Valley of the Shadow
Recently I walked through what I call the "Valley of the Shadow." It was an extremely painful lonely walk; except for the fact that God allowed one of my long distance forever friends to walk it with me. The neat thing ( maybe I'm actually spiritually growing up - finally!) was that I heard God's voice more. His spirit reminded me of former things learned; and I practiced them more this time. My stomach still hurt, I was still emotional, and I still put up my walls; but there was peace there. I actually had moments when I had complete trust, before I began to be in anguish again. The Holy Spirit reminded me of the scripture " we are not ignorant of his devices" and "our struggle is not against flesh and blood." So even though I was surprised by the instrument with which it came; spiritual logic was able to reign over the emotional. I had been reading a book that discussed fasting. On one intense day of decision I fasted ( I used the special k protein water powder dilluted - i don't think that's cheating. smile.) my brain and heart was so clear and focused. I was amazed! I need to practice this discipline more. I was also reminded that God had allowed this to pass through His hands first. He was not surprised like I was and He would use it to for our good. Again there were moments I trusted Him fully inspite of the pain. I searched scriptures more intensely looking for what forgiveness means. " I forgive" is simple to say, but what does it look like? I think we confuse it with saying that what someone did was ok. Forgiveness never oks what is done; but it frees us to say I forgive - I leave it in God's hands, and it won't control who I am or think I am. My sweet friend cried with me; but she continually challenged me to respond rightly. She refused to let me build a wall. Am I there yet? No - but God gives grace and I am trying. The cool thing was that the other day I found this verse; Psalm 63:7 "Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings." I had been viewing the shadow as negative. Could it have been the whole time God had meant it as positive, and a state of protection? I'm still meditating on that truth. Good conversations came out of this with our girls and my parents. We were reminded that "truth does set you free." We recieved an outburst of encouragement from several of Kelly's minister friends as well. There were some others who were touched in a way that they might not have been. I received an international phonecall that reminded me of the Father's love and the persistance of a forever friend who had phone issues still reminded me I was loved even though she had no clue of the shadow I walked through. God had them call at the right time. For a brief time I was that child who had composed herself in her father's arms with complete trust and waited. Oh to live like that all the time. Are you walking through a shadow? Look again and see if it belongs to our Father?