys. Valleys are dark. Valleys are painful. Valleys are confusing. Valleys make you question things you thought you always knew. Valleys are…unavoidable.
I wish I could say that in the hard times I’ve experienced (and am currently experiencing) that I’ve remained strong and brave and joyful. But if I’m real, most days I haven’t. Most days I’ve scrolled through Instagram wishing I had anyone’s life but mine. Most days I haven’t wanted to get out of bed. Most days I feel like the only thought that runs through my head is, “Why?”. I may never know the answer to that question. And as slow as a process as it is, I’m learning that’s ok.
I’m learning what it truly means for the Lord to “daily bear our burdens.” I’m learning that the peace that passes all understanding is not equivalent to me feeling peaceful but rather knowing, knowing He is God and I am not. And ultimately I’m learning that as dark as my valley may seem, if I look for it I’ll always find a light. Sometimes that light looks like unexpected encouragement, fresh flowers, a song that takes me back, my daughter’s face when I peek in on her in the morning. Sometimes that light is being reminded of Psalm 66:12.
“We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”
Valleys never last forever.
Abundance is coming.
And someday soon my present will be my past and the light won’t be so hard to see.