You know how you feel when things start to fall into place? I think I’m seeing some of that happen around me. I’ve walked through a 12-year valley and while there were many, many beautiful views in that valley, there were not many mountaintop moments.Yes, I was well-taken care of, with blessings most people in the world never even dream about. I took a job that I loved and grew a career I’m proud of, and I’ve had accomplishments along the way, but my soul has been downcast; physically, I went through a few yucky years; and spiritually, I just felt drained, and impatiently on hold.
My physical portion has been better for about a year, but my soul and spirit transformation may have coincided with the time when I started this blog and allowed myself to be more vulnerable. When you can accept yourself as you are, and share who you are with others, no matter the outcome, you can start to breathe again. I’m finding you have to be OK with not being OK before you can be OK.
In the Old Testament, think about Joseph and the years he spent first as a slave, caused by jealousy, and then in prison, for something that was a lie. He had to have many frustrating periods as he sat there and wondered what God was doing. We don’t often hear about what happened day-to-day between the stories. We don’t know all the emotions, but I do think that Joseph had to be at the right place within himself in order for God to put him in the place he had reserved for him leading close to the Pharaoh.
Consider King David. He was anointed as a boy to one day be king of Israel. But he had many years before he could get to where the prophet told him he would be. He hid in caves because King Saul wanted to kill him. David struggled with and often wrote about his feelings and prayers in Psalms, and you can see his soul struggle. But when David was ready, and God had worked all things for his good, David stepped into place as King.
These stories inspire me, and teach me patience to wait for the growth, as painful as it may be sometime. I’m not saying that all is going to be peachy ahead in my soul; I’m just seeing light at the end of this long valley. I feel like I’m seeing some reasons for where I’ve been the last 12 years, and I’m learning to live in my spirit rather than in my soul. But I’ll save that for another day.
DAY 142 HOMEWORK: If you feel like you’ve been in a valley for a while longer than you wish, read a few stories of the heroes of the Bible. You’ll find some lessons in growth, and be encouraged.