Here’s a testimony from two years ago that I wrote and shared with a few others at the time. I pray God can encourage you with the same truths He used to encourage me in my time of need.
“𝘐 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘩𝘺!”
Sunday night after church. I sat on the kitchen floor, my back against the fridge, sobbing. Crying out to God. Yelling. No one else in the house to hear me as I gave vent to every single one of my sick-despaired-tired-angry-done emotions.
“𝘠𝘰𝘶’𝘷𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭, 𝘎𝘰𝘥! 𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦!”
I’d missed Sunday School that morning. Again. The second or third week in a row of being too tired to go or to even get ready. Of feeling like a failure.
“𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘰!”
I’d at least made it to the morning service to fulfill my scheduled responsibilities. But not even playing the piano had lightened the heaviness that pulled on my limbs. Instead, a new anguish had twisted my soul: Lord, will you take my piano from me too?
I’d excused myself from lunch with guests earlier than usual. Too tired to interact anymore, too tired to stay upright anymore, too tired to do anything but lie down and close my eyes and hope for sleep.
I’d pushed myself to the evening service, arriving just before it started. Sat in the back so I could leave as soon as it was over. Tried to sing, but by the last hymn of the opening I was leaning against the chair in front of me, staring down at the open hymnbook in my hands, my throat too clogged to form any words as tears squeezed out of my eyes. I couldn’t even sing.
“𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦!”
Now I sat alone on the cold tiles of my kitchen floor, crying in a way I hadn’t cried for a long time. I felt overwhelmed: overwhelmed by the fatigue that weighed on my body and still hadn’t let up, overwhelmed by the aches that sparked and burned through my being, overwhelmed by the darkness that clouded my mind.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I’d begged God for healing, and He hadn’t healed me. I’d begged him for relief, and He hadn’t relieved me. I’d begged Him for light, for hope, for answers. But the empty, pressing darkness had only continued.
I tilted back my head and wailed into the silence.
“𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴? 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵?”
Three days later, God answered me. Through my Bible reading and prayer time, He gave me five simple truths that lifted me up and set me back on my feet.
I was reading through I Kings at the time, and that Wednesday morning, my allotted chapters were I Kings 17-19. Chapter 19 spoke to me, first from Elijah’s attitude and then from God’s response.
In verse 6, Elijah wishes he could die and even prays for God to take his life. He says, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”
Hadn’t I felt these same emotions just a few nights ago? Not that I had been feeling suicidal, but I had certainly questioned the point of going on when life felt so empty. When I felt so empty. Worthless.
After all, what good was I to anyone when I could barely even stand? How could God possibly do anything productive with someone so weak and broken?
Then God responds to Elijah. What struck me was not the demonstration of God’s power and presence through the wind, the fire, the earthquake, and then the still, small voice. Or the mention of 7,000 other worshippers of the one true God that reminded Elijah he wasn’t alone.
What struck me were God’s instructions to Elijah. He doesn’t tell Elijah to go preach to 3,000 people who will all get saved. He doesn’t tell him to go work a miracle that will save the Israelite army. Nothing “big.”
Rather, He tells Elijah to go do three things: anoint Hazael king of Syria, anoint Jehu king of Israel, and anoint Elisha as his own successor. Small things. Invisible things. Unimpressive things. But important things.
God was saying to Elijah, “I’m not done with you yet. You’re not worthless. I still have things for you to do. They may not be big or impressive or extraordinary things, but they’re what I want you to do.”
And I felt God saying the same thing to me: “I’m not done with you yet. You’re not worthless. I still have things for you to do. They may not be big or impressive or extraordinary things, but they’re what I want you to do.”
And I thought of the handful of things I’d been able to do in the few days since my meltdown: email a teen from church who’d asked for help on a Spanish assignment. Text a friend some verses I’d written out for myself. Make plans to eat lunch with another friend who’d just finished her first year of college.
They were small things. Invisible things. Unimpressive things. But they were important things, important to God and important to my friends and important to me to show me that even in my physical weakness I could still serve God.
Truth #1: God is not done with us.
Truth #2: Even little things can be useful.
The third truth came during my prayer time later that morning, when I realized (again) my tendency to think my worthwhileness depends on my productiveness. I’d fallen back into believing the lie that if I can’t do for God I can’t be valued by God.
Such a lie. God reminded me that my worth is not determined by what or even how much I do. I could be in a coma, lying flat on my back in a hospital bed with no physical capacity whatsoever, and He would still love me and value me because my value is in Christ, not in myself. And even if I couldn’t “serve” Him, if I were immobilized in that bed 24/7, I could still know Him, and that would be enough.
Truth #3: Our worth is not in what or how much we do.
The next two truths came as I reflected on the morning of reading and praying in light of my desperate cries a few days ago. God had heard those cries. Even if He didn’t respond right away, He’d heard me. And then He’d reached into my life and, through the touch of His Word, had spoken into my heart the truths I so desperately needed to hear. He hears my prayers.
He sees my needs (even when I don’t). He knows the darkness of my path on those dark days. And even if I can’t see Him in those moments of darkness, He is always there.
“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,Psalm 142:3
Then You knew my path.”
Truth #4: God knows our way, our struggles, and our needs.
Truth #5: God is with us. Always.
Isaiah 43:2 promises God’s presence with us when we walk through the fire or the flood. The encouragement that He gave me through His Word reminded me of His presence with me even in my valley: His presence to encourage, to guide, to help, to comfort, to lead on.
Truly He is with me, and His rod and His staff comfort me (Psalm 23:4).
Have you ever felt like God is done with you? Do you believe the promises God gives us in His Word? What Scripture truths can you keep nearby to encourage you next time you’re in this valley?