Sitting in the Muck

By Beth Ann Olesen

“I am right where God wants me to be right now.” This has become my mantra over the past three to four months. And it wasn’t easy to come to. You see, I am a fixer. So when I find myself in a season filled with valleys, my instinct is to start digging myself out. To grab axes and hammers and build makeshift steps to climb out as quickly as possible.

But this valley. This valley is deep. And this valley is long. And I am no match for this valley. And every time I think I’ve created a step, it crumbles beneath me and I fall right back to the bottom of that valley. Hard. And I discover that the valley has grown even deeper while I’ve been ceaselessly and fruitlessly focused on getting out.

I’m sure by now you have come to a realization that took me weeks, maybe even months, of tears, pain, and frustration to acknowledge. See, I thought I was glorifying God in the midst of this season. But take a look again at those first two paragraphs. There’s a lot of ‘I.’ Not a whole lot of ‘Him.’

So, I put down my tools. I sat down in the muck. And I thought it would be terrifying. I thought it would feel hopeless and cause panic. But I felt relief. I was tired. My best was never going to be enough. I could not get myself out of this valley. And as I sat there in the quiet, no longer hearing the incessant buzz of all the things I needed to do to take control of the situation, I was able to Hear Him.

I got this, Beth Ann. You can’t fix this. Only I can. My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness. My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

I’m still sitting in the muck. This valley isn’t done with me yet. But neither is God. And now that I’ve stopped fighting what God is doing in me, I’m starting to see and hear why I’m in this valley in the first place. Trust me, each and every day is still filled with tears, pain, and frustration. The Lord is loving me through it, and He is whispering truths to me around every turn.

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14).

“When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ Your unfailing love, Lord, supported me” (Psalm 94:18).

“When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; He brought me into a spacious place” (Psalm 118:5).

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:13).

Dependence on Him. Hope amidst pain and suffering. Certainty among a host of unknowns. The Lord as the source of my strength, wisdom, and future. Do I wish I didn’t have to be in this valley in order for the Lord to refine me in these ways? Of course. But what a God we serve who is willing to sit in the muck with us, hold our hands, and deliver truth.

As a side note, the Lord is using Lauren Daigle’s “Rescue” to speak to my heart as well. Check it out!