I once read a book that changed the challenging times in my life. "Hinds Feet on High Places" by Hannah Hurnard.
One of the hardest things about challenging times or bouts of depression was the feeling that I was back in that "SAME" place again! How would I ever get out of this Place? Well this book is a story about the character Much Afraid and her journey to the top of the Mountain to be with the Shepard. Along her journey to the top of the mountain she ended up going through Valleys. She was resistant to go through them because she just wanted to go UP towards the top of the mountain. Yet the Shepard taught her that it was during the tough times or in the valleys that we learn and grow in the ways that allow us to continue our journey to the top of the Mountain! The Shepard taught Much Afraid to look around in the Valley and discover what it was that she was learning in this valley. He taught her to take a Stone of remembrance from each Valley so that she would remember what the difficult times taught her. She also learned that each Valley is different and has a different message to teach us.
After reading this book my tough times became a time where I looked for the lesson I was learning. What was God teaching me that I needed to learn to grow and get closer to the Mountain top? What stone could I take with me from that valley? I stopped thinking that I had somehow failed because I was back in a Valley and realized that Valleys are important parts of the journey. At one point to help my sons learn this also I cut big stones out of construction paper and put the things we learned when we went through a tough time on them and hung them up on a door. I kept hanging stones until the door became full! Today my sons go through tough times and can look back and have a positive message to say about them. For example my oldest son moved all the way across the US and struggled for almost three years before he really became happy out where he was living. It was so hard to let my son go through this time and be so far away. But he can now state how much it caused him to grow and rely on himself and how much he realized about his love for me and his brother! He still lives very far away but he sees his valley as a positive time in his life now! He was able to do something very difficult and see what he learned and how he grew in a way he could not have without going through the Valley!
My life changed because of this message and I just wanted to share it with YOU! This book is a very easy to read life changing book! We all have tough times but how we grow as a result of those times depends on if we can see them as a time of strengthening and not a time of weakness! Remember to collect your stones along the way to remind you of the lessons learned in the Valleys!
Have an awesome day!