Many years ago, the Lord began a process of decluttering my life. At the time, we were at a church for many years. It was like family. We spent a lot of time together like holidays and vacations. The bond we shared was special until it all changed. What began was a very painful journey. No longer could we be a part of those special moments unless asked and we weren't. Our lives changed dramatically, which left us confused because no reason was given for it. Something like this will either have you turn from God in unbelief or turn to God in faith.
I remember the morning my hubby John and I sat at the kitchen table deeply distraught over the situation we were in. We were ready to throw in the towel until the phone call we received. The person started sharing what the Lord put on their heart for us not knowing what was going on. Words were spoken that we both knew it was from God with the encouragement to keep going. Separation is a painful process when you've been somewhere for so long and that's all you know. The Lord knew our hearts and our pain, but while in the valley He sends a messenger to speak hope with assurance of where we were. We needed to be focused on Jesus who will see us through the valley and bring us to a place where He's preparing for us. Sometimes where you want to be is not where you need to be.
You see, we didn't share our painful journey with anyone. No one knew, not even our kids. When walking through times like this, it's important to guard your heart from being derailed from the path God's leading you on. It caused us to be so in tune with the Holy Spirit with every step and we didn't move without prayer in seeking His direction. In turn, the enemy was relentless in his pursuit to kill, steal and destroy. Each time the father of lies would speak, the Lord was so faithful to put someone in our path to speak Truth to that very lie. What a roller coaster ride it was! "Down" with emotions and "Up" with encouragements. This went on for a few years causing our hearts to be aligned with God's will. He started to give us a taste of what was coming... transformation... not only in our marriage, but our personal lives especially mine.
We might not understand it all, but we're grateful for the journey. God eventually removed us out of the situation and planted us in a new place we now call home. It's a different kind of home, not a place of our personal choosing like house hunting fitted to our desires, but a place given as a gift fulfilling our needs. The Lord knew what we needed and provide the place as a conduit for His will to be done. The process of healing and restoration began in our lives, specifically mine. For many years it was the cry of my heart which I came to believe there was somethng wrong with me because the depth of my pain. There was a deep sorrow within me, and I didn't know where it came from, but God knew. He was making a way for healing to take place and restore the brokenness in my life. As we look back, what we received in a couple of years in our new home did not compare to what we received those many years at the other place. If we would have thrown in the towel that day, we would have missed out on so much blessings the Lord had waiting for us. Out of the valley was birthed grace and a deep desire to please God no matter what the opposition may be. These were not something easily attained, but painfully produced.
If you're facing a valley that looks so steep and dark, do not fear the Lord is with you. He'll bring you through it when you turn to Him, not run from Him. You never know what is waiting on the other side unless you're willing to make the journey. Trust Him because He is trustworthy! Remember... the more painful the journey, the more beautiful the outcome will be. You'll be so grateful for it. Only the Lord knows how to declutter your life by removing the temporal things of the heart and create eternal beauty for His glory.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
[Psalm 23:4 NIV]