The Valley

 

mountains near trees

Written by Michelle Price

Have you ever found yourself standing in one of the proverbial valleys of life? Perhaps your health is failing and you got the dreaded cancer diagnosis. It could be you’re facing financial ruin or your lifelong marriage is coming to an end. Or maybe, like me, you’re caught in the throws of infertility. Whatever that valley looks like for us, it is most often a time of immense loneliness. We can be surrounded by love and yet still feel alone in our struggle. We may begin to think we’re the only one that’s ever been in that valley.
God guaranteed there would be trouble in this life (John 16:33) but the more we isolate ourselves, the harder our struggle becomes. We must realize that isolation is one of Satan’s many strategies, and it makes us vulnerable to his attack. Separation from others allows him a full 360 degrees to prowl around us like a lion seeking to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). Drs. Cloud and Townsend write, “Isolation keeps what is broken in the soul sequestered in the darkness- out of the light of relationship with God and others, where there can be neither help nor resolution” (Boundaries, 221).

We all need an Aaron and Hur to hold up our arms when we grow tired while fighting our battle (Exodus 17:12).

And there is no greater comfort in the middle of our valley than that provided by God’s presence! King David wrote in Psalm 23, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” God speaks life into our valleys- even during times of isolation. I had not shared my struggle with infertility with my closest friends. But God spoke to me through a very dear friend of mine, Denie Girardeau, as she was routinely praying for the desires of my heart. He instructed her that we should “praise and speak as though it has already happened.” Philippians 4:4 says that we should “Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” God is always faithful, and we should choose to praise him even when life doesn’t seem to be going the way we thought it should. The Bible says in Nehemiah that the joy of the LORD is our strength. So when we’re weak, sister, we must choose joy! A friend of mine, Carrie Wilson, once said that it’s our very small step of faith that motivates God to work in the supernatural to make our mountains move. And when we’re in the middle of that valley, friend, our next mountain can’t come soon enough!
Even though we can’t see the end of our struggle, God can. Until then, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). He has abundance and hope waiting for us. So, while it’s painful right now just to take that very next step in our walk of faith remember that He has Something More for us on the other side!

Hashtags: #SomethingMore #struggles #valleysoflife

IMG_4287Michelle Price is the founder of GRACE Ministries, a faith-based ministry dedicated to nurturing women who have been sexually abused. She obtained her Certificate in Ministry and Leadership from Highlands College in 2015. She currently volunteers at The WellHouse, a Christ-centered agency dedicated to rescuing women from sexual exploitation/human trafficking. Michelle is a devoted wife and faithful member of Church of the Highlands. She is employed full time as an acute care nurse practitioner at a local hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

Something More

Written by Michelle Price

Have you ever wondered if there is something more to life than juggling your busy schedule day after day? If you’re like me, you come home after work, completely exhausted, and wondering who else can cook the dinner tonight…Bob Evans or maybe Jason from that deli on the way home?


Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Perhaps you have been trying to find the “why” by working long hours to climb the corporate ladder or by investing your time to keep up with the Jones’s. Or maybe, like me, the perfectionist in you rears its ugly head but leaves you depleted and unfulfilled. In the search for something more, many of us come up empty and distracted.

Ultimately, our fulfillment rests not on the distractions or the ebb and flow of life’s experiences but in the hands of God. He created each one of us for a unique purpose that He ordained from the very beginning of time. Pablo Picasso reminds us, “The meaning of your life is to find your gift. The purpose of your life is to give it away.”

For some of us, discovering our purpose in life can seem like a daunting task. However, God’s Word sums up the purpose of a Christ follower with two simple assignments: to love God and to love others.  He made each one of us with a unique personality and strategic skills, gifts, and talents to use in service to God and those arounds us. 2 Timothy 1:6 urges us to “stir up the gift of God which is in you.”

The LORD not only created us with one-of-a-kind gifts and talents, but He often weaves the deepest valleys of life into our God-given purpose. It was not until I found myself in a valley eight years ago that I uncovered my own. I was chasing the American dream and quickly found myself married with a beautiful house and a career in the nursing field. The world soon disappointed me when I found myself caught in the nightmare of sexual abuse by domestic violence. However, God used my darkest moments to establish the foundation for a ministry for sexually abused women. He can transform every broken area of our lives- traumatic memories, mistakes, and shortcomings- to make us whole and brand new!

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says that God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Imagine utilizing your own valleys to speak life into the desperate woman who is walking into the very same story. She needs to hear that you have been through the trial, that you were scared, and that you are a witness to the fact that God was faithful to see you through it.

So as you juggle your busy schedule tomorrow, take the time to develop your gifts and talents. And listen for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit as He guides you to that sister who needs to hear that there really IS Something More.

Take a brief moment to uncover your gifts and talents by completing the DISC Personality and Spiritual Gifts Assessment at https://www.arcchurches.com/disc/.

Michelle Price is the founder of GRACE Ministries, a faith-based ministry dedicated to nurturing women who have been sexually abused. She obtained her Certificate in Ministry and Leadership from Highlands College in 2015. She currently serves on the Junior Board at The WellHouse, a Christ-centered agency dedicated to rescuing women from sexual exploitation/human trafficking. Michelle is a devoted wife and faithful member of Church of the Highlands. She is employed full time as an acute care nurse practitioner at a local hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.