Written by: Tina Elswick
Listening to Believers give their testimonies as I was growing up I often silently questioned, “What will be mine, Lord?” It is comforting to know He knew. He alone knew what lay ahead. He knew I would desperately need Him, especially the moment every single aspect of my life changed.
It had arrived...the gut-wrenching valley. I can’t truly say I was surprised. The Holy Spirit began preparing me nearly two years prior. I was thankful for the foundation of faith I had. It would have been much more difficult to build my foundation in the valley. Looking back on it now, I do believe it was worse than I realized. I give God the praise for shielding me. He allowed me to see only what was necessary for the moment.
Day one of the climb - the climbing out of the gut-wrenching valley - I was flat on my face. Ladies, this is where Satan, our enemy, loves for us to stay. He loves when we are doubting our Creator and fearful of our future. But our best weapon against the enemy is the mighty Word of God. I had my go-to verse, Psalm 18:2, and I began to climb. I would picture my “healing” ladder. This verse was quoted aloud over and over in the darkness, on my knees, washing dishes, driving. Do you know what would happen? The enemy would flee. He hates the Word of God. There were several additional verses that were a lifeline to my soul: Psalm 46:10, James 1:19, 1 Peter 5:10, 2 Timothy 1:7. Our emotions will lie to us, ladies, but the Word is truth.
Did I handle this valley perfectly? Not even close. I would feel Satan winning at times. I would picture him smiling at my lack of faith. There were moments I would play the “what-if….” game. Inevitably my Wonderful Counselor would call me back to His path with Scripture, Christian songs, encouragement from caring people. We will never regret turning to the great I AM. He alone pulls us from the darkness into His marvelous light.
I look back with such gratefulness. Grateful He never left me. Grateful for being able to count on my Mom - on day one I warned her, “This is going to be bad.” She lovingly held me and with assurance said, “We can do bad.” I knew she meant she would continue to hold me with every breath she had. Grateful for my bestie, my darkest day was not day one, it was over a year later. I was on my knees in a parking lot crying out to my Heavenly Father, I told my Mom “I can’t walk,” and with her most serious face said “I’ll carry you on my back.” Grateful for family/friends and strangers who poured encouragement into my soul. Grateful for His Word that guided and sustained me.
If you are in a valley (or if you feel one coming) I want to leave you with these small yet mighty acts which helped me. Listen to your faithful sisters in Christ, journal until your hand goes numb then read what you have written. e patient, memorize a “go-to” verse, keep reading the Word, pray on your knees, pray with your sisters in Christ, don’t seclude yourself, stay in church, serve-serve-serve, and vent to the Lord! He knows it all anyway and is the only One who knows the outcome.
When I finally reached the top of the “healing” ladder it had taken a few years. It came though...the priceless peace. My Heavenly Father had been right by my side. If time prevails there will be more storms. It gives me great hope to know the Lord will supply my help and strength. There will be a day with no more storms, valleys, sadness, or sorrows. Praise Him! This life is a battlefield, ladies. I encourage you to strap on His armor and keep fighting the good fight.