Someone has saved my life. And, how could I not help but love this Hero? He has restored me and given me back all that I thought was lost and more. My Savior has brought me from the depths of ugliness and despair to a place of beauty and joy beyond any place I had ever imagined. Because He loves me, He showered compassion and forgiveness on me when none was deserved.

There was a time in my life when I travelled through the Valley. My seemingly perfect life had become twisted into a gnarled root of sorrow and pain. Through a series of events and a sinful choice I lost everything that I had ever held dear. So deep was my despair that to get out of bed in the morning was sometimes all that I could do. The rest of my day I would move in a fog as I was buffeted through a series of painful thoughts, self-condemnation and the realization of how lost and alone I had become. In anguish I would fall on the floor in my tiny one bedroom apartment and with my face in the carpet cry out to God to take away my pain...but it stayed. I would pour out my heart to Him night after night after night. I asked for Him to make things the way they had been. I prayed for my life to return to the calm and peaceful time when I, in my mind, had it all together. But, my prayers for time to be turned back were met with what I perceived as silence. My cries echoed with a resonating stillness in the empty room as I broke. But somewhere between one "unanswered prayer" and another, He met me. In the middle of my ugliness and self-pity, He sat down beside me. Totally exhausted, I finally came to the end of “me”. It was then that I remembered, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:8). I was not alone! The Lord was there, waiting for me to stop striving and totally submit myself to Him. Somewhere from deep within my broken soul a longing for Him stirred. When I had come to the bottom of life I discovered this truth: You don't know that God is all you need until God is all you have. My healing began in that moment.

As I opened His Word I read it with new eyes and my relationship with the Lord deepened. Then, an interesting thing happened. My prayers changed. I no longer prayed for my life to be as it once had been…I prayed for Him to do whatever He wanted with me. I placed my complete trust in my Savior. Once I accepted Jesus' words to the Father and made them my own, the overwhelming ache in my heart began to fade. "If you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done"(Luke 22:42).

When I looked up from the pit where I had fallen, He was there. I grabbed hold of Him and words of praise began to form on my lips. A flood of relief washed over me as I welcomed His hand on my life. I had come to the point in my understanding that no matter what He had planned for me or where He would take me…I knew it would be alright. And as we continued through the Valley, a welcomed peace settled on my soul. Slowly but steadily, miracles began and my life was made new. Each day, as I placed my trust in the Lord, my faith grew stronger and the difficult path I was traveling came nearer to its end. My Hero restored my dignity and self-respect, but most of all, He changed my perspective on my life…And that was it -- It wasn’t my life, it was His.

I cannot even try to understand all the complexities of God. He is so far above us. But I have learned to trust Him in all He does for I know He won't fail me. He brought me through the Valley to the other side, where my eyes are clear and my heart hears His voice. I look to Him knowing that He will do with me what is the best, whether I think it is or not. I trust that His plan for my life is far superior to mine. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I have learned that though it can feel like God doesn't answer prayers, sometimes He speaks the loudest in the silence. During the time of my deepest despair I learned that though at first I didn't hear Him, He was busy at work in my life...loving me, teaching me and caring for me. When I was in the Valley, I was not alone. He was there, leading me through. When my personal prayers became ones asking where He wanted to take me, we began a journey that I am still on. God doesn't promise that it will be easy, but He does promise that He'll stay by our side. And it’s worth it, friends. I will never forget how He pulled me from the pit I was in. I learned to let God into my life and allow Him to take complete control. And when you let Him in, He'll change your life forever.

Secure in Hope,