I’ve been in the valley, fam. oh, I’ve been in the valley.
any wild & strange place is hard to walk through, but the valley can be so incredibly frustrating because you can see those mountain tops all around you, and it feels like you’re the only one stuck down below. alone. trapped, with freedom in sight.
the valley makes me angry and often causes me to slip into the toxic habits of comparison and self-loathing.
why aren’t I on the mountain?
why am I always stuck down here?
why am I trapped when I have searched so long and so hard for freedom?
it’s because I’m too weak to climb. I’ll never make it.
I probably deserve to be stuck here.
the valley feels like a cruel tease… freedom just out of reach, a clear view within sight but too far to grasp onto.
the valley feels like a crash and burn… tumbling down the rocky mountainside, with everyone watching as you go. until you’re left in shambles and bloodied at the feet of all your dreams.
the valley feels like a literal fall from grace… stuck floundering in the shadows and tangled branches of defeat and doubt and fear down below, while gazing up at the shining, splendorous peaks that you thought you’d reached.
the valley feels like being trapped.
you can’t claw your way up the mountain.
can’t beg or plead or muscle your way out of it.
you’re too small to wrestle yourself out of the crushing big-ness.
your voice gets lost in its own echoes.
there is no exit.
hope & beauty & freedom you can’t reach.
that’s what the valley is like.
and yet when God calls out to ezekiel… He says that the valley is where He wants to speak with him.
the valley is where he’ll see the glory of the Lord.
the valley is where the Spirit will blow & set him back up on his feet.
and this is true.
our voice isn’t the only one that echoes on the valley’s encasement… it’s where the voice of Divine Love gets heard.
the views of beauty and splendor aren’t only on the mountaintop… the valley’s where we see Jesus.
we don’t have to keep clawing at the rock… here is where the Spirit stands us straight in strength.
it’s when we can just stop and breathe and sit in the shadows- waiting, not despairing– that we can start to see that there is beauty in the valley as well as on the peak… that there is goodness in what is scooped out as well as what is multiplied.
it’s in the lonely feeling of stuck-ness, of being trapped, of having no escape, that we learn to sit in the fear and stare it in the face and declare goodness and freedom.
it’s where we become more of who we are.
it’s where we find the kindness of God.
it’s where we are spoken gently to, soothed with the voice of Love, and where He shows up for us… comes through for us… waits patiently with us as we become.
the valley opens up into a mountain pass, leading us up and out of the shadows onto the mountain tops.
and we are delivered through the valley.
we are healed out of shadows.
we are remade with the slow persistence of a kind Jesus who lives with us in the valley season.