Celebrating From the Valley

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Recently, I shared a video update on Instagram to let you guys know the conclusion of my book proposal pitch at She Speaks.

If you caught the video, you know the disappointing news: after waiting a couple months to hear back, I got a big fat “no” from the two literary agents to whom I pitched my book idea.

Major bummer.

As I began processing and working through the disappointment, a funny thing happened over the following few days: I was literally inundated by positive, exciting news from my fellow social media friends and writers.

Sisters signing agents.

Sisters signing book contracts.

Sisters launching new books, enthusiastically holding onto their book baby while smiling big for the camera.

Of course I’m thrilled for these amazing women of faith and all God is doing to bring their messages to life… but naturally, all the sweet news felt a bit like salt in my open wound of rejection.

It’s a universal truth, is it not? Celebrating from the valley is hard.

Maybe you’re trying to rejoice over a friend’s baby announcement when your arms still ache with emptiness.

Maybe you’re watching a friend walk down the aisle in her dream wedding while you’re still very much single.

Perhaps you’re seeing a friend crush her goals this year, though 2020 has threatened to crush you with hardship—and you’re just thankful to still be standing.

In Romans 12:15, Paul admonishes us to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (NIV)

If we’re honest, when we find ourselves walking through the valley, mourning with others comes a little more easily than rejoicing.

But as challenging as celebrating from the valley is, it’s one of the most crucial and necessary skills we can cultivate in our faith walk, for two reasons:

First, choosing to celebrate inoculates us from the noxious decay of a jealous and envious heart.

I’m so grateful my mama taught me this truth early in my life. From middle school on, she encouraged me to rejoice with and celebrate the successes of others. Doing so not only encourages a fellow brother or sister in Christ, it also frees our hearts from the grip of the green monster.

When we allow our own pain and disappointment to prevent us from praising the good fortune of others, we’re only hurting ourselves. And, we grant the enemy a wide-open door into our souls.

Bitterness is not becoming to a daughter of Christ. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit provides the strength we need to choose a better way!

Second, celebrating from the valley is tantamount to constructing a monument of trust in the goodness and sovereignty of our Father.

It’s a massive declaration that says:

Yes, my heart is hurting, and I don’t understand why others are receiving the gifts I so desire, too. But, I will yet praise the Lord. I will yet hope in Him.

When we celebrate from our own valley, we join our voices with that of King David. In Psalm 27:13-14, he declared:

“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (NIV)

Dear one, you will see a better day. Maybe not today, maybe not in this season. Or maybe not in the way you envisioned.

But may I gently encourage you to keep your chin up, and do as David did. Be strong, and wait on the Lord.

The God who is bestowing good gifts on others also has good gifts in store for you. The hard part is waiting, in settled trust, as you put one foot in front of the other along the valley path.

Will you wait with me? Together, may we celebrate from the valley and watch with eager expectation for all He will do.

With Grace,

Be Still

by Meredith H. Carr

Download my latest book, Be Still, about how to practice the art of stillness in the midst of turmoil.

12 Comments
  • What? Someone else missed the opportunity you have to give them. They loose! Maybe I’m a little partial to your sweet soul!

    I’m not going to gently tell you to hold your chin up….I’m going to shout to you to HOLD YOUR CHIN UP! Maybe it’s not God’s timing for your book publication….but it’s the writing God placed on your heart. Your right…wait on Him sweet lady…but don’t trash the word’s you recorded from the Lord!

    He walks us through the valleys and never leaves us in them!

    Love you,
    Beverly

  • Beth says:

    I have never commented to anyone’s blog post before, but I felt I should let you know some things. The Lord has used the things you have shared to speak directly to my heart! How you write and the way you put ink to paper resonates with me in a real way. Thank you for being a woman of faith and being vulnerable to share your struggles with us. You are a blessing to me and so many others! Thank you

    • Oh my goodness, friend, thank you so very much for taking the time to share those encouraging words–it means so much! I am humbled and so joy-filled to hear that any of my words have helped encourage you and point you to Jesus! I am grateful you shared that with me – praying blessings over you, Beth!

  • Tina says:

    Thanks Meredith! Soo hard to do, but so good.
    Thanks for your encouragement today! 🙂 Blessings to you.

  • Martha says:

    Your very wise mama raised a very wise and TALENTED daughter ! You have an incredible way with conveying Gods truths for today to all ages !
    Your words are always an encouragement to me and I’m sure to many !

    • Oh you are so, so very kind! Thank you for those incredibly encouraging words! They are so appreciate :). I’m so grateful for how you have always been such a support to me! And my very wise mama :).

  • Genna Stotts says:

    Oh sweet sister in Christ. The heartbreak and disappointment is very tough to swallow in so many ways. God gives us His discernment and direction and we carry out His will with great expectations. I am praying for you. May His way and pathway for the writing be revealed to heal your brokenness and bring God’s clarity. Praying for the journey.

  • Cecilia Torres says:

    Dear Meredith, it was such a blessing to read your blog (this new entry). You are really gifted and your writings are full of God´s Word for our hearts. I truly believe God has stored the best for you, to bring Him glory.
    I can identify those emotions, mainly, last months. My friends, my family, some of them sisters in Christ, received great and miracle blessings from God, their prayers were answered and their dreams came true… I love them, I know that God loves and blesses them, however, it is challeging because I´ve been in the middle of a dry valley…alone, nothing new or exciting…unanswered prayers…crushed dreams…sometimes I wonder, why?, sometimes I feel hopeless… but I lift myself up remembering that this valley is essential to know God in a deeper way, to endure, to develop patience and to strengthen my faith… but it is no easy…
    I just received an incredible message from my friend(great blessing).. I am happy for her, but honestly..tears ran down my cheeks and I pray God to help me to continue walking by faith, giving thanks, giving praise because He has already given us the best: His presence, His forgiveness, the eternal life, and everything what we need. I want to be grateful and faithful no matter what.
    Thank you for this writing, I will be strong and wait…

    • Sweet friend, thank you for this beautiful comment–I absolutely love to see your heart of faith and trust in Him as you wait in the valley!! It is so NOT easy, especially when we see those around us celebrating and seeing their dreams come true. I’ve asked that question “why??” more than a few time over the past few months! But you are so right and so wise to recognize that these valley times are essential to whatever God has planned next for you – I am cheering you on, sweet sister, and right there with you! Sending love and hugs!

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