But digging deeper, I believe that the Lord has brought me to this valley and to this place. He has gone far beyond my own ability to plan to draw me to this place of love.
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." -Proverbs 16:9
It is no secret that my last semester of college and the summer that followed were difficult for me. There were months full of confusion, pain, and frustration. Graduating seemed like the worst thing that could possibly happen to me, coupled with many difficult situations and relationships. So when it came to moving to Colorado, I was dragging my feet and begging the Lord to change the plans for my life. I did not think I was ready and I was filled with fear.
But somehow, I am still here. The Lord never granted my requests for a different life direction. He had far greater plans than I could ever imagine or have prayed for. He is the Author of a story far different and far more spectacular than I could have ever written for myself.
He has brought me to this valley, surrounded by the most majestic mountains, to draw me to my knees and to hold me in His love. As I stand in awe of the mountains that surround me, I too stand in awe of the Lord that is surrounding me and holding me in His perfect, steadfast love.
I would have never picked Fraser, CO as the place I would be held in the Lord's love. I thought that place was Chapel Hill... the place where my best friends were, where people knew my pain and frustrations, where I was comfortable, and where I felt safe.
But the Lord works differently than I do (praise the Lord for that because Lord knows I am slightly crazy most days). He has brought me to a place where I am being held by the mountains and I am being held by His love.
Just the other day I ordered Henri Nouwen's The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom. It is the bomb dot com and will rock your brain and heart cells. And in it I read: "You have to begin to trust that your experience of emptiness is not the final experience, that beyond it is a place where you are being held in love."
The experience of pain and emptiness is not final. Some days, the enemy tries to make me believe that it is final, but it is not. Those are lies. The battle has already been won. The Son of Man died of a cross, defeated death, and has risen victoriously so that we are not kept in a place of pain. On the cross He exclaimed, "It is finished." Jesus has brought us to a place of freedom and life and love through His resurrection.
And my time here in valley is just that... the place I am being held in the Lord's love. It is the place beyond the experience of emptiness and pain. It is the place the Lord speaks to me sweetly and is daily reminding me that He has not left me, but that He instead has something far better for me than I ever thought myself.