“Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in GOD. I assure you: if anyone says to this mountain, “Be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for – believe that you have received them, and you will have them” Mark 11:22-24
Very rarely do I begin with a bible verse, however I find it impossible to speak of Faith and not start out with The Word of God! So let’s get straight to it…Faith in the Valley…
There are 3 phases to a Vision or Dream. I call Phase 1 “the dead-end”. In the “dead-end” your life has hit a plateau and its driving you nuts! SSDD! Same Shit, Different Day! You are not satisfied with your life or current situation and you don’t know what to do about it. You want Peace; long for Joy and pray for Happiness. Freedom seems like a distant dream…The Freedom to live the life you imagined, the Freedom to wake up each day and do what you love, the Freedom to Create Your Path, the Freedom to Build Your Dream! However, up until now, you have done absolutely nothing to build your Vision. But, today is a new day and you have made up your mind to Do Something! Congratulation on taking the first step!
Now you start to Research your Vision. You start to ask yourself questions like “how do I get from point A to point B” or “what resources will I need to make this happen”. You meet new like minded people; and they encourage you to move forward. You now have questions, answers, research, positive people and courage (one awesome recipe for success!). And so it begins, after years of wasting Time, Procrastinating, Sulking, and allowing Fear to hold you back, you are finally ready to Take Action! You are ready to Pursue Your Dream! YES!!! And then the “shift” happens…and Phase 2 begins…
Phase 1 is fun!! It’s exciting to imagine yourself in a better situation than the one you are currently in. You day dream about all the wonderful possibilities and you can’t wait to see your Vision come alive! The new energy and new ideas have you ready to make it happen!! You feel on top of the world, anything is possible! So you pray and ask God for guidance, you ask God to move on your behalf. You pray that God Opens Doors for you and make room for your Vision! And guess what happens when you start to pray with the power of Belief…your prayers start to manifest! Now remember that “shift” that I spoke of earlier, the one that takes place after you have made up your mind. Well it’s about to go down, so brace yourself, because it’s about to be a wild ride!
Meat and Potatoes
Welcome to “the valley” aka “Phase 2”. Now here is where we receive the “meat and potatoes” of life. The valley is where the most Growth will take place. Here is where you start to stretch beyond your self-imposed limitations and beliefs. Phase 2 is where you will see the most change in your life. Now prepare yourself because Change can be difficult. It brings people out of their “comfort zones” and pushes them to greater heights! Sounds good right!?!? Yea, until Change causes us pain or discomfort! Understand that the term “Growing Pains” is absolutely true! Growth and Change are Painful, so don’t expect anything less! You are shifting from being “stagnant” to being “in motion”. Your prayers are being answered! God is now guiding you (or at least trying to). Your life is starting to fall together (even though it feels like its falling apart). Except the direction God is leading you, is NOT the Direction you had in mind (Huh??)! God starts to Open Doors for you but the Open Door you are staring at, leads to a different path than you first imagined (What!?!). Challenges now lead the way and life becomes difficult. You constantly find yourself in situations that Force you Out of your Comfort Zone. At this point you’re probably thinking to yourself “I didn’t ask for this, this is too much!” Oh but you did ask for it! Not only did you ask for it, but you prayed for it (and God is still in the Prayer Answering Business)!
It’s not always easy going through the valley. The valley is where God deals with us in a way that creates Change In us and around us! I remember going through one of my valleys (oh yea they don’t stop coming!) and looking around and realizing that God had literally separated me from everything and everyone familiar! I was completely alone with no one to depend on…except God! Now I won’t go into full detail about the situation (that would take pages of your time) but I will say it was a very difficult time of my life. BUT… it created a TRUST in the LORD that I had never experienced before! I asked God to make me better, turn me into a woman God could Trust! I wanted to help people heal! Well, I forgot that before God could use me to heal anyone; I had to be healed myself! Healing Hurt! Long story short, my time in the valley, was full of disappointments, pain, failures, hearing the word “NO” more than I cared to, hard lessons and losses that I cried over for days! However, the valley also made (and still making) me into the woman I first prayed about…the woman God could Trust!
Fruits of Labor
See everyone wants to skip the valley and go straight to the Fruits of Their Labor WITHOUT actually putting in any Labor!! I know it sounds ridiculous but how many of you are running in the direction of your Dream?? Too many of us are complaining about our “situations” daily to anyone that will listen (please stop doing that). We spend so much of our time worrying about our finances, sobbing over failed relationships, thinking of a million reason why “it” wont work, faking happiness to keep up appearances and putting our Trust in the wrong hands! Negative energy that surrounds us every day! We cry out to God “Please change my situation Lord!” but turn right around and Refuse to Move Our Feet!! Raise your hand if that sounds like you (don’t feel bad, that was me for years).
Yes people, the valley is tough! It will shine light on the dark places in your life, force you out of your comfort zone and get you moving! That is why it is so important to have Faith during that time! How else do you think you will make it through?? Faith in God’s word, knowing that it will not return void, holding on to Gods Promise when it looks like you’re not going to make it through, is what Faith in the Valley is about! Understand that when God is moving things around in your life, as painful as it may seem, it’s for a good reason! So Trust the Process, Embrace your “Valley”, and surrender to your Growth! Soon you will be moving from Phase 2 (thank God!) and heading into Phase 3…“the beginning”.
So you have survived phase 2 and life is getting just a little bit easier. You are now in a place where you are no longer day-dreaming but Day Doing!! You’re waking up earlier, exercising more, eating healthier, praying more, studying Gods Word and working on your Vision every chance you get! You’re Focused! You made it through the valley, it is now behind you and you have never felt better! You Believe! Your Faith is now in full effect and you’re ready to put all those promises you made to God, while in the Valley, to use!
Light at the End of the Tunnel!
Phase 3 is called “the beginning” because once you make it through the valley and have surrendered to your Purpose; you will feel as if you’re Living Life for the First Time! Finally, there is room for your Vision! In Phase 3 there is light at the end of the tunnel. Doors will open and opportunities will flock your way! Your Vision will start to come alive! All that hard work, every challenge, prayer, struggle, and “stretching” you did in “the valley” have brought you to this point! Now let me end by saying this, the only reason you will experience any of that Joy and Relief is because GOD’s Word Will Never Fail! If you do not understand the Power of God’s Word, then you will have a much more difficult road ahead of you. God-speed!
7 Things!!! (You must have on this journey)
- Faith (Never leave home without it)
- Courage (nothing worse than a Timid, Powerless Believer, that says with their mouth “I trust the lord” but live their life as if NOTHING IS POSSIBLE….OUCH!)
- Strength (To withstand the “strong winds” of Life because you will face many!)
- Prayer (use this tool Every Day!)
- Belief (Whatever you Believe about yourself is TRUE…good or bad, possible or not, it’s all in your head)
- Spirit of Discernment (If you do not know what your enemy is, then how can you defeat it)
- Love (It is the most powerful tool God has given us… Use it!)