Aaahhhh, the valley. I remember being in the valley, a few times. It is that place where you are literally on this longest and lowest place in life, unable to get out. It is not cool when you can see the view of the mountain yet unable to find a way to get there.

The valley could be a time where you are stuck in a relationship problem, a financial mess, a dilemma, crisis, issue. We all have been there, sometimes not knowing how we got there. More often than not, we got there because of a series of bad choices that we made along the way. The valley can be a tempting place to give up, give in, back out, back off or just die. Honestly, most of the self-harming behaviors begin developing in the valley. I am not just talking about physical self-harm, there’s also mental and emotional self-harm where we allow our voices to start condemning ourselves. This leads to our minds feeding us with thoughts and emotions that are toxic and destructive.

Too many people are stuck in the valley with no knowledge of what to do. If we are not careful with our steps, this is where we learn how to be anxious, depressed, beat ourselves up, etc. It doesn’t help when your friends or others are shouting at you from the mountain to ‘just get up here’. It is easy to tell those in the valley what to do, especially when you are on the mountaintop. Sometimes, they can’t even hear those in the mountaintop.

In my valley season, I did feel all those things that come to you like anxiety, depression, feeling like giving up or giving in, like it is just better to die than live. This is what I did and I hope it helps you, too.

1. I stopped looking at those in the mountain for help.

When I stopped looking at them, I stopped comparing where I was to where they were at. I stopped feeling like they were judging me(maybe they weren’t but you still feel like they were).

2. I started embracing the valley. Embracing the valley suddenly seemed good because there is often a river flowing through it. My river was God. This is when I found Him again, in a new way. I saw Him differently, heard Him differently and felt His love differently. As I started drinking from the river and enjoying its beauty and life, I began to be filled with faith, strength and hope again.

3. I looked for others in the valley.

There are often many in the same valley but we don’t see them because they’re all hiding. I went to those in the valley and their stories gave me the determination to find a way out and help them out with me. I had to make a decision at this point. I chose determination and grit. I chose to help others.

What I didn’t know was that the river was there to produce something out of the valley for me. God birthed a ministry out of my valley. The valley turned to be a blessing in disguise, as it most often is. You find out so much about yourself in the valley. The people in the valley often need someone in the valley with them to rise up with courage and find a way. Let the valley produce the leader in you. Let the valley birth a destiny out of you. There is always a way out of the valley. Often times, the answer is in you.