March 16th

I took a vacation last week. My family and I drove to Gulf Shores, spent a few wonderful, albeit chilly, days on the beach. It was fun, it was stressful, it was difficult for me. We drove back on March 16th. 

March 16th was the day I got married.

This was the first anniversary to pass since our divorce was final. I was sad and overwhelmed and the fact that my vacation was ending did not help my anxiety at all. I was taken by sadness for all the dreams that were sewn on that day, all the hopes I had, and the way I thought life was going to go. 

And I just had this thought about where I am in all of this. It was easier to be in the valley, in the darkness, because you put your head down and one foot in front of the other and just keep going. But climbing out of the valley is atrocious. It is hard. I am overcome at times with fear for my future, and the loneliness of the present, and sometimes I just am lost. I am climbing and trying, but the whole time I feel like I am on my knees, trying to gather up my dreams and build something new. And that is so much harder than just trudging along in the valley. 

I am afraid to rebuild. I am afraid to move on. I am afraid to hurt again. I am afraid of the Valley. I don’t want to go back there, even though the bleakness of it seems comforting at times. 

But it’s time, even though I may not “feel” ready, it’s time. I have fight through this fear, overwhelming as it might be. I have to take captive these thoughts and fears, and I have to dwell on the things of the Lord. It’s time to have a new anniversary. My good friend, Ashley, reminded me yesterday that March 16th will always stick out to me and be an important day. But it can be a milestone of the way the Lord has worked. How in the darkest times, He was there. In that terrible summer of lies and confusion, He was there. He saw it. He knew the truth even when I was fed lie after lie. On that Thursday night, when I was abandoned, He was singing His songs over me. So, as much as climbing out of the valley has been awful and will continue to bring growing pains and heartache, I will choose to enjoy the climb, as much as I can. 

Because the Lord commanded us to be strong and courageous. He has told me not to be terrified. He is with me where ever I go. Even during this long, scary, dream “scooping up”, climb out of the valley.