By Becca Christensen
This summer I took a break from writing and am overwhelmed by all that the Lord has done in that time. Let’s catch up. So meet me in the aisle of our Ybor campus on a Sunday morning where I have my hands raised and tears streaming down my face as the worship team leads us in a song that is new to me: Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells.
On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I’m standing on the mountain aft, didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You’re God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
Father, you give and take away
Every joy and every pain
Through it all you will remain
Over it all!
It has been a summer of high highs and low lows. This summer has included a three-month cancer scare and achieving one of my loftiest goals ever, 4 months early. My sister is realizing her dream of adopting a child and was matched with a birth mom. Meanwhile, my friends lost a child. It has been a summer of triumph, pain, loss, joy, celebration, and mourning.
It has been a summer of hills and valleys. So what do I have to offer up from the top of the mountain and the depth of the valley? I am overwhelmed in this season by the faithfulness of the Lord. I often worry that in really vibrant spiritual seasons the Lord is preparing me for hard things. As it turns out, I wasn’t wrong. This summer was tough. It was tough but it was also beautiful and rewarding.
I can honestly say I have seen the Lord’s goodness as sweetly in the heartbreak as I have in the celebrations. The peace, the love, and the grace He has shown me in seasons that have humbled and broken me have shown me just how good and faithful our God is. As I lay in a doctor’s office facing my fear of very large needles (in my neck!) to have my thyroid biopsied I was praying for other people – believing already that God is God over my own health. There were a few tears and some serious nerves, but my heart and soul were at peace.
From time to time I like to half jokingly ask my Dad, ‘Does being an adult ever get easier?’ As you would expect, the answer is consistently, no. It doesn’t. The same holds true for the Christian walk, it never gets easy. There’s no coasting. There will always be valleys. What does change is how you handle them. For me, I have pressed into the Lord in the hard times and I have celebrated the best of this summer knowing they were a gift from Him. He has answered so many prayers during the good and bad of this intense summer. He gives and He takes away – but He remains through it all.
So as this fall promises to bring new celebrations and challenges with it, how will you press into the God of the Hills and Valleys?