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Recently during my morning walk, I decided to change things up and go a different route than I normally do. Being in unfamiliar territory I was concerned about the terrain and the difficulty I would face but, ready for a new challenge, I proceeded. After a long while, the twists, turns, and hills of my new path had me winded… which is a good thing, but as I topped a particularly steep hill, I looked up to see an even more challenging one ahead. Between that hill and where I was, there was a decline which created a valley of sorts. I decided that I’d get to the valley and turn around. I just wasn’t sure that I had the energy to conquer that next hill. Turning around in the valley would have been easier and would’ve prevented me from taking on something that I wasn’t sure I could handle in my winded state.

Then, I saw the correlation between where I was on my walk and where many of us are in our lives. Often, after we overcome trials and struggles we are winded and tired, just as I was coming out of that upward climb. In this state, we actually find comfort in the valley and are often inclined to stay there. When we see a new test, unfamiliar place, or struggle ahead, it may seem easier to stay in the place of rest or to turn and go back the way we came. When God begins to urge us on to the next test, our flesh will do all that it can to tell us not to go forth. We are misled into believing that it’s easier to stay in bed when our flesh says we’re depressed or that it’s easier to drink that bottle of wine when we are stressed.  It feels as if it’s easier to stay in the valley than it is to climb the next hill. This is why it is vital for us to get the revelation that our feelings are not always facts. We must gain control over our feelings and choose faith instead.

As I hearkened to God’s urging to climb the next hill I found not only beauty but also a place of completion. Had I stayed in the valley like the children of Israel in the wilderness (Joshua 5:6) or turned back to what I knew like Lot’s wife (Genesis 19:26), I would have missed out on the blessing, the victory and the lesson. I encourage you today to not stay in the valley. God is extending His hand down to you to pull you up when you feel winded. Be driven by an anxious expectation of what God has for you at the summit of that next rial or test. Don’t allow the comfort of the valley to cause you to mistake it for a place of rest when it was only meant to be a place of respite. Trust that God has something amazing for you on the other side of every new challenge. If you want it, you have to keep going through every valley and up every hill that life brings your way. You can do it!

- Coach Dee, The Impact Coach

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