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Friday, April 3, 2009

If you are visiting my blog for the first time this morning as a result of Encouragement for Today, I'd like to welcome you.

My devotion this morning was on how to get out of a valley. It's stating the obvious to say that the valleys of life are never fun. I'd much rather stay on the mountain tops of life, where I've got a great view of what's ahead. But that's not how life is. Until we get to heaven, we will spend some of our time in low points where the next step isn't clear, and where suffering and pain is our daily companion.

When I get in those low points, my automatic response is to try and get out - fast. But that's not always possible. It seems the older I get, the more I realize how much of life is outside my control. And because I'm a woman who enjoys being in control, I can find myself in valleys of frustration and fear quickly. Hence, I struggle with acceptance God's will for me at times.

One of my regrets in life is that while in a valley, I might have missed what God wanted to do in or through me because I was consumed with fear. God has been really working in my heart about this issue, and in typical God fashion, He gives me opportunities to practice what I'm learning. This happened just last week.

I went in for my annual mammogram, which is always a source of concern for me. I've been having them since I was 20, due to finding and surgically removing the first of two solid cysts and then fibrocyctic changes. Every year I pray not to get that call saying I need to come back in for follow up images. However, this year, the radiologist called me back in for ultrasounds.

Let me just say that in the past, this could have sent me into a tail spin of fear. While I won't lie - I was a bit concerned - I wasn't afraid. Not like in the past. Instead of frantically praying for God to make those tests normal, I started to pray for God to show me what He wanted me to learn, what He wanted me to do, or how He wanted to change me through this.

What a difference! For one of the first times in my life, when faced with a very scary possibility, I was listening to God instead of telling Him how I thought things should go. My attitude was so different. Instead of being an unwilling voyager in this valley, I saw how God needed me to tune in to Him in order to learn something or do something.

As I was lying on the exam table, I kept praying these same questions. And I heard God say to me something like this: I want you to see that through Me you can have victory over your fear.

Within the next hour, I got a clean bill of health and walked out of there with a "normal" stamp on my report.

I think God had me walk through a valley so I could experience His power. And I might have missed it had I not been listening.

My prayer for you today, is that God shows Himself to you in your valley. I pray that during this difficult time, you choose to be a willing participant in whatever God wants to do. Even though you might be a victim of unchosen circumstances, God has a plan to bring you good. He won't waste this time, and you will once again be on a mountain top where you can look back and give God all the glory!!!

In His Love,
Glynnis

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is just what I needed today. Currently, I'm going through the valley of recovering from an abortion 24 yrs ago. I'm doing the Surrendering the Secret Bible study and went to week #2 last night. On the DVD, Pat Layton tells us how we are currently in the valley but will be at the top of the mountain by the end of the 8-week study. I know it will be a difficult journey but I'm tired of being in the valley so I've got my walking shoes on and I'm ready to go hiking!

Joyful said...

Glynnis, what a precious devotional and word of encouragement here. I am a victim of the valley right now. I am walking, but the mountains surrounding are so threatening. Praying the Lord will help me see streams in the valley and growth in the wasteland.

To God be the glory in it all,
Joy

Anonymous said...

Your words today were just what I needed to hear. I'm a church paid staff director and my cup is empty and it shows. The winter has been long, busy and I've had alot of health issues as well. I've scheduled some time off to 'get my cup full again'. I'll spend time with God to reflect, repent and refresh. I so look forward to the view at the top again. Any suggstions for renewal resources are welcome.

Anonymous said...

Its seems lately I have been going through the valley thinking things start to get better and then the bottom falls out.
I this is what i needed to today.
thought you God is telling me to give him all my fears, worries and so forth and he is leading me out of this valley its seems i have been in for so long.
I know in my heart all things are possible with GOD only.
He is the one who will lead us out of the valley. He seens others to help us. My liofe lately has seems to be just a roller coaster one day a high next something happens and its like the bottom has fallen out.
But i know God is with me always
Thanks so much for this devotional and encouragements.

marina said...

thanks for these powerful message today I am facing surgery next week and feel scared but I do need stop and ask God to walk me through these very fear. knowing when I came out of it he will be right at my side, marina

Anonymous said...

wow the last several weeks i keep hearing or reading somehting i am going thru right now. And as i read what others have written i am not alone or crazy LOL. One thing i do remember hearing a preacher say on the radio that someitme God puts us thru this to see what we will do w/ it and we will grow from the experience. That is my survival- God's grace!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your message today--it is really hitting home today. I'm trying to decide if I should withdraw from a commitment at school because the organizer has been rather irresponsible in communicating vital information. I'm hesitant because I believe God gave me this opportunity for a reason, but now I'm wondering if that reason is to grow in firmness of character by not staying silent about my frustrations. I'll keep praying and listening. Thank you!

gene and hilary said...

I did need this today. I am in a very DEEP valley. Sometimes I ask God why am I here. I feel like my life is worthless and meaningless, and I have three kids. I feel like I am bringing them down and that they would be better off if I was no longer alive. But I can't do that to them and I wouldn't. But it's jusy been hard lately. I don't know if my husband is going to have a job, we have no money, we live with my in-law, I can't afford to go back to school any time soon, we can't do all that much for the kids, I have 1 friend who lives far away and the list goes on. I'm sorry, I know that I shouldn't be writing this but I feel like ALL hope is gone sometimes. Which is why God wanted me to read this today. I know that God is speaking to me through you. God even showed me a rainbow today. It's was the biggest I have ever seen. It didn't seem real. Thank you for your words today. God Bless

Brooke said...

I am a recovering control freak too...!!!
I have to admit...some of my valleys, I've walked into myself, only for My Father to rescue me...

Isnt He awesome how He loves us..!

2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen

Anonymous said...

Glynnis,

Thank you for showing me just another way that God works to provide reassurance and comfort in my times of need. Your words hit very close to home.

I, too, recently received word of an abnormal mammo and ultrasound. I will be continuing on for further testing. Additionally, I was also given a 90-day notice at my job.

Initially I prayed for healing and wisdom and direction. Within a few days I found myself praying not only for wisdom but also for God's will to be done. Of course I desire healing, but it seems so important to know that God will be with me in this regardless. I can also see that God does not always want us to rush forward - such as searching for a new job - when waiting on His timing is so important.

God bless you!

Cynthia said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Mountain tops are the best but we should be thankful for the valleys because we would not learn or realize how great the mountain tops were if that was all we had.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Glynnis,

First I read your devotional. Then I came here to your blog. I'm so glad I did! I,too, am a person who likes to be "in control" and when I'm not I get very frightened! I had a series of tests done over a 3 day period about a month ago and will be finding out next Friday what the results are. I admit that I am pretty fearful. I do want to trust the Lord and put things in His hands. Sometimes easier said than done but I do desire that.
These tests are concerning my thyroid and adrenal glands.

Like you, I have been going for mammograms since I was in my early 20's since I have fibrocystic breast disease and also both my mother and a sister died at young ages from breast cancer. I have the same fears as you. In fact, my doctor has me go to a special place to have my mammogram done so that a doctor can look at it right then and if there's a problem they can do a magnification or an ultrasound immediately instead of calling me back in a week or so. I had to have a biopsy several years ago but it was fine. I've had the pap scare too. Had to have a little preventative surgery for that once and a biopsy a few years ago. Our health can throw us for a loop emotionally as well as physically. I guess I feel better to know that I'm not the only one who has these feelings!

May God bless you! Keep up the good writing!

Marilyn

MrsProverbs31 said...

I second your first commentor-Anonymous. I, too, needed to hear this. I was being childish and spent my evening in tears. Thank you so much for sharing His love with me. God bless you.

KelliGirl said...

Oh, Glynnis, I understand the valleys and dry spots well. Like you, I'm learning that God uses those times, although I don't always see His presence until later.

I know how scary those follow up tests can be...thank God your report came back normal. But, even if they didn't His faithfulness would carry you through.

Blessings,
Kelli