I tried — I mean I really, really tried — to write these words without having to swallow down a lump in my throat, without blinking back tears.
It shouldn’t be that hard, I told myself. After all, the heartbeat behind this post has been on repeat in my mind for months. The song lyrics have been whispered in the dark, belted while driving down the highway, and hummed while doing the dishes.
During one particularly important but difficult conversation, I stifled a laugh as the song played not once, but twice through the overhead speakers in the coffee shop.
I know these words. I’ve lived them.
I think that’s why it’s hard to write this post.
I’ve walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak
And I’ve seen the brighter days
And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place
And I have held the blessings
God, You give and take away
No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I’m standing in Your love
Sometimes bravery looks like daring to hope.
And sometimes hope looks like praying the same thing day after day for weeks and then months and then years, trusting that God is at work even when nothing appears to be happening.
Sometimes bravery looks like ordering an iced vanilla latte, like staying instead of running.
Most days, bravery feels small and unseen, like the behind-the-scenes work of consciously choosing to worship instead of worry.
It looks like letting love lead, like being faithful in the small things, like singing past the lump in my throat.
Bravery looks like continuing to show up, only to find that God was already always there.
On the mountain-tops and in the lowest of valleys, He was ready and waiting to be found, never hiding, never playing games, never seeking to trick or confuse.
He was there.
He is there.
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, I didn’t get there on my own
When I’m walking through the valley, I know I am not alone
You’re God of the hills and valleys and I am not alone
I’ve hummed the tune and sung the lyrics, reflecting on the miles traveled, the highs and the lows.
Sharp words hanging in the air as I hold a cup of sweet lemonade in my hand.
Friends on either side, praying prayers on my behalf.
The ringing of the phone at an hour too late for anything but bad news.
Flowers that bloomed in the “wrong” season, bringing life and unexpected beauty.
Laps up and down hospital halls, around and around again.
Early morning goodbyes.
Late night donuts and truth-filled conversations.
Road trips because tomorrow isn’t a guarantee and time moves quickly.
I’ve watched my dreams get broken
In You I hope again
No matter what I know
I know I’m safe inside Your hands
You could make your own list, I know. We’ve gone up the mountain, down to the valley, and then up we’ll go again. Every mile has mattered, but if we’re honest — there are some we never would have chosen to walk.
But the steps taken, they’ve shaped us. The moments have made us into who we are now.
And really, aren’t we all just walking each other home?
I don’t know where you are today. I’m somewhere in between, neither in the deepest part of the valley nor at the very top of the mountain. It’s ordinary but beautiful, difficult and regular.
One foot in front of the other, trusting and hoping, walking and climbing, breathing and believing.
He’s here, too. In the in between.
He is greater than every high and low.
Praise God, we’ve never walked one step alone.
Father, You give and take away
Every joy and every pain
Through it all You will remain over it all
A few months ago, I connected with Mia from Elevated Faith. We decided to partner together to bring you a fun giveaway… and you know I had to feature the “Highs and Lows” items. I’ve been wearing the maroon hat at least once a week (because I need to be reminded of truth) and every single time, someone asks what it means.
Which, basically, is the best conversation starter. “Oh, it says ‘God is greater than the highs and lows.'”
Thanks for that open door, Mia. The stories and questions that follow that sentence ^ are pretty darn great.
It’s really easy to enter the giveaway… you’ll just need to use the widget below. (Email subscribers, you might need to click here to view the post and then scroll down to the widget.)
Personally, I love the Promised Land collection. The colors make me think of the landscape in Israel every time I wear the bracelets. From the Dead Sea shades of blue to the desert sand colors… I’m truly impressed with the meaning and intentionality behind Elevated Faith products.
I mean, I love Israel and so I’m definitely biased. But even if I had never stepped foot in Israel, and even if I weren’t planning a trip back, the bracelets are still beautiful and go with just about everything.
PSA: I received Elevated Faith items in exchange for hosting this giveaway. All opinions are completely my own (I truly love their products).