JOY. HAPPINESS. PINK BUBBLE.
SMILES. SWEET. KIND.
These are words that I have heard most of my life! I love all these words and what they mean. Who wouldn't? They are full of compliments. All of them imply an easy kind of life with few bumps in the road. I've been learning over the past several years that this mindset of joyful, happiness and smiles is a "choice". It isn't a magic pill or a mind over matter thing. It is definitely a daily choice on how I live my life. The Lord Jesus is the only One who can give me these attributes! He is my JOY. He is my HAPPINESS. He is my PINK BUBBLE!!
Over the last six months I have walked many steps in the Valley. Before this, I enjoyed the wonderful life on the Mountaintop. Even when life tried to yank me down into a Valley, I wouldn't go. I would just hang on as hard as I could to the top of the Mountain! It worked beautifully. God was there and the blessings were abundant. The sunshine was warm, the flowers were everywhere and I was comfortable. I was definitely in the "pink bubble" zone.
How did I get to the Valley? Well, I'm not sure. I know that I DID NOT raise my hand and volunteer. I didn't pray and ask God to grow my faith. I didn't ask Him to draw me closer to Him either. I was close to Him already, I thought. There were no signs pointing that direction. Life happened and I found myself in the Valley.
Six months ago, my best friend of 11 years found out she was moving 1200 miles away. Two weeks after that she was gone. We lived 5 minutes from each other for all those years. We were like sisters and so the reality of her leaving was a hard pill to swallow. I could see her whenever I wanted when she lived near me. We had been pregnant together....shared life together....even our kids were best friends. I know that I grieved that loss at some level. Even though we would still talk on the phone and email....I knew it wouldn't be the same. So I grieved the loss of a friendship and it's normal way of being.
God is so faithful though!! Two months after she moved, God gave me a wonderful trip out to see her. I was able to visit for a week and we had such a great time!! My tank was so full after that week. We laughed, we cried, we painted murals (what we do best) and we enjoyed hanging out. It was such a blessing!! I felt like I was walking back up to the Mountaintop....leaving the Valley behind me. After I returned home, just two days later, I got "the" phone call. I found out that my Mom passed away unexpectedly. It was like someone punched me right in the gut! There are no words to describe the "out of body" experience I had. I am sure while I was screaming in disbelief, my children were wondering what had happened to their mommy. Whew! What a day that was! I will never forget.
Fast forward now, 3-1/2 months later....
I thought I knew God. I thought I was so very close to Him. I thought that I knew how much He loved me. I thought I understood death enough. I was mostly wrong on all of these. I have been learning since my friend left and my Mom died....THAT FLOWERS BLOOM, EVEN IN THE VALLEYS! This has been life changing for me. I didn't ask to be in this Valley. I didn't volunteer to learn all of what I have. I hate that my Mom is gone. I hate it that I can't talk to her or touch her or go shopping with her. I can't stand that my best friend is not available for a play date whenever we want....or a time of coffee when I need her to talk to. But life is messy and this is where I am. So what did I choose? To find JOY. To find HAPPINESS. To continue living in my PINK BUBBLE. God is so precious. He has given me such hope. When the days are long and difficult....and I'm not sure I can get through it....My precious Lord, gives me a blessing. He has planted flowers down in this Valley for me to enjoy. When I find one of these precious blooms, my heart sings and sometimes leaks with tears. These blessings come in the form of sweet, dear friends who show up on my porch with a coffee; a warm hug; a kind word; my beautiful kids; my loving gracious husband; my amazing sister.....and always God's Word that washes me with Peace.
So, all this to say....it's gonna be okay. The Valley isn't such a bad place to live. When I look for the flowers that God has planted for me....I actually love the days I spend here. I wouldn't trade the last six months for anything (nor would I want to re-live any of it). I have grown closer to my Savior. He has shown Himself so faithful once again. I don't want to build a summer home here in the Valley but I will be here as long as I need.....or as long as God has me here!! :)
If you find yourself visiting the Valley anytime soon....or if you've already built a home here....enjoy the things God has for you. He will never leave you alone. Nothing will thwart His plan. He has great and mighty things for you.....things He prepared in advance!