It’s so easy to get lost going through a valley.
Because we often don’t realize how long the valley really is until we’re standing in the middle of it.
We grieve, we grow and we even sometimes trip over the rocky terrain we’re traveling through, because the valley is a place we experience all sorts of trials.
It can be scary and can be one of the hardest places we ever navigate through.
And friend ‘through’ is one of the key words here…we don’t just end our time in the valley, there’s a rigorous hike to be had to get through it.
I know, because I’ve been traveling its terrain a lot lately.
And just because we’re on the other side a hard diagnosis doesn’t mean there’s not a battle left to fight.
As we continue taking one step after another, sometimes taking one step back we realize just how long the road can be.
Because there’s a lot of times we’ve been feeling out of balance, and honestly have just been reminding one another how much healing is left to happen.
Because honestly, when we’re walking through something like this, its easy to forget about the season of healing that comes.
It’s easy to see all the ways the valley has taken from us and forget the broken places we still hold.
But healing is vital and necessary for all of us to recover.
Yet sometimes it can be uncomfortable to create the space to heal, because people expect us to be back to ‘normal’ and the truth is, we do too. And if we aren’t careful, we can run past this stage and miss the healing we’re needing.
And if we don’t heal friends, we risk bleeding all through so many of the steps ahead.
This is what’s been ringing in my ears recently just how deep our need to grow healthy roots really is. And not just healthy lifestyle habits so many of us lean into following a scary season, because although these are important, I’m talking more about our need for soul care inside our healing.
Because here’s the thing…
I’ve tried to mend my hurts on my own, while continuing to push myself forward…I’ve even tried to heal a broken leg on my own one time…I’ve hidden things too deep and too hard to face…all to avoid impending healing I needed… and honestly, it didn’t work.
I know because I’ve tried this dozens of times before.
And right in the middle of this valley, the doctor spoke the words to both Joe and I that cut deep, he said this would take at least a year to heal and even after that he may never heal from some of these wounds…
So, what I keep reminding myself is we don’t have to find our way out of this on our own.
It’s a subtle reminder but an important one, because if life is teaching me anything these days, it’s that we don’t have what it takes to heal our soul.
We can merely, place ourselves in the position to heal, but God is the one who ultimately heals our brokenness.
And the truth is, as I read this week about another minister who took his life because of the pain of brokenness within, my heart sank.
Because I think far too many of us think some souls are beyond the reach of getting lost and dipping into this kind of darkness. We think these places are only for those who we minister to, but this isn’t true.
As I’ve been sitting beside a good friend whose husband was in this kind of darkness for many years. I know this deep pain really does exist and more than we’d like to admit. And one of the hardest things in a darkness like this, is how hard it is for those left behind.
Because following this kind of tragedy, there’s always a bucket of shrapnel the families are left to rummage through and make sense of.
Because how do you explain this kind of darkness that’s often hidden?
And what do you do with all the wounds that are left to heal?
As I recently spoke to the mother of an infant who died an utterly horrific death, she told me the most striking of truths, she told of how hard this kind of grief is to walk through.
Because while you’re grieving the loss of the one you held so close, you’re also trying to redeem your own soul to live.
Friend, this is why I’m so determined to speak openly about how important healing is through the valley…
Because it’s our healing here that will determine the state of our hearts in our steps going forward. So friend if you’re not in the valley, but there’s some brokenness that’s within your soul, be ever so kind to yourself and know that you can meet God just as powerfully…here as in the darkness of the valley.
Because although we look for striking and sudden ways to experience God, the truth is he is inside even the wounds from past valleys long ago and he’s wanting to heal them from your inside out.
And his healing can happen every.minute.of every day, when we unfold ourselves before him.
We become transformed into the likeness of God as we carry ourselves into his presence.
And friend, this is where worship wins inside our souls.
Worship becomes alive when in the middle of the valley, or through the deepest wounds, we choose to stand in awe of God and allow his beauty to heal the brokenness within our scars.
Paul David Tripp reminds us…
‘Worship is not something we do; it defines who we are.’
And regardless of what we humans believe, we all are bent to worship-yet, it’s when we bend ourselves down to worship the living God, we get the response of heaven.
Every other kind of counterfeit worship which competes for our devotion, merely leaves us empty…
Friend where we fix our heart, mind and soul today will truly determine who receives our worship.
So, when darkness invades your soul and brokenness and pain lies within, singing within the middle of the valley, refocuses your eyes onto the ONE who can rescue and heal you.
Because there’s not one of us exempt from the pain that surrounds us in this broken world, and not one of us who doesn’t need heaven fighting for us.