VALLEY

I’ve been in the valley, fam. oh, I’ve been in the valley.

any wild & strange place is hard to walk through, but the valley can be so incredibly frustrating because you can see those mountain tops all around you, and it feels like you’re the only one stuck down below. alone. trapped, with freedom in sight.

the valley makes me angry and often causes me to slip into the toxic habits of comparison and self-loathing.

why aren’t I on the mountain?
why am I always stuck down here?
why am I trapped when I have searched so long and so hard for freedom?
it’s because I’m too weak to climb. I’ll never make it.
I probably deserve to be stuck here.

the valley feels like a cruel tease… freedom just out of reach, a clear view within sight but too far to grasp onto.

the valley feels like a crash and burn… tumbling down the rocky mountainside, with everyone watching as you go. until you’re left in shambles and bloodied at the feet of all your dreams.

the valley feels like a literal fall from grace… stuck floundering in the shadows and tangled branches of defeat and doubt and fear down below, while gazing up at the shining, splendorous peaks that you thought you’d reached.DSC_0748.JPG

the valley feels like being trapped.

you can’t claw your way up the mountain.
can’t beg or plead or muscle your way out of it.
you’re too small to wrestle yourself out of the crushing big-ness.
your voice gets lost in its own echoes.
there is no exit.
only walls.
closed doors.
hope & beauty & freedom you can’t reach. Continue reading “VALLEY”

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VALLEY. DESERT. WILDERNESS.

there are spaces in the human journey that are stinging & solemn & sacred.

they are full of angst and anger and ache.

they are overflowing with suffering. undoing. just surviving.

these spaces are valley. desert. wilderness.

in the valley we feel trapped.
in the desert we feel exhausted.
in the wilderness we feel lost.

sometimes… you’re in all three.

if you haven’t had the terrifying privilege of journeying through these strange and foreign wild places, you will soon enough. these places are sacred because they are the part of the human experience where a veil is cut open & we so often most deeply and profoundly experience Divine encounters with shalom.

and yet… they are the places of doubt, and of wandering, and of feeling lost, and of the deep, deep starless night of the soul.

this is the mystery.

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I have a lot of questions lately. the valley & desert & wilderness are full of them, after all. and I’m beginning more and more to realize that this is simply the way of things. that questions are part of the fabric of life, and that by ignoring them or running from them is the way that we run from and ignore life.

and we don’t run from life. we can’t.

we chase after it.

I’ll be holding space & treading deeper into the wild country that is this discussion in the next few blog posts… but for now, hear this:

your questions are valid.
they are good.
they matter.
they are worthwhile to ask.

sit with your questions. look at them, be calm, and hold conference with them. allow them to be, to exist, to stare quietly back at you… until you find your answer. then, and only then, release them.

I can’t wait to chat about the valley… how to know if you’re in one, and how to flourish until you reach the mountaintop ❀