I have always been a glass half full kind of girl. I’ve been called unrealistic, overly optimistic and even naive. If anyone has talked to me for very long, they’ve heard me end many musings about many things with, “The good news is…(Insert ultra-positive stance here) I know that my inherent personality makes me bend this way, but my hyper optimism is not “blind” and comes from a much deeper well than my genetic pool.
I’ve had many moments collapsed in a heap of sobs.
There has been no lack of tears on my journey to certain hope. There have been a few encounters with grieving that ran so deep, I wondered if the valleys of my brokenness, like the chasms of the Grand Canyon, would forever be displayed.
- At thirteen when my dear cousin, only fifteen was suddenly killed in a train accident and experiencing the pain of her loss awakened the knowledge that I was also without a father who I suddenly ached for.
- At twenty one when I walked past a mirror and seeing my reflection, said in my heart, “What was it about you that made it so easy for your father to forget you existed?”
- At twenty six when I realized that my husband’s pornography addiction had crippled my sense of self-worth and the marriage I needed, with three small children to raise, was not the marriage I had.
- At thirty three and a single mother, when my son looked into my eyes and told me he didn’t believe in God and was going to keep using drugs.
- At thirty five after weeks of not seeing my new husband who started working in the oil field, when I was overcome with all the feelings of abandonment that had haunted my entire life.
- At thirty six when I left a company that I poured my heart into for seven years, because it became clear that my leaders no longer supported me.
I became a Christian at eighteen. I believed for several years that my new relationship with a good God, who knew me by name would take me from glory to glory, strolling on bridges that would allow me to walk safely above the valleys of wreckage below. Almost twenty years later, I have been from glory to glory, but not via sterile walkways. God did not prevent my journey from taking me through dark thorn infested valleys. Instead, in the valley of surrender, at the end of myself, He fulfills His promise and sets my feet on His mountain top.
Even now, as I look down at my desk there are three pictures that elicit feelings of loss. These three photos are some of the only I have of my father whom I was separated from at two years old and never saw again. The ironic contrast of them laying beneath my open bible and the healing it holds, reminds me of the ongoing journey from valley to mountain top.
Beyond the Valley
To an outsider, my “list” may seem a memorial to pain. To me, this is the very roadmap through my healing. Out of the source of my deepest angst, I experienced new elements of grace and miracles that my soul was ready for because of my vulnerability.
When my three children were small, nothing made me race to them like the gut wrenching cries that came when they were injured and with three boys, those times were many. For me, the very nature of God has always been on display in my sorrow. In these times of agony, my heart has cried out, “I need” and He has responded, “I AM”. It is because of His outpouring of comfort, the miraculous unfolding of provision, plans revealed and so much good that I can no longer remember the moments of grief as stand-alone experiences.
- At thirteen, He revealed to me my need for a father. At eighteen, He met that need in Himself.
- At twenty-one, He exposed my deepest wound and poured the balm of truth into it by showing me my worth.
- At twenty-six when I cried out that my dreams were shattered, He gave me a new dream and I am married to that (dream) man today.
- At thirty-three, I grieved for what seemed the death of my innocent son and I asked God to parent Him. I’ve watched Him protect, teach, deliver and bless my child in every way that I could not for 5 years.
- At thirty-five I experienced the full weight of my fears of abandonment and was miraculously delivered from separation anxiety.
- At thirty-seven I felt like a defamed professional failure and I cried out for His plan. Nine months later, I gave birth to the company, the career and the mission that the last twenty years has prepared me for.
The Good News
“The good news” is… that the groans we voice in the valley of surrender send our God, our Deliverer, our healer, the Lover of our soul… our Father, running to show Himself strong in our weakness.
“The good news” is… that we can choose to surrender at any moment and He will meet us there, with rest and restoration.
“The good news” is… we were made to dwell on His Mountain and the journey through the valley is not where we live. It is simply a place we travel and grow.
Bio for Christiana White: I simply love helping others fulfill potential. I’ve been many things, but the common thread is imparting value to others. My wonderful husband works in the oil field and I have three teenage sons, two of whom are musicians and one talented athlete. Professionally I’ve been a manager, sales trainer, business owner and speaker. Most recently, I’ve started an online retail store www.themoxiefox.com dedicated to curvy sizes for women, born out of a desire to provide women with curves, a beautiful shopping solution and a message of value. Christiana can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org