Faith,  Life & Lifestyle

In the valley of the shadow

Hey! How is your year doing so far? Crazy? Busy? Tiring? Boring? Exciting? Unbelievable? or are you in that ‘This year feels 17 months old already.’ phase? Mine has been a wild ride of emotions I’ll tell you and it hasn’t really panned out the way I had planned, expected or even imagined it going. There are a lot of ways this year could have turned out and none of them are what is currently going on in my life. I started the year in a relatively great mood; I was with friends in a foreign country living, laughing and praising God and then I came back home and all the miracles I had prayed for all of last year and throughout Christmas still hadn’t happened. And I vowed to focus on the big picture, on the good and not worry my head or feed my anxiety but then things didn’t change and others got worse and life became dreary. Worse still, I was praying for many other people and their lives changed overnight it seemed; In fact I have been sure that I am gifted at praying for others and not myself. People got jobs, got scholarships, moved houses, found peace and love all in a span of thirty days and here I was still in the same darkness that I thought I’d left last year.

Have you ever felt that way? As if you are literally in the valley of the shadow of whatever darkness is surrounding you? Be it death, sickness, joblessness, pain, depression, self-hatred, discontentment, restlessness, brokeness or any other dark thing. Are you currently in that valley, stuck and sightless as the fog swirls around you and mountains tower above you? Have you already concluded that 2019 is not your year and you’re going to work for and pray for 2020 to work out for you? Well then, this post is for you.

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Even in the darkest hour, God’s light still shines. Keep looking up

I have been fortunate enough to have found great friends this year; friends who challenge me, understand me, don’t judge me and pray for me. These guys are walking the same walk, fighting similar battles and are growing in life and in the LORD. And these past few days, they have ALL given me the same lesson which is one I am passing to you:

It’s written that God took the Israelites on the roundabout way to the promise land because he knew they were not ready to fight the Canaanites and had no strength to endure the work of the promised land. This way was longer than the shortest route but it did not involve wandering in the desert for years. You see, during their trial period, they whined, complained, were ungrateful and spent more time doubting God than believing and trusting in His promises. This in turn ensured that they never learned their lesson from the valley and thus had to spend 40 years not only relearning it but paying the consequences of their actions.

The time in the valley is not just a ‘season in life’ but a time where your faith is being challenged to grow, your will being strengthened, your virtues being added to and your skills sharpened. If you spend time complaining about it then you will miss out on the valuable lessons needed to be learnt and thus you will never ever be able to see the blessing on the the other side. This period is to give you the strength, grace and values you need to manage whatever blessing God has on the other side for you. So keep hoping against all hope and believing in all things, lest you miss out on your promise.

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Lift your eyes to heaven, even if the storm clouds block your view.

I was also told to trust in God for my daily bread. Many valley periods are times where the worry of tomorrow is not just surface but literal. You really don’t know if you can pay rent next month and you can’t see how you’ll attend classes next semester. You are so sure that you’ll end up alone and you can practically feel the shame rolling off you when you have to beg for food or money or opportunities from people who you told ‘God’s got me.’ Your nightmare is this close to being a reality and therefore your anxiety is through the roof. My friend reminded me the verses in Luke 12: 14-32 that talk about ‘Do not worry about tomorrow…’ and he also said a very important point – that we are asked to pray for our daily bread not weekly or monthly or yearly. He reminded me that I needed to ask God for my needs for that day, thank Him for providing them and then do it all again tomorrow. The valley really makes this prayer lesson by Jesus sink in; that God will supply all your needs yes, but sometimes He is teaching us to trust that he will supply them daily, without seeing the evidence of how.

The valley is also a place for refinement. It is through the process of trials, temptations, pain, darkness and sorrow that we see our flaws. The valley season helps us root out our vices and burn out our own darkness through the seemingly torturous cycle of pain. James 1:2-4 is literally the passage for the valley. That troubles come to test our faith and in doing so they build our endurance and thus they strengthen us and make us complete, lacking nothing. You see, the level of purity that God requires of you is such that He will need to refine you severally in life as He moves you from one glory to another. The valley is the place where you realize that you actually are bitter about that break up and you do suffer from greed and yes, you are just an impatient person but for the next stage of your life, you can’t be that person any more. You see yourself as you truly are and that helps you let God weed out all that is negative and toxic so that when he brings you to the mountain top, you are a shining work of splendor and a light for all others to see His glory and workmanship.

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The light shall break through the dark, just keep hoping.

So take heart, it gets better and you will make it out, not only alive but so much better and stronger that people will not believe it. And in this valley of the shadow of darkness, fear no evil for God is with you. he hasn’t left, he isn’t deaf and he hasn’t hardened his heart against you. He is preparing you for the next season of blessings in your life. His promise still stands and He is forever faithful. So keep on keeping on.

I’m hoping this encouraged you and if so, like this post and share it with those you love. If you haven’t already, subscribe to the blog so you can get some insight and encouragement in your inbox every week.

Love and light to you,

Shalom, Kenah.

Hey there! I am Makenah, a passionate believer, writer, avid reader, poetess, wannabe globetrotter and amateur programmer. I enjoy dancing, listening to music, reading, cooking, travelling and eating. I started this blog as a way to share my journey through life; the pitfalls, the strengths, the beauty and passion, the pain, the beautiful places I go and people I meet and most importantly the triumph of grace in life. I do this so that through my sharing my journey, you can learn to embrace yours and trust the process of becoming who God created you to be and stop obsessing over 'making it' and 'being someone' or 'getting there' but realizing that life is a journey to be taken and enjoyed and the things and accomplishments are not a final destination but a pit stop on your way to forever. So sign up and join me, you won't regret it! And feel free to interact with me either via social media or in the comment section Love and light to you, Shalom, Kenah.

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