Making It Through the Valley

800px-Vallee_OssauI went back to Hillsong NYC yesterday with my best friend Wendy. Walking into Irving Plaza with Wendy is the norm as we’ve been attending and covering shows together since high school. However, the idea of having Sunday service at a concert venue still boggles my mind.

Yesterday’s service talked about three ways to make it through a valley. I couldn’t help but think of of my previous post, Coping with Rejection that seemed to strike a chord with many of you. I’m always reminded of the phrase, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” but sometimes it’s hard to remain positive when you don’t land that dream job, when your boyfriend breaks up with you or when there’s family conflict.

Luckily, pastor Carl Lentz gave three steps to dealing with hard times.

1. Stay Active. If you keep giving to other people you will keep moving forward.

2. Stay Connected. Your relationships will make you or break you in a valley season. Everybody needs somebody.

3. Stay Focused. Refuse to take your eyes off of God’s promises.

Too many people let go of their dreams when a valley hits, don’t fall victim at the last minute, right before the breakthrough, he said.

I’ve heard this countless times when interviewing bands over the years. How did they make it when many of their peers just gave up? What was their motivation when they reached that valley?

Better Than Ezra has been around for 20+ years and when I asked frontman Kevin Griffin his advice, he said:

“It’s about how savvy you want to be, how hard you want to work. At the end of the day, it’s not only the person who is talented, but it’s equal parts talent and then hard work, great work ethic. There are so many good bands and musicians who were way more talented than us and may be more talented than most of your favorite bands, they just didn’t have everything it takes. The get up and go, the drive, the savvy — you have to have all of that. Don’t think it’s just about chasing some muse through a meadow.”

I’ve come to terms with my job heartbreak of last month, though I can’t deny that there are times when I wonder what my  life would be like right now if I did land that dream job. Heartbreak aside, I’ve received more exciting opportunities over the past few weeks that make me overwhelmingly grateful.

I know that God has provided me with so many blessings and unexpected adventures over the years and all I can do is continue to trust Him throughout the rest of my journey.

How have you gotten over hardships in your life? Do you have any words of wisdom that helped you?