lately i have been struggling down in the valleys rather than enjoying the peaks.
i am a trained pleaser – since i was little i’ve known how to put on the cheerful when inside i am breaking – but that facade doesn’t seem as necessary anymore. we throw around a lot of talk of blooming where we’re planted and living in the now. but sometimes this now isn’t what we bargained for. or maybe it’s not even what we wanted at all.
we talk of blessings, of prospering, of rewards. much of what we talk of is the far-distant spiritual sort. when the valley is deep, and the way dark, that concept is hard to grasp. when you have seen so much of suffering around you that principle is harder still. so much of the scriptures focus on tangible ways the people of god were temporally blessed. it wasn’t an obscure promise of manna that sustained the children of israel. it was a real and daily meal they consumed. when daniel faced ravenous lions, their mouths were shut in that instant. despite the odds of war, all 2,000 sons of helaman, returned home to their mothers. and yet, countless other prayers aren’t realized in this life.
i hear when others comfortingly say, “it’ll all work out” or “it’s going to be okay” but i don’t listen. sometimes they say, “you of all people deserve this, it has to happen.” but i don’t think this life is as much about deserving as it is about enduring. i’ve uttered the same phrases to others. fully invested in my belief that what i spoke was truth. i believe that no matter the journey, everything will be okay. no matter the hardship we can be healed. whatever the request it will be honored. perhaps not now, and most likely not how we had imagined. through it all, we will be succored. he has promised us that much.
on sunday i discussed the crucifixion with 9 year olds. i asked why jesus didn’t use his power to stop the guards and get away. i asked them why heavenly father didn’t intercede. their answer, resolute, “he needed to hurt for us.” and he did. our mistakes, our sins, our grief, our loneliness, our desperation. he bore it all.
after a long night, when i felt beyond beaten down, i laid on my bed and cried. christian told me to just go to sleep. he said i’d feel better in the morning. it was such a simple promise – it reminded me of david’s psalm “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning… thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.”
we need to be patient for that morning.