Valley: God Brings Hope in the Dark Times

Valley and Peak are the words for the weekly haiku challenge this week at Ronovan Writes. We often talk about times in our lives as valleys and peaks. Usually we are not too happy in the valleys and want to climb back up to the peak.

Here is my contribution in four stanzas, each a haiku:

From Valley to Peak

Down in the valley
Fears threaten to overwhelm
I can’t see the peak


But I’m not alone
Hope and light come seeking me
Jesus takes my hand


Fear gives way to trust
As He gives me strength and peace
Through the darkest night


Peak and valley meet
As love and gratitude grow
I am filled with joy

~gsw~

OVERWHELMED IN THE VALLEY

When we are in the valley we might be sad or afraid. Maybe circumstances overwhelm us, and we just want to get out.

But often right there, when we are at our lowest is the place where God meets us with His light.

Isaiah 40:3-5 (NKJV)

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.

Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Yesterday, I felt overwhelmed and exhausted from all the demands of the past few days. Some of you may know that one of my sons, who is in a wheelchair and has muscular dystrophy, also has congestive heart failure.

He’s been up and down as we try to get the right meds that will help keep his heart rate from skyrocketing. Not to mention the scary feeling when it gets so high. It’s been an emotional roller coaster ride.

Also, he has had a lot of stomach pain and reflux. So it’s been hard to find food that he can eat and actually like. He seems to be doing better for now. But that, along with my husband having surgery last week, we’ve got a lot going on.

GRATITUDE EVEN IN THE VALLEY

Earlier this month I won a journal with some washitape in a giveaway by The Merry Kettle and Quill. This month they are challenging us to be thankful, to look for or do things that evoke a sense of thanksgiving.

As you can see, the title on the front is Life is Just a Moment. With a title like that I thought it would be perfect for a gratitude journal. When I counted the pages in the journal, including both sides of the page, I saw there were 40. If I started that day, November 17, the 40 days would take me to the day after Christmas. What better way to have an attitude of thanksgiving every day!

My Gratitude Journal

I reflected on Psalms I have been reading for my morning devotions. As I read the scriptures and worked on the first page of the journal, my attitude began to change.

I was still tired, but there was more of a feeling of joy rather than of defeat.

Here is my first page:

Valley in life still joy

The next day I wrote another verse in the journal that helped me focus on who God is and that His greatness doesn’t keep Him from loving me.

Valley with God's glory

I want to end with another scripture on a recent watercolor painting I made.

valleys and hills

Praise God, for He is worthy! Today, instead of letting myself get all worn out, I took time to pause. Because of this I mostly stayed relaxed even though I still had duties to fulfill. I knew God would give me strength.

Later, my son and I had some sweet times of reading, talking and praying together. Also, my husband got a good report at his follow up visit with the surgeon.

How about you? Do you have a gratitude journal or some other way to remind yourself to give thanks? I’d love to hear your ideas!

I’m linking up with: #TellHisStory, #Let’sHaveCoffee

22 thoughts on “Valley: God Brings Hope in the Dark Times

  1. So beautiful, Gayl. I know we already emailed about your poem but I wanted you to know I was so blessed by your idea of using a Scripture to guide you into thankfulness each day. And I wanted to share this song that keeps appearing on my feed because it fits so well with your poem and all we have been sharing: https://youtu.be/rNXd0KQaYXg

    May God continue to fill your home with His love, comfort, refreshment and peace. And praise Him for the good doctor’s report on the surgery!!

    Much love across the oceans!!

  2. Dear Gayl,
    I love the way that God speaks through your creativity, and brings His Word into deeper focus there. Truly He does meet us in valley and in the peak both, bringing them both into that smooth place for us to come more fully to Him. And I am so thankful that we can share our thoughts and prayers together! True Gratitude for the Lord’s gifts here. Love, Blessings, and Hugs to you my dear poet/sister/friend! xoxo

    1. Thank you, Bettie, for your words of encouragement. Yes, I’m thankful, too, that we can share thoughts and prayers. Much love to you with many blessings and hugs my sweet friend/sister/poet! xoxo

  3. You are so creative, Gayl. I love your journal pages with Scripture verses. My heart aches for you. May God give you and your son strength and comfort, and may He help the doctors to find the right meds with His blessing to your son! Love and blessings to you!

    1. Thank you so much, dear Peggi! May God bless and encourage you and continue to give you joy and gratitude. Much love to you with many hugs and blessings, my dear sister! xoxo

  4. Love all of those verses! I can’t say that I have a specific gratitude journal, but I do journal and write down all my thoughts and things that the Lord has been teaching me. And in it I often record the things for which I am thankful 🙂
    The thoughts on peaks and valleys made me think of a book I was given years ago titled “Hinds Feet on High Places.” Definitely a book I recommend reading.
    Praying that the Lord give you peace and joy and strength as you continue to journey through this life and do all He has called you to do. God bless!

    1. Thank you so much, Rhonda. I love that you journal your thoughts and what God is teaching you. I used to journal everyday and I need to get back to it. I have many journals from the past and it’s so fun going back and reading and refreshing my memory. I have that book you mentioned, but it’s been years since I read it. Maybe it’s about time to read it again. 🙂 Thank you for your prayers. May God bless you and also give you strength, peace and joy! Thank you for visiting!

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