Beloved, I want you to know there is grace and beauty to be found in the struggle. In little tufts of hope hidden in the pockets of the soul are the tiniest threads of hope and a spirit to persevere. They refuse to let us go. They propel us forward when we would rather stop dead in our tracks and quit the race. We’ve all been there.
I’ll be honest with you. The last few months have been stressful and overwhelming for me. There are many reasons for it, but let me share with you how there’s hope to be had even in the darkest of nights and fiercest of struggles. I don’t want to focus on the negative stuff, rather I want to acknowledge it and keep moving forward.
The crazy thing I have found about darkness and struggle is not just how they cloud and distort perception, but how they can also be a place where we find Light. I may think of these things as my enemy because I cannot see clearly. I don’t know about you, but when I cannot see what’s coming ahead of me, I freak out. When I cannot fathom an end to the trials and troubles, I grow weary from the ache of clutching tightly to life and hope. I may even hastily choose instant comfort to avoid the pain I might have to endure, but in the darkness I am finding there is light unearthed that leads me onward to healing and hopefulness. I have to focus my gaze, throw off fear, and not get sidetracked by the not knowing of how things will turn out.
It might sound odd to you, but think about it. The last time you walked through a valley or went through a trying time, how did you make it and what led you out of that place? What was that “thing” inside your heart that refused to let you waste away in dark, desert places? I don’t know about you, but I found a reserve of resilience and mustard seed faith that refused to leave me alone. They gave me strength to believe that I would make it through the trying circumstances. I’m of the opinion there is something within each of us that moves us forward. I do not think we were made to permanently inhabit the darkness.
I submit to you that valleys, shadows, and troubles are places where we have the opportunity to launch into who we are meant to be. Valleys can be places where we find deeper strength or places where we summon courage we never knew we had. Valleys and shadows are places we see our truer selves shine; we shed the gloom that weighs us down. Striped bare of pretense, we find our bearings in the darkness of the struggle. Strange how that is truth and dichotomy, but somehow it works.
The darkness is not a place to fear. My struggles of late have been in gloomy places where I couldn’t perceive a way out. I continue to muddle through and hold on to hope. While there is no easy way out, I’m choosing to go through it. I can’t go around it, not under it, nor over it – I’m going through. I’m letting go of what weighs me down and picking up gumption and drive. I do not intend to live in the valley for long. I was not made for darkness, so it cannot have me. You were not made for darkness, and you are not obligated to let it have you either.
These moments of struggle and valleys shall pass, and when we’re on the other side of them, we’ll be stronger and have a depth of courage to continue embracing the ebb and flow of life. I want to encourage you, beloved, to hold on, hold faith, and don’t give up. I don’t know when, and I don’t know how, but I do know that you and I are going to make it through this moment. Hold faith, and believe.
- When the Struggle Is Real - September 2, 2016
- Oreos and the Image of God - June 1, 2016
14 thoughts on “When the Struggle Is Real”
“I submit to you that valleys, shadows, and troubles are places where we have the opportunity to launch into who we are meant to be.”
This reads for me, today, like an anthem! So encouraging, Marvia! Thrilled to hear your voice in this place!
Thank you Michele. I’m glad you were encourage!
Thanks for sharing! This definitely spoke to me. I am in a season of unexpected unemployment. Several jobs that I thought I would get didn’t work out, and despite my applications to many more, I haven’t gotten so much as a call back. It could get me down, but strangely I am somehow remaining positive and confident. I can’t change my circumstance; only God can. So I will wait patiently on Him!
Hold faith, sister. At just the right time abundance will come running hard after you and you won’t be able to contain it. Linking arms with you for His goodness to be made manifest!
“Valleys and shadows are places we see our truer selves shine.” It’s true and also so easy to forget when the valley is long and deep. Thank you for the perspective of finding opportunity in the struggle, for seeing it as a place to reach forward, not give up. Love to you!
Jamie, “Opportunity in the struggle” yes!!!! I love that. We are looking, eyes on the horizon. Glad we are not alone in this walk.
Love this: “I was not made for darkness, so it cannot have me.” Holding on to that nugget. <3
Me too Carolina. Me too!!! Refusing to let go.
I’ve been listening to some of my old CCM music lately and your post brought these lyrics to mind:
“Well, I don’t know when and I don’t know how,
I don’t know how long it’s gonna take,
I don’t know how hard it will be, but I know you will go free.”
I know the valley well and the shadow that covers it. But the flicker of hope that is within bears the image of my rescuer. Thank you for your declaration that you, and we, are not made for darkness.
What song is this? Sounds like one I need to listen too, and much yes to declaring goodness even in the yuck! Thanks for reading!
I have found that in the darkness and struggles He shows us how there is no other way but through Him. He believe He wants us to know that it is because of Him and only Him that we are able to move forward. I don’t know about you, but I hate feeling vulnerable. Not knowing how to handle or prepare for what is ahead is just plain scary. Yet He insists that I just trust and that in my weakness He is glorified. These last two weeks have been terrifying and extremely stressful. A whole new level of exhaustion. Yet He is so loving and amazing to show me how so very close and present He is in every moment of each day. So if my undoing is part of the process then I must embrace it. I have to admit that I don’t like it and most of the time am looking to see how to avoid it, but eventually I just come to terms with it and press on in my secret place; my intimate place where the only answer is prayer.
Girl, yes on the vulnerability of waiting and watching and leaning into the struggle. it’s so real, so palpable, and yet His kindness compels us to keep moving forward. He is still a good, good Father!! Linking arms and praying with you. Thank you for stopping by to read.
“In little tufts of hope hidden in the pockets of the soul are the tiniest threads of hope and a spirit to persevere.” I love the way you said this, and I have found it to be true for me, too. Even in the darkest times there is hope. I believe the Holy Spirit inside us assures us of the hope. We’ve had some pretty stressful things happening in our extended family, but I have seen God showing up in so many ways. Not just in giving me peace, which is a lot, but also in the way people have risen to the occasion giving of themselves in beautiful ways. Thank you for such an encouraging post, Marvia! Love you much! xo Blessings to you!