In Kristen Jane Anderson’s book, Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice, she describes that a young teen, her life was spiraling out of control. She battled loss, despair, and depression – and could see no other way out than to take her own life. Thankfully, the Lord had other plans.

Kristen survived after 35 freight train cars ran over her at 55 miles an hour. But she lost her legs. Soon after the realization of this failed suicide attempt, Kristen battled more despair. Eventually, though, she met Jesus, and step by step, moment by moment, He restored her life and established her in His plans for her. Now she speaks and writes and uses every avenue she can to be a blessing and a source of encouragement to others.

I remember my own walk through a dark valley of mild depression. That sounds like an oxymoron but mild depression was a dark enough valley for me. I went through counseling, worked my way through all of the things in my life that caused me pain. I spent extensive time in the Word, used it as my plumb line for truth. I treated myself to occasional, inexpensive things that brought joy to my heart (because I had long since stopped doing anything for myself). I purchased a favorite magazine and took a bubble bath. I bought a novel and gave myself a few hours to sit down and read. I’d go workout and take my time. I had to make time to get my cup filled back up again.

What about you? Are you walking through a dark valley right now? Do know this: God is faithful! He will come through for you! He will make a way where there seems to be no way! Do not make BIG decisions during the uphill climb. Give yourself permission to have a little space, but don’t isolate. Make sure you’re getting regular doses of truth into your heart and mind. And don’t be afraid to treat yourself to simple things that bring joy to your heart (you’ll know when you’re going overboard with this or if you’re using your ‘treats’ to medicate your pain – I’m just saying, give yourself permission to take care of yourself).

Maybe you’ve been in the valley and now you’re on the other side. What advice do you have for the one still there?

I’d love to hear from you!

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