Surviving the Darkness

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“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.”  Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)
I never knew a valley could be so dark, so disgusting and so full of deceit.
I never knew the desert could be so dry, so hot and so barren.
I never knew that my life could be wrecked like a tornado. When the storm keeps hitting over and over again and all that’s left are ruins. Pieces of your life all over. And all you can do is cry, yell, and ask why?
Why God?
Why God?
Why must I walk through a valley so deep, so dark and more deceitful than I ever thought possible?
Why God?
As a younger Christian I always wanted to be closer to Jesus. I wanted to be like the older ladies at church that loved God with a depth and a closeness that I hadn’t yet known. I wanted to sing like them. When you saw their faces, you knew they believed every word. Jesus had loved them all the way. They knew it was so sweet to trust in Jesus. They knew that amid sorrow God was still good. I wanted to sing with that depth. I wanted to have the Bible with crinkly pages with torn edges with highlighter marks and journal entries. I wanted the faith and the wisdom of the older ladies.

But
I had no idea how terrible,
How devastating it would be to
Become closer
Closer to my Jesus.
I wanted to be gold refined in the fire
But I didn’t want to walk through the refiner’s fire
Repeatedly.

Must intimacy with my Jesus come at such a high price?
Yes.

I can choose to resist Him or run to Him.
God is no stranger to immense suffering. He had to watch His beloved Son die for the human race that didn’t understand, didn’t seem to care and didn’t know. But God’s love was greater.
Jesus is no stranger to immense suffering. He was betrayed by a disciple that He had poured into for years. Judas had talked with Jesus, saw the miracles, and saw people run to Him. But Judas turned Jesus to the cross. Judas betrayed Jesus.
But that didn’t stop Jesus.

I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
Grieving is so hard. Anger, anger, rejection, shock, disbelief, and deep deep sadness.
But God.
He is there in my shadows, He is there is my valley, He is there.

And how great the suffering is. I am now breathing and eating now….slowly.

But God has lavished me in His love.
So many people have put their arms around me and prayed for me, cried with me, and loved me.
I never understood how many people loved me.
I never understood the depth of my mom’s love: when she will sit with me at two in the morning until I stop weeping.
I never understood the power of prayer to bring out the Truth…even that which we didn’t want to hear.
The love of my family and friends does not cancel the pain but it overwhelms me to know that I am not crawling through the valley on my own.
Jesus has not left me.
His love does not stop.
His love does not fail.
My worth is determined by a Savior who proved His love for me. He calls me beautiful.

Yes, I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
Never in a million years would I have chosen this as the plan for my life. I wanted to be really close to Jesus without going through the valley. But that is not possible. And I believe that God loved me enough to not allow me to live a life of complacency. Jesus loved me enough to allow me to walk through the valley, the thorns, the bleeding, the questions because He knew that He would be glorified. I never would’ve chosen this suffering. I never would’ve chosen this valley, but God. But God is good, and I hope that He would be praised and that my utter weakness would point others to Him.
Just remember sweet friend.
“There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” Corrie Ten Boom.
And God is with us when we walk through the valley.
And sweet friend don’t forget the end of the twenty third Psalm.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.” Psalm 23:6
If we have trusted in Jesus then when we die we will be with Him. Maybe a good thing about my suffering is I am reminded that this world is not my home. It’s not my home. JESUS Himself is my home. One day I will dwell in God’s house forever. I will be in His glorious presence. He will wipe every messy, gross tear from my eyes and I will be complete in His amazing love. Praise Jesus. One day I will be home.

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