Go Through the Valley

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Courtney Hay was mentor and worship leader who’s father Bob Hay was a found of the Karitos Worship and Arts Conference in Chicago. Courtney taught at this conference for many years and that is where I met her. She has been a spiritual leader to me. Courtney would often teach a class called, Worshiping in the Valley. I attended it multiple times at Karitos and the Karitos Indianapolis Conference. It was about how to have joy when you are going through something amazingly hard in your life. Courtney knew hard. She struggled with multiple cancers for many years, in fact she had cancer when I met her at least 10 years ago, she passed from complications of it in 2018. She was one of the most joyous people I have ever known despite being in constant pain. She knew a secret that most days I can’t even grasp. She knew how to be content in her situation and be present every day.

Now I know she had days where she couldn’t get out of bed. When she begged God to heal her or a day of no pain.  I know I mostly saw her on her best days when she was doing what she wanted to do and surrounded by her family and friends, but I know that pain can make that even hard to enjoy at times. The problem is when your in constant pain, physical or emotional, sometimes you get stuck. You can’t see your way out of it. You long for a day without it but that day just doesn’t come. For me it might be waking up everyday to the nerves firing in my foot or the soreness in my back, for you it might be that person you love very much saying something very unloving to you again. It wears you down, breaks your heart and makes you feel like you just want to give up.  That’s what it feels like to be in the valley.

But that’s not the end. Jesus wants to give us hope. He doesn’t want us to set up a house and live in the valley. He wants us to keep walking through the valley.  Psalm 23:4 AMP “Even though I walk though the {sunless} valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil, for you are with me;  Your rod {To protect} and your staff {to guide}, the comfort and console me.”

The verse says “we walk through”, that means every day we get a little closer to the end of the valley. We walk through that heart breaking situation, that divorce, cancer, loss of a loved one or physical loss. If we stop walking and we sit in it we will get swallowed up by it. As Christians were not supposed to just sit. We get to walk through. Although loneliness dwells in that valley we are not alone, Jesus is right in that pain with you protecting you and guiding you through and out. That is something to be thankful for!

Two years ago before my back was ruptured I was preparing to leave a job I dearly loved to be a stay at home mom with my then three-year old son. I prayed earnestly that my work would be protected even though I was leaving. I loved the people I worked with, I loved what I did and leaving was so hard but I felt that God was calling me to do it. My last day of work was supposed to be a Friday and I ruptured my disk the Tuesday before. I never made it to my last day of work. But thankfully my work was saved from loosing an employee due to injury. Everything was already in place for work to occur without me. God protected me and where I had worked even though I was just starting out in my valley.

I can think of many other times when he protected me. When I hurt too much to drive and one of my kids had to be somewhere and miraculously my dad would call, my husband would be home or a friend would appear and it would all work out or God loving helped me drive home in pain but I’d get their safely.

So I encourage you, whatever you are facing to go through it. Put one foot in front of the other and keep walking. Remember there is another side, the valley does end you don’t have to stay in it.

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