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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

TITLE: In the Valley
By Carolyn Summerset
05/06/09


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There’s Value in the Valley

I was at a church service one evening when the speaker said, “We are either walking into a trial, going through a trial, or coming out of a trial.” This thought rang so true in my spirit that I never forgot it. What began to open up to me has resonated through the last 20 years of my salvation walk.

With this revelation, I knew that my journey would not always be to my liking but would consist of some good and not so good days. I understood the purpose of sunny and rainy days? In the natural, I knew that we needed rain in dry seasons and the sun when we’ve had too much rain.

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, a valley is “an elongated lowland between ranges of mountains, often having a river or stream running along the bottom.” The valley denotes a low point in our lives while encompassed about with insurmountable odds that brings us to our knees.

Needless to say, I’ve gone through some difficult valleys. As I look back, I’ve lost homes, cars, jobs, family and some dear friends. Sometimes the valley lasted years and even though I knew I would be coming out, surviving everyday in the valley became my goal.

I eventually learned not to ask “why me?” The valleys exposed my weaknesses, desires, goals, choices, and options. It tested my commitment to the One in whom I said I believed. I found out that friends and love ones will leave you when you’re going through. I learned that in all my giving to others, sometimes no one gave in my time of need. It taught me that He wanted to prove Himself as my all in all.

The value the Valley couldn’t be taught by reading a book or having someone lay hands on me. Other times, I saw that no matter how strong I thought I was or the levels of ministry that I had obtained, the valley had a way of causing me to face fears that I thought I had conquered. In those times the Savior carried me! David said “though I walkthrough the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me.

Coming out has its value also. I’m more thankful, grateful, and compassionate towards others. Embracing new challenges are an opportunity to glorify the Father in the earth. So when you go through your Valley, know that you are never alone!

These experiences taught me that He would never leave me or forsake me and that all “things” were working out for my good. I learned to stand in the midst of great turmoil and disappointments. As the songwriter wrote “my good days, outweigh my bad days – I won’t complain! God’s been good to me!


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Jan Ackerson 05/08/09
This is written very well.

I'd suggest that you avoid dictionary definitions, especially of common words. Your analogy is stronger without the dictionary.

To bring your devotional home, provide some real-life examples of valley experiences.

You're a skilled writer; I look forward to reading more.