I feel like God is moving me into new territory. Since the beginning of April I have been struggling with a pinched nerve in my upper back. Though I’m not sure exactly what caused it, I was struck with incredible searing pain for several weeks. For those of you more involved in my day-to-day life, I apologise for my anti-social behaviour at the time. It has been a long time since I had experienced that kind of pain and had forgotten how it begins to take control of your life.
Thankfully God chose to allow me to move past that difficult place and into a place of healing. It didn’t happen quickly or immediately but by beginning to work with a great physiotherapist and by taking time first to rest and now to begin to rebuild weakened muscles, I am coming out of the valley to a new place.
As strange as it sounds (even to my own ears), in some ways I am grateful for the experience. As I said, it has been a long time since I was in a similar valley and had forgotten some of the lessons that God has taught me there before: lessons about how our focus so easily moves from Him to our circumstances, lessons about building relationships and being social, lessons about praying for those who are hurt and in pain, lessons about resting in Him and letting Him do what we can’t do for ourselves.
I am reminded of the wonderful, godly people like Moses who spent decades in the valley waiting for God to move them onward. Years spent living in the dust and dirt, dealing with circumstances that seemed beneath them only to bring them out into new blessing and usefulness for His glory. I am so thankful that my valley experience was not nearly so long this time around.
I am also so thankful that as I’m now beginning to move up out of the valley, that God has been slowly restoring my passions. He has been using those around me to help me deepen my relationships with Himself, with fellow believers and with those who haven’t yet come to know Him. He has been reminding me about the path that He has set me on and has been renewing my desire to seek Him in a greater way. He has been calling me out to continue to pursue the dream He has set in my heart to work and minister in Zimbabwe.
I am so deeply grateful for those of you He has put in my life who continue to support me, for those of you who prayed and checked in with me in the midst of the valley and for those of you who over the past couple weeks, as I moved out of the valley, have been asking how my plans for Africa are coming and helped Him to stir up that desire anew in my life.
It feels, in many ways, like I am on the brink of something new – perhaps in my relationship with God, perhaps in kindling or deepening relationships with others, perhaps in moving along the journey to Zimbabwe. I don’t know exactly what the days ahead will hold or what dip or turn in the road I will come to next, but I appreciate your prayers and encouragement.