(March 13, 2014 the day before I graduated Army Basic Training seeing my family for the first time)
Life is hard. There are so many “valleys” we are forced to walk through. Christians often refer to hard times as valleys. Whether it be the passing of a loved one, a difficult job, or a broken relationship. Unfortunately, I know so many people that are experiencing a valley in their life right now and it has really made me think. How do we make it through the tough times? What are we supposed to do when it seems like everything that could go wrong does? As I was praying and thinking about this my mind went back to one of the biggest valleys I’ve walked.
December 31, 2013 is a day that is probably permanently ingrained in my memory. It was the day that I left for Army Basic Combat Training. I felt completely unprepared and had no idea what I had gotten myself into. Anyone who knows me will agree that everyone was pretty surprised when I swore into the military after I graduated high school. Honestly, it was something I never really imagined for my life either.
From that day on, there were days that I felt so tired and frustrated. I constantly questioned God. I said things like,
“God is this really where you want me?”
“God why do I have to go through this?”
“God I’m not strong enough.”
Looking back I wouldn't have realized it at the time, but God used the experience to grow me in ways that I didn’t think were possible. Before I left, I had an okay relationship with the Lord. But the training really forced me to depend heavily on the Lord and be open to what he was speaking to me. I developed a strong desire to know Him more deeply. God also blessed me with friendships that will last a lifetime.
After reading this you are probably thinking, “Well that’s great for you, but how am I supposed to get through what I am going through?” Honestly, I don’t know. Everyone has a unique story and a unique way that they will handle it. But I do know one thing. God is a faithful God. He loves you and will never leave you. He can turn your impossible situation into something beautiful even if you don’t necessarily believe he will.
I don’t know what you may be going through in your life right now, but please know I am praying for you. I am praying for every person that reads this. You WILL get through this. You may be walking through a valley, but Jesus is walking right beside you.
Below are some verses that have encouraged me amidst my valleys and I hope they encourage you:
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 NIV version)
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7-9 NIV version)
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV version)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NIV version)
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and gall. I well remember, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” (Lamentations 3:19-22 NIV version)
Hey! I'm Katie. I have a passion for sharing God's love. I also love writing, thus the creation of this blog. I hope this makes your day just a little brighter!