There are seasons in our lives when quite simply, life just hurts. There are no songs to sing. No colors that bring inspiration to our souls. And no experiences that bring peace to our exhausted mind. Those seasons are challenging and stretching for absolutely every part of who we are as human beings. But may I encourage you today; our brokenness and dark places are beautiful seasons of deeper intimacy with God. When we walk into to a place of emptiness, where only God can fill us again, that moment of impact fuels us and strengthens us in a way that we have never imagined. From valleys of despair and depression come valiant and vibrant stories that tell of God’s compassionate and powerful hand that met us in our exact moment of emptiness. Our poured out hearts and tears before the Lord in tremendous sorrow actually water the seeds of restoration that will bloom into glorious oaks that are strong and bold.
We can see it on a person’s faces when they have experienced the power of this move of grace. There is a relentless, raw passion that cannot be tamed within them. We see this person empowered by the compassionate movement of the Holy Spirit- their face is lit up, freedom shining in their eyes and heart illuminating His presence. I look at my own story of faith. The ups and downs, wrong turns and right turns, the emotional spectrum from highs to the deepest of lows. Looking back, I am so grateful for each and every moment, including my deepest valleys of depression. I see the woman I am now, and the power and vitality that fills my lungs and fuels my steps. Every ounce of that courage and passion comes from the tears I shed. My tears sowed the seed of strength, of healing; of a story that has a new heartbeat. It is a heartbeat that has known hurt, pain and suffering, but has been resuscitated to beat through my chest onto a world that needs to hear my story. In order to build an untamable love in our own stories, we must be willing to be wrecked and redeemed by our untamed God. His love for us draws us into places that will call out the inner fighter within us. His compassion pulls us with cords of kindness to discover the passion that lies within our souls. And often, the battleground where we find those things is in the bottom of a valley, surrounded by the unknown darkness. In that place, the glory of God will appear and He will raise you up, illuminating His presence, with freedom shining in your eyes and a face caked in dirt, victorious and lit up with purposeful determination.