By Samantha McKenzie
Every once in a while, we all find ourselves in unfavorable situations. We end up in places we didn’t think we’d be. We face obstacles, make all the right choices and still find ourselves smack dead in the middle of a circumstance that we never imagined could have happened to us.
Most people don’t plan for life’s glitches. They don’t anticipate getting pulled over by a police officer, having to go to jail or an emergency room. Most people don’t think they’ll ever end up in an altercation, until it’s too late. We don’t think we’ll file bankruptcy, end up in a car accident or go through the loss of a loved one. Try, try as we may, we all plan to make the best choices, err on the side of safety and avoid pain at all costs.
Unfortunately, life isn’t static free. The truth is, even when we weigh our options and make the best decisions, things still don’t work out to our advantage. I would love to tell you of all the great choices I’ve made in life. But life, being as impartial as it is, has shown me a thing or two. I’ve gotten myself stuck in a lot of jams, made the wrong turn down many unsafe roads and am glad to have made it through with just a few bruises.
I did learn about myself during my low points though. I guess we all do. Something about being on your knees that really helps you see clearer. These are the times we come face to face with our truer selves. We learn through trials what our real character is made of. We say the most authentic and sincere prayers during these times. We find ourselves asking the good Lord all kinds of forgiveness. You remember those prayers that begin with “Dear Lord” and end with “If you just get me out of this situation, I promise…”
When we are faced with these challenges, we learn our threshold for pain and build upon parts of our character like patience and humility. We experience what it really means to take responsibility for our decisions and how to be accountable for our actions.
These are the moments in life that we spend in the valley and in this valley there are many lessons to be learned. The valley is not a punishment, like some would like to say it is. The valleys are the classrooms of life. They teach us the value in struggle. They force us to find a greater strength. In these valleys, we endure much. It is the place that grows us up and prepares us for the next leg of our journey.
No one ever wants to stay in the valley. We do everything within our power to find a way out. But the valley won’t release you until it is time. It will hold on to you firmly, until you find the great lesson. It knows that after difficulty comes ease.
And even though it sits low, it knows too that the sun still rises in the morning.
And the price we pay is worth it.
Find your value in life’s valleys.