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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Valley (08/10/06)

TITLE: Joy in valleys
By Andrew Curtis


My fiancé and I are planning our wedding date. We are concentrating more on our lives together than just that one day. We anticipate trials that we may encounter and some speed bumps that may hinder us in our relationship. Our preparation for marriage took precedence over our planning for the wedding day. God is in the center of our engagement; just as we want Him to be in our marriage.

As the weeks passed though, we hit several snags regarding that one day. The wedding guest list was getting large and we didn't want to step on the toes of any relatives or friends by accidentally forgetting to invite them. The stress of where to have it and the cost was weighing heavily on us. Our focus was slowly being shifted. We had to keep our heads and hearts in the right place; on the marriage, not the wedding.
Our dream was to be married on the beach somewhere and the plans we drew up had us being married outdoors, which seemed okay to us. However, with the plans pulling us in different directions, God gave us a gift through family members. We were going to get our dream wedding and get married on the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We were elated. The plans for this wedding we just knew would be painless. Not so fast.

There is a lot required when traveling to another country to get married. We hit valley after valley and our spirits became dampened. Through it all though, we knew God had brought us together and that our wedding would happen. He knows the desires of our hearts and wants us to be happy. The saga of the beach wedding is ongoing but will end at some point. God's love for us though, never ends.

When we are in a “valley” and feel depressed or are in despair, we have to see that God still has the best in mind for us. He won't drop us and let us fend for ourselves. It is easy to praise God and delight in His works when things are going good and we are on the “peaks”. God gets us through what we think of as the lows in our lives. The challenge is to see the down times as a time of growth and true dependence on Him.

When our wedding plans were simple and we were concentrating on the future and the union of our lives, we were in the peak and elating in God's works. The more and more we concentrated on the wedding day, the more we ran into the valleys and became discontented. It became necessary to trust in God and know that His will will take over and eventually take place. Even though there is a lot of red tape involved and it seems overwhelming at times, we take joy that God will get us through. After all, He has always pulled us through in the past; no matter how deep the valley may have seemed to us.

The Bible says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me”. Psalms 23:4. If I should not fear in the face of death, why do I think I should fear anything else? If God is with me, whom or what then shall I fear? I should not fear the details of anything because God has them all lined out. He is the master of details. He cups me in His hands when I'm in the midst of life's valleys.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 08/20/06
Enjoyed this - I love your emphasis on seeking God for the marriage more than just for the wedding day, and then your linking it to God's love. Keep writing!
Marty Wellington 08/21/06
Great applications and imagery. You might watch your tense changes throughout (past to present), but otherwise very nicely done.