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“But I’ve done all the right things.” “I’ve always been wise.” “I’ve always worked so hard.” “I fervently prayed for wisdom.” “I followed all the doors God opened for me while walking away from the ones that were closed.”
“So why am I here?”
I couldn’t find anyone to answer that question for me.
My loved ones grieved with me. They tried to encourage me. They reminded me that the darkness doesn’t last forever.
And then my mom said something that resonated with me. Really resonated with me.
She said, “Sometimes it feels like God abandons his people.”
That right there. That’s exactly how I felt. I felt like God had abandoned me. I felt like God had turned his back on me. I felt as though surely God could not have known where I was because certainly He wouldn’t have allowed me to be crushed yet again after not even having the time to recover from the last crippling blow that life had pummeled me with.
While laying knocked out on the floor I came to realize a few more things that reminded me that the dawn will appear even after the darkest of nights.
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I was immature in my faith, thinking that when I went through the motions of making a good, God-led decision that the results that such a decision yielded would be good ones. I naively thought that as long as I walk through the doors God opens, I won’t end up in a valley. But even when making a God-led decision, I won’t always end up where I think I will.
Another false assumption that I uncovered is that as a Christian, I felt I was entitled to certain things as long as I was producing good fruit. If I lived a life that was primarily filled with the fruits of the spirit, if I was a good steward, if I was a godly example to others, if I followed His commands to the best of my ability that I would somehow be immune to the vast emptiness that can somehow come in this life. I didn’t ever think that I would truly feel abandoned. Until I did.
I also discovered that I believed if I learned what God was trying to teach me through a particular trial, I wouldn’t be asked to face that same trial again. I was wrong about that too. I never thought that God would actually ask me to accept the same trial at even a greater intensity than I experienced it the first time. Until He did.
While reading The Best Yes in chapter 18, the author says this:
“Let this unexpected happening point to your strength, not your weakness. Maybe you’ve been entrusted with this. Not cursed with it.”
That idea really resonated with me in applying it to that time of great darkness in my life.
This was another quote that spoke to me in the same way:
“Maybe the thing that you think is going to break you is actually going to make you.”
The interesting thing about that quote, is that broken was the word I used to describe how I felt numerous times while in that valley. I felt broken, unable to get back up, and as though I would never fit back together again.
I think Lysa is right on, however, as I also learned that it was only in being broken, truly broken, that I could more fully work on becoming the person He has always intended for me to be.
If you find yourself broken, if you find yourself in a dark valley, it could very well be that you will come together in a new way, a better way, than you could have ever been before. It just might be that your world will be forever transformed when the dawn finally appears after your time of deep darkness. It could be that God chose you to carry this burden because you are the one who will lead others in carrying their own burden.
I don’t know of the burden you carry or the depth of the valley that you are in, but I do know that even in this time of darkness, the dawn will come again.
The thoughts shared in this post were inspired by a chapter in The Best Yes. This is a book that were are reading together as a community beginning February 22nd, 2016. We are reading just three chapters a week in this book.
Even if you are not reading along with us this time, you can still pick up your own copy and gain the wisdom you need in making wise decisions in the midst of endless demands.
Here is a bit more about our book club…
This book club is a way of encouraging others to carve out the time to read at a pace of just three chapters a week because I’ve learned that finding time to read never just happens on its own.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday there will be blog posts here with Monday’s Inspirational Reads somewhere in the title with my reaction to each of the three chapters for the week, and then on Thursday evening at 9 pm EST we will be on Periscope discussing the chapters in an interactive format. You can find everything you need to know about Periscope by reading The Periscope Lowdown.
All you have to do is grab your book above, and you’re good to go! We’d love to have you join it, otherwise, grab your own copy and read any of the posts with Monday’s Inspirational Reads in the title and you can join in on your own time!