“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b, AKJV
On Saturday November 18, 2017, I quit my blog.
Because the day before, I wrote a post straight from my heart, and it only got 4 shares.
So, by the time Saturday rolled around, I was bombarded with gloomy questions like: does it even matter? Can anyone even hear me? Why should I keep writing if my task of trying to encourage everyone only stretches 4 people wide?
And then I quit Facebook.
And deleted Messenger.
And then I just wept for like two solid weeks.
Not just out loud, but like in my heart. In my spirit. In my feelings.
Like, at work, I’d be doin’ my job, but my heart, my spirit, my insides were weepin’, y’all. Has that ever happened to you? Like, you’re smilin’ on the outside, havin’ conversation on the outside, goin’ through the motions on the outside, but on the inside, like, on the inside way deep down, you can feel an endless rushing waterfall of tears?
It’s like you can hear the sounds of the television, the laughter of your family during Thanksgiving, the bustling of the crowds at the mall, but like your own solitary person isn’t really a part of it because what’s happening on the inside is drowning a million miles away…
I just remember staring at my post, prayin’ and askin’ God, “How am I supposed to do this? You’ve given me this thing, this writing thing, so why does it feel like what I’m doin’ isn’t enough? Is what I’m doing enough, God? Because 4 shares sure feels like it’s not enough.”
Welcome to the Valley of Weeping.
Can I take you there?
Back to where I was for the past 14 days?
…friends, it was a mysterious place.
A wrestling place.
A quiet place.
A warm place.
A safe place.
The church I recently started attending was there.
Not the building.
The hurting women.
God, I know. You’ve chosen me and I feel like I’m letting her down, but 4 shares, how am I supposed to do this?
The pastor was there.
“How many of you have given up on vision? How many of you need resources to help with that vision, but haven’t gotten those resources? How many of you are focused more on the performance of that vision rather than on the One who gave you the vision?” He asked.
Godly arrows were there.
A woman I barely know, but want to know, was there.
I knew she was there because on November 22, she subscribed to my blog.
My sweet friend was there.
“Can we plan for a S.i.C.K. Event in January?” she asked.
She didn’t know I quit my blog.
Or maybe she did.
The following Sunday, the pastor’s wife, who had never met me, was there. She willingly hugged my hot-mess, sobbing self.
I have to tell you.
Satan was there, too.
Not loud Satan. Sneak-up-behind-you, Satan. Taunting-only-4-shares, Satan.
“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22, AKJV.
My uncle was there.
“What are you writing this week?” He asked.
“Um, actually nothing. I quit my blog last week,” I replied.
After a brief pause, I broke the semi-awkward silence with a question.
“You’re a pastor, so how do you keep going when you feel like no one is listening?” I asked.
Already, I felt foolish because I figured he was going to give me a clichéd response like: “Keep the faith,” “Dig into the Word,” “Give it to God.”
But, he didn’t.
Instead, he replied with a statement that unexpectedly and timely satisfied my weary heart.
“I grieve a lot,” he said.
“So, you’ve been here before?” I asked. “In the Valley of Weeping,” I continued.
“I have. And you know what?” He replied. “It’s an incredible place to be because it gives us the chance to ask,
‘God, are You still in this?’”
Suddenly, the words.
Suddenly, the tears.
Inside. Outside. All around.
Not because I was sad.
But, because suddenly, I was drenched in a proven love, a literal love, a visible love.
God was still in this!
In the women, in the pastor, in the new subscriber, in my friend, in the pastor’s wife, in the attack, in my uncle, during a two-week journey through a valley of weeping, that took place in my very own heart, a million miles away.
Suddenly, it mattered not, the performance, the shares, the how…
Suddenly, all that mattered was Jesus.
Suddenly, all that will ever matter, is Jesus.
Friends, if you are here today weeping…
…there is a Valley.
Walk with the Jesus who will not give up on His dreams for you.
Walk with the Jesus who will not give up on His plans for you.
Walk with the Jesus who will not, not ever, give up on YOU.
“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Yes, indeed, it does.
Awaken unto it and RISE.
God is still in this.