Lessons from the Valley

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…..

 The Psalmist had been there; he had walked in that valley.  Have you been there too?  If so, you know the pain, the hurt, the fear of walking in that valley.  There are other valleys….the valley of the shadow of depression; been there have you?  Here’s one many of you have walked; the valley of the shadow of cancer; scary isn’t it?  Here’s one I walked last year; the valley of the shadow of despair, embarrassment, and unemployment. Have you walked that valley as have I?  March 3, 2009 is a day I’ll never forget.  After 9 years in a job that I loved, I had to walk away.  I walked away from the security of regular paycheck, the status of being very successful at my craft, loads of friends, colleagues and a place where I got my “need to be needed” fix met every day.  The job I left and the reasons for walking away are not as important as what I’ve learned in the past 365 days. 

I learned that you need others to walk with you through the valley.  I’m not sure if I would have made it this past year without some significant people walking with me.  My family, close friends, my restoration team and my counselor walked with me every step of the way.  There are just a very few people who know the whole story of how and why I had to leave my job last year.  I chose these people to walk the valley with me and they were glad to be my companions.

I learned that there is grace, peace and security in the valley. In my journey this past year, I experienced so much grace.  Through a time where justice should have prevailed, I received grace.  Grace is unmerited favor; getting something you don’t deserve.  Whatever definition you want to use, I got grace in big doses.  I found peace in the valley.  The events of 3/3/09 were the culmination of living under three years of extreme stress.  During that time, I kept up my “Superman” image.  I really thought I could handle all the stress and not be affected.  What I know now is that I was out of balance.  My spiritual life wavered, I wasn’t physically fit, and I was an emotional wreck.  On 3/3/09 I crashed.  My journey through this valley started that day and yes, I found peace.  I found security in the valley.  This valley was a place where I could rest, recuperate and be renewed.  It was only in the security of the valley that I was restored physically, spiritually and emotionally.

So friend, don’t be afraid of the valley.  The valley can be a good place but you need others to walk with you.  Don’t try to go it alone!  At the same time, try to see the purpose of why God has you walking through your valley.   

Be encouraged friends!


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Old Friend on March 4, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Thank you for sharing light in the midst of darkness, giving hope for folks who might feel like there is none, and identifying the need for others as you work your way back to God. I’m grateful to be getting reaquainted with you a little at a time, for your restoration, and the power of grace.
    I am encouraged, my friend!


  2. Posted by Saran on March 4, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Loved this blog….you have always taught me more than you may realize and you continue to do so. I have learned SO much from you spiritually, emotionally, etc…you were there through all my tough times and gave me great advice, and these are things I will never forget. I have the utmost respect and love for you and Pam. Thank you for taking time to share.

    Love in Christ!


  3. Posted by Milton on March 5, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Hey brother,
    I couldn’t agree with Saran more – thanks Saran, and thank you Randy for sharing. We’ve all had or will have that time in our life with the rug is pulled out from under us….what we do with it reflects a really big picture of where we are spiritually in Christ. You’ve clearly shown where you are!!
    Keep up the encouragement my friend and God Bless You from the Netherlands!
    Love you and Pam,


  4. Milton,
    Thank you my brother for your kind words. In these days, the ministry of reconciliation is so important and we must make it a priority in the church. Thank you for your continued encouragement.



  5. Posted by Patti Pustka on March 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Randy how I wish I could talk with you personally. Even after all these years I still make reference to the ministry you provided for me through our years at TVBC. I am really in the valley myself with my “church” job and it is so stressful and so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel many days. Thank you for your words of honesty. Who’da thunk it after all these years, your still ministering to old friends. Be blessed! Patti


    • Patti, thanks for those wonderful words of encouragement. This is what we do in the body of Christ; we encourage each other! If you are experiencing some ministry stress, I would love to chat with you. Hit me up on Facebook or just call; we’re in the book.


  6. Posted by Kathy on April 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Hey..very true. Sounds like we have been on a similar path. I have felt “estranged” almost from my church..it’s a great church, but it’s almost like I have ‘aged out’ and they don’t need ‘older people’ anymore, at least to do the things I love and was born to do. Has b een very discouraging..disheartening. Hope deferred makes the heart sick…I think that is where I am right now. Althought those valleys you speak of…been walking in there for a long time..would love to start climbing the mountain again…


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