I'm allowing myself to take as long as I want to be in this chapter of my book. It's speaking to me as though I'd never read it before (though I have).
Christians talk about times in the valley, refining times, faithbuilding times, and these may all be statements that you don't understand - whether you're a believer or not.
As a child and a teen, it mostly meant not getting my way, sacrificing for others, giving of my time, mulling over why I got grounded (which didnt happen often, thank God), handling my feelings when we or a close friend down the street had to move and we pretty much knew that was goodbye (pre-interwebs, friends), and putting sick a puppy down.
Those times were hard but they were all "for a reason" or "in God's plan" or "wouldnt be wasted" or "were making a way for something better that the Lord had in store."
Mentally, I knew that. My heart for my Daddy God burned with both trust in Him and some sadness for what I had to let go of. Trust always won.
As an adult, refining comes in the form of clinical depression, major medical issues, broken home, 2 divorces, wandering rootless, 3 miscarriages, failed adoptions, and feeling a bit like I'm spinning my wheels with all kinds of fervor but going nowhere. Yet.
Here's what I've learned about refining times as an adult:
🔶 They can hurt. They can hurt you in deep places you didnt know existed, but God has a healing balm that mends us.
🔶 We each have to go through them alone. Even if we are married, have loving families, or a supportive church family, or a solid friend network. In the end, you face off against your faceless enemy in the muck and the cold and the heat and the times of both strength and exhaustion. He attacks with cunning both and accuracy
️🔶️ You're never FULLY alone. I know, that contradicts what I just said, but so goes it. You see, no one can switch bodies and brains and will with you. That means, you alone have to live your life. But, the same God who created the Northern Lights, Hercules beetles, glow in the dark scary fish in the depths of the sea, and everything else that exists, is the God that made you. Precious you. And He would never leave you to suffer and wither and utterly fail.
He is with you in your refining times. He wants to hold you when you cry over a marriage ended, the death of a loved one, loss of employment, natural disasters, and every trying to. But He loves you enough to give you the choice. You can choose to ask Him to be there in those dark times and He WILL show up.
🔶️ The ONLY good thing I've ever had to hold onto in refining times is the unwavering belief that my God wins. Sure, the enemy wants me silent and sulking, licking my emotional wounds in some forgotten corner. He wants that because he knows the God of the universe wants to use me for His will and that I won't be any good to myself, my circle of influence, or my God if I'm attending a pity party. "Service for one, please."
That's my brain dump from my chair time today. If you find yourself in a dark place, a really dark place - a dig the hole, climb in the hole, and pull the dirt and sand over your head kind of place - before you make a permanent decision, breathe out, "I need You, God. Please." You ARE NOT, nor do you HAVE TO BE, alone.
I am Christian Straightedge Christ follower, an Army Brat, an ex-milso, founder and CEO of FitnessAnyaMind, a sofa CEO, a nomad, a fur baby mom, and a mindset builder. I enjoy nature, reading, music, cooking, and taking care of those whom I love.