A Tee-ball game and a family dinner at a favorite pizza place were on the agenda for last Friday night while we were in Mobile.
I was getting ready in the guest bedroom and bath, when I heard my sister and niece laughing in my sister's master bathroom. The power had gone off at my niece's house, and she had come "to borrow" some of her mother's electricity.
(I have decided electricity is one of a girl's best friends.)
I never have the opportunity to get dressed with other females, unless you count Bayley, my dog. I miss getting solicited and unsolicited advice about lipstick color, my choice of shoes, or how my hair looks in the back. My sister and my niece sounded like they were having so much fun, that I couldn't resist gathering up my stuff and joining them.
There was a bottle on my sister's vanity with the word "moisturizing" on it. Considering I was going to wear capris, I figured I could use some moisturizing. I picked it up and began to "moisturize" my legs. It seemed kind of thick, and it didn't seem to be absorbing into my skin, but I thought . . ."oh well." I continued to rub it into my legs, and figured I could use some on my arms, too.
About that time, my sister looked at me and said, "What. Are. You. Doing? That's liquid soap!"
I had been "moisturizing" my skin with soap!
I got a wet washcloth, began washing it off, and soon became a walking bubble bath.
Needless to say, we were crying we were laughing so hard . . and I smelled really clean.
I always love it when I can make someone laugh.
My sister, after she got her breath back, said to my niece, "She'll probably write about this on her blog."
I responded, "The three people that read my blog would probably like me to. I'm sure they get tired of me writing about the same thing."
The "same thing" I share, over and over again, is what God is teaching me as I walk through this life. The path I am walking, is not the one that I would have chosen. It isn't even close. But knowing that He is walking it with me, makes it, on most days, very good. Some days, the path is absolutely beautiful and I wouldn't trade it for any path in the world. But there are days when the path is bearable only because He is carrying me.
My life took a turn on December 7, 2003. That turn put me on a path that has been marked with regret, grief, loss, and uncertainty. A path that has led me straight into deep, dark valleys. There have been many times when this path, while winding through all the valleys, has led me upward. Upwards to mountains where I can stand and see more beauty than I ever could have imagined. Mountains where my vision is not obscured, and I can see past the hurt, and loss, and disappointment. I've found myself on mountains so high, that I've been lost in the clouds and mist of God's hope and peace. Blinded to everything, except His presence.
But as the path has taken me upwards to the mountains, the path has also taken me back down into the valleys. It's seeing the mountain behind me, and the valley once again in front of me, that sends me reeling into panic, dread, and depression.
"Not again," I've pleaded.
"I like it on the top. I like it where I can see. I like the feelings and emotions up on the mountain. It's a place where I don't feel so alone. It's easier to see You from the mountain top. It's someone else's turn to be in the valley. I am weary of being in the valley."
When you are in the valley, it is easier to listen to the the lie that says, He is closer to you on the mountain than He is in the valley.
By God's grace I now remember, when I again have to take that first step off the mountain, heading back into the valley, that it was in the valley where I first found Him.
It was when I was in the deepest of all valleys, that I found My God.
It was there I found the One my heart had always wanted.
The One I knew who was always there, yet the One I couldn't find.
It was in the deepest valley where I fell in love with the One who had loved me first. (1 John 4:19)
That was 2,683 days ago.
Because He walks with me every day, through the valleys and up to the mountains and back down into the valleys, I have at least 2,683 days of the "same thing" to share.
Every new day there will be another lesson. There will always be one more thing to share. Every lesson comes out of the love He has for me, and of walking the path with Him.
His Love is higher than any mountain and deeper than any valley.
I learned it in the valley.
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present or things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8: 38-39