I sang for special music at a friend’s church today, and at first it wasn’t something that I had really thought about. I don’t have access to a piano to practice, so I grabbed a song that I knew would come together for me without any preparation and ran out the door. It wasn’t until I was sitting at the keys in front of a sanctuary full of people singing these words that they struck me:
The pathway is broken and the signs are unclear
and I don’t know the reason why you brought me here,
but just because you love me the way that you do
I’m gonna walk through the valley if you want me to.
As I sang this I thought of how unpredictable the world is, all the things that are out of our control and can suddenly just happen and change our lives forever. I don’t know why God let’s us walk through the dark times, but I don’t have to know. I fully believe that his love for me so far surpasses anything that he may ask me to go through that when he asks something of me I want my first response to be “of course.” Of course I will accept this pain that you’ve placed into my life. Of course I will do that huge scary thing; of course I will submit again; of course I will die to myself again.
Because I’m not who I was when I took my first step,
and I’m clinging to the promise that you’re not through with me yet.
So if all of these trials bring me closer to you,
then I will go through the fire if you want me to.
It may not be the way I would have chosen
when you lead me through a world that’s not my home.
But you never said it would be easy,
you only said I’d never go alone.
But it is easy to talk, easy to feel passionate about the concept and hard to carry it out in regular life where there is no cheering section. The real test is in the secret moment when I feel the prompting and no one else would know if I don’t answer it. The age of Facebook makes it so tempting to broadcast life to the point that you have to specifically decide to keep some things in between you and God. I have had to learn to keep some things sacred. In our little family I’ve had to learn to keep some things just between Jason and I; not bad things, but even jokes or sweet gestures. Some things can be shared, but our relationship is between the two of us and documenting everything makes other people’s reaction way too much of a factor. In the same way, my relationship with God is in between he and I. Sharing things is not bad, but there is a point when you can make it more like a TV show than a life.
So when the whole world turns against me and I’m all by myself,
and I can’t hear you answer my cries for help,
I’ll remember the suffering that your love put you through
and I will go through the valley if you want me to.
I think that in the three minutes it took me to sing this song, my heart learned these two concepts: I want to trust wholeheartedly in God to bring me through whatever it is that he brings me to, and I want my relationship with him to be personal and selfless. I want to give my friends a healthy view of my life and share what I’m learning, but I want to be able to select what I share from a wealth of experiences that I keep between myself and the people I experience them with. I want there to be a depth to my soul, I want to be rooted deeply in the love of Christ, I want to give of myself out of the overabundance of what God has given me.
And in those hard times, when Facebook isn’t watching and it is just me and Jesus, when I am facing a dark journey that I don’t have any desire to take and I don’t see the purpose of.. I want to look in my Savior’s face and trust that he will walk with me. I want to take his hand and say that I will go through the valley willingly and joyfully if that is what he wants me to do.