Updated: Feb 1, 2021
It was in the valley, the in-between, the lowest point in my life that I actually experienced some of the greatest beauty and discovery about my life. My counselor shared with me that the valley is actually where the most nourishing food is, where animals graze in abundance. But, who would have thought that so much nourishment would be there— where you may feel stuck and all that is to each side of you are the steep mountains that you gaze upward at… wondering how you will make the hike to reach the top where the view is. Today friend, I want to share with you a little bit about what I had the gift of experiencing in a valley of my life and offer encouragement to you for the valley you may find yourself in.
“I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”
— Isaiah 41:18
I love this verse because it specifically talks about God bringing forth water in the midst of the valley and in dry land. Dry, numb, dark, confused, and scared described how I felt in the midst of a deep valley of depression and utter depletion of my spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical tanks. At the time, I didn't understand how I had ended up there from countless traumas, neglect, abuse, transitions, and a raging high-achiever mindset (or heart-set really) that had been birthed in a wrong and shameful belief that I was not enough. These pains plagued my heart with a lie that I needed to prove myself and sent me unhealthily lunging for attention. Though I knew that God had created me beautifully and provided a life of purpose in Him and freedom from ever having to prove my worth, I seriously struggled to see myself in the way He already saw me and had created me to be. I instead looked to people for my source of approval and attention and exhausted myself in my pace of life and damaging decisions.
It was over the next couple years that God would faithfully lead me on a journey of healing, rest, and renewal— from the inside out. However dark or hopeless things may feel, there is hope in God and His strength when ours is dwindling. After living with a flawed outlook and dismantling beliefs for most of my life, it took time for me to heal and for my energy levels and health in all of those tanks to be restored. The days were long as I battled such fatigue and lethargy. But, wow, like nothing before, it taught me the beauty of slowing down, practicing gratitude, learning how to breathe, realizing the importance of nourishing myself, and learning how to regain and sustain health.
In time, through significant changes done in a simple and pace-able way, I went from a disabling and disheartening depression where I didn't want to get out of bed, make meals for myself, or be social to feeling refilled and like myself again. I went from startling chest pains and tightness from anxiety to learning how to calm my body down, alleviating the pain and becoming aware of what my body was telling me and how to care for it's needs naturally. I went from feeling defeated with every diet as I would go through cycles of deprivation and overeating to developing a healthy relationship with food where I enjoy delicious foods and no longer live in stress or legalism around food. I gained a newfound appreciation for the wholesome foods God has given us naturally to eat that are medicine to both heal and protect our bodies from distress and disease. I went from regularly attempting to fill emotional hurts with calories to implementing nourishing alternatives for stress relief and emotional healing. I went from feeling like working out was a chore that was focused on obtaining a certain physique which made it unenjoyable to instead looking forward to moving my body in ways that I personally enjoy that are fun and life-giving.
All of this took time, accountability, and a lot of grace for myself going through the process as healing is not instant. The journey of healing is the most amazingly paradoxical teacher of both empowerment and humility. I want to invite you to ask yourself, what valley might you be in right now? What does it look like in your life and feel like in your body? It can be tempting to continue to cope in unhealthy ways and postpone beginning a journey of deep and holistic healing. Or perhaps you are ready to embark on that journey to health but there is fear of the unknown of what it would look like or how hiking up that mountain would possibly happen. The heart of my coaching practice is to be your guide on that adventure, to walk beside you with each step and invite you to look back and celebrate each victory of progress and splendid view that you'll get along the way as you stop at different look-out points. I think that the segments of the journey are so profoundly filled with even more meaning than just the point of arrival at the desired destination. You see, what can be gained from where you are at in this valley— the exclusive experience and perspective— is so precious. I believe that healthy living should be simple, sustainable, and enjoyable and that you can get to where you want to go while finding joy on the journey step by step.
God has made only one of each of us. He has given us a body and this very day to cherish, steward, and enjoy. I want to invite you to take a step towards healing today, whatever it may be for you! If you are interested in learning more about health coaching and if it would be a fitting option for you, click here to book your free session with me. I work with women who are tired of running on empty. I help them become fueled by their faith to create a lifestyle where their cup overflows. I would love to talk with you and would be honored to support you on your journey towards better health.
Cheering you on,