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AWRIGHT DEN!: Valley of preparation

Corey Worrell

AWRIGHT DEN!: Valley of preparation

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Are you happy? Have you achieved all your goals? Have you had reason to celebrate? Have you had any disappointments? Have you lost anything? Have you gained anything? Are you depressed and sad? Do you wish it didn’t happen? Do you wish you could do it again?

Do you wonder how long this will last? Do you think it is too much to bear? Do you wish it could go on forever? Do you feel like giving up? Do you now have a reason to go on? Was the investment successful? Was your time wasted? Do you ask, why me? Are you grateful you were chosen?

Life presents us with so many questions, which confirms that life is filled with many fluctuations, deviations, ups, downs and experiences. Unfortunately, while we go through our experiences, especially the low and challenging ones, we often believe it is us alone feeling pain, stress and discouragement. We become so self-absorbed with our own valleys that we often only see them as punishments rather than preparations. How do I know this? I struggle with this also.

The human design is so complex and interesting and many times I don’t understand it. Let me put it this way: sometimes I don’t understand me. I can have a season of many celebrations, successes and achievements and one single challenge, disappointment or loss shows up and all that went before easily becomes a distant memory. Does this happen to you also? The valleys show up and all my energy, emotion and time are redirected to these with little remembrance of the mountain of successes gone before. I have learnt that it is important not to forget the achievements of the past, as they can be motivators to push you out of your current situation.

If you don’t already know, let me tell you – everyone faces valleys and many times you can’t tell by looking. Believe it or not, there is a purpose for challenges, loss, disappointments and mistakes in your life and without these, we would become very arrogant, complacent, stagnant and self-centred. It is out of hard times (valley experiences) that character is developed, strength is enhanced, new ideas are birthed, faith is restored and purpose is defined. More importantly, I have found from analysing my life that during my valleys, I especially pray and worship more. I have also observed that even those who aren’t Christians more often would turn to God in prayer when facing challenging times than when everything is going rosy and to plan. 

Valleys should be seen as necessary processes of preparation for the next level. In order to progress, we must go through the process and the lessons learnt and new skills acquired in the valley and while ascending the hill, will prepare us for what awaits us at the top of our new mountain. Most times, what you had before at the top of your previous mountain wouldn’t be relevant or enough to sustain and qualify you to be at the top of the next mountain. Always be mindful of the fact that between two mountains is a valley and the valley shouldn’t be perceived as punishment but a place of preparation and opportunity.

Does the valley experience hurt? Yes. Can it be lonely? Yes. Can it be exhausting? Yes. Can it be stressful? Yes. Does it require sacrifice? Yes. Can it last a while? Yes. But do not be discouraged or lose hope because the answer to these questions is yes. All the above are required for growth and development.

I love working out in the gym and will return when I can afford it. Why? Because muscle growth and development thrives under the conditions mentioned above. When you see a well-toned and muscular body, it just didn’t happen overnight. Working out can be lonely, exhausting, stressful, require sacrifice and can take a while to see positive results.

I can’t say that I enjoy valley experiences, neither can I account for anyone I know who does. However, I recognise the importance of them and I am learning to embrace the opportunities they present. My valley may not look like yours, and yours may not look like others’, but I am convinced that your perception of the valley will determine your experience there.

• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Email [email protected]