The mountaintop experiences with God are so pleasant. Don’t you just love them! There isn’t anything you can’t accomplish. No dream that will remain unfulfilled. No assignment too great or too small. It is a sweet place to be until you have to come down from the mountaintop to a valley drop. I’m not talking about going on a hike either, for those who might be nature enthusiasts. I’m talking about the moments when you go for everything God is asking for you to do, the success is sweet, and then you have to come down to reality. Sometimes that reality is a vast, uneventful drop.
For me, this moment happened right after I hosted my first Daughters Restored Heart and Soul Retreats. The experience was phenomenal, the women were ready to receive, and the food was delicious! I was prepared to go and take the world by storm. Until the silence came. Then my voice went from being loud, boisterous and assured to timid. Where did all of the courage go to conquer?
God enjoys showing us moments of delight on the mountaintop. You can see from a much clearer perspective when you are looking at the fullness of the landscape versus the itty bitty place you are standing. The mountaintop is exclusive, breathtaking, and indescribable. It’s a moment you cannot even articulate with any words that give the view the appropriate credit it deserves. It’s simply beautiful. At the same time, can you imagine how snarky we would be if we always experienced that type of view in our personal lives? We might become braggadocios that we can see what others cannot see. We might become overly confident that we can have experiences that other people aren’t privy to. We might even begin to think that we don’t need God to show us the mountain anymore. Saying, “I have it, God, thanks for the great location!”
According to a Bible Gateway search, the theme “mountains” appears 4254 times while the theme “valley” appears 4290 times. It balances out, but we don’t really like the view from the valley. A valley is a lowered place and while it looks beautiful online, being in one is different. To get out of the valley requires a desire to climb and the right equipment. The terrain is often rocky and takes a skilled traveler to have the necessary stamina to commit to the climb. In our valley’s we learn who God is in our lives. We learn our character flaws. We learn what is really in our hearts and how long it’s been in there. We have conversations with God that are much different than when we feel we are on top of the world. In those moments it’s me, God, and raw emotions as I really question why He insists I cannot stay on the mountain forever. Like, He needs to make me the human expectation to all of His rules.
Psalm 23:4 puts us at ease when we experience valley moments by reminding us “Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me” (GNT).
Even with this assurance, the valley can be scary:
When I am called to be an entrepreneur, but I have a friend or family member that needs my attention. How can God call me to serve Him when they really need me?
When I am called to be a pastor, but I received a devastating life blow. How in the world can God expect me to serve at a time like this?
When I am called to be a mother, but I’m afraid to send my child into a mean, cruel world. Yes, they are only going to daycare, but the news is filled with heartbreaking stories. God, how can I possibly focus each day wondering if they are safe and secure?
When I’m called to be a leader, and I don’t have the courage or energy to keep showing up. Why does God want me to continue? Can’t He give me a break?
Even though there are things we see and experience that don’t have a rhyme or reason. Even when we really question God’s love for us in the face of so much injustice, we can rest assured. We don’t have to be afraid because God is with us. God being with us doesn’t mean we will get a lifetime pass from all ills or hurts, but it means we can go through them with God. Tears and all. Questions and all. Hurts and all. He isn’t afraid of them, and as we go through the valley with God, we receive the beautiful gift of His presence. He heals us as we talk to Him. He helps us as remove our masks and keep an honest dialogue about what is going on in our lives and in our hearts.
I must make a transparent confession. This is the first blog I’ve honestly written in a long stretch. I felt guilty that there weren’t any words for me to share with you all. I questioned if I missed God altogether because the valley was intense! I am still walking through tears and all (I cry the big crocodile type too). My high points in life are fabulous shares and pictures, but the low points help me to navigate an experience that I hope will help you when you have stepped out of the mountains into the valley. You will experience both the beauty of the mountains and the uncertainty of the valley. I will too even as much as I really wished it wasn’t true. God is with us, friend, and we will make it through.