When you’re in the valley

So yesterday was wonderful. I got to go to the Junk Ranch with my mom-in-law, sis-in-law, and bro-in-law. It was such a fun day full of laughter and fun purchases. Then Tyler and I headed off to Conway to celebrate his Papa and Gigi’s 60th wedding anniversary and spend some time with the Fam.

Unfortunately, life hit me square in the face about 20 minutes outside of Conway. A song came on my pandora, “Love, Me”. It’s this beautiful song that has words about “if you get there before I do, don’t give up on me. I’ll meet when my chores are through-I don’t know how long I’ll be…. But between now and then, til I see you again I’ll be loving you. Love, Me”. It hit me so hard. I miss my dad so much. So for the rest of the ride, I listened to songs that we sang at his funeral. Stupid right? I’m already crying, let’s cry some more!

For the rest of the evening and so far today I’ve been in a funk. I feel like I’m trying to claw my way back to my normal annoyingly chipper self, but all I can do is fall back into this hole. I feel like crying all the time. I want to be hugged, but don’t want to be touched. I want to be around people, but really just want to be alone. I want to talk to people and see how life’s going, but as soon as I ask I feel like I don’t really care. I am in a valley and I don’t know how to get out.

*side note- great song by Mandisa called “Leave it in the valley” look it up. It’s wonderful.

Thankfully though, I don’t have to be ashamed for being in a valley. David, a man after God’s own heart, was in the valley- a lot. In fact, the most common form of Psalms is Lament. I know that as much as I don’t like this valley- it’s ok that I’m here. It’s ok that I’m struggling just to leave my room and join the family. It’s ok to cry and wail and question because God is here with me in the middle of this valley.

As much as I love Tyler, when I start feeling this way- it seems he can’t do anything right. Don’t get me wrong, he tries so hard and if I wasn’t in the middle of this twisted storm of emotion, it would probably be exactly what I need. But right now, anything he says upsets me. Anything. “Tell me what I can do to help”, “I love you”, “I’m sorry you’re feeling so bad”, “do you want to talk?”, “wanna play Mario kart?”  All of these things on a normal day are such sweet gestures of love, but today they feel like a slap in the face. And it has everything to do with me, not him. As much as I love my husband, he can’t complete me. He can’t fix this feeling. He can’t fix me when I get this way no matter how much I wish he could.

Thankfully, I still have hope in the middle of this valley because my God is bigger. God has the power to supply my hope even when I refuse it.

Psalms 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God….”

Psalms 42: 11 “why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

Psalms 55:1-2,4-5 “Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy! Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan…… My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.”

Psalms 57:1-2 “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”

And finally Psalms 56:8 “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in a bottle. Are they not in your book?”

And so from this valley, I will praise God. I will turn to him because in him I find peace and hope. Maybe there’s a lesson to learn, maybe I needed to be reminded that life is hard and sometimes it doesn’t make sense, maybe there’s no reason for me to feel this way, but whatever the case- I will thank God for this valley. Because in the valley’s of life-  I’m reminded how beautiful God is. I’m reminded how loving and gracious God is. I’m reminded how unworthy I am and how merciful he is. In this valley, I’m reminded that God is who he says he is- and that he’s already won the battle. In this valley, I will praise God and I will run to him. And when the valley’s of life come, I will share them because in sharing my struggles, I also get to share the beauty that is Christ.

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