Through the Valley

by Andrew Craig


Serenity sweeps through the open window like a breath of fresh air. Assignments, tests, financial aid, work. What feel like a thousand items to take care of slowly pass away with the whisk of the wind. Instead of a crashing wave of stress, a soothing stream of peace flows into my heart and mind.


But why do I feel this way? How do I feel this way?



If you were to ask me that question at any other time, I would have told you I have no idea how that is even possible.


But this day was different. This day, something happened during the afternoon mass that gave me hope. An overwhelming sense of surety and joy came rushing in with reflection on the fact that if I believe in God, if I really do, and if I trust Him and do all I can to follow Him, then there is nothing that I have to fear.


What better joy is there than in knowing that God is by your side and wants to walk with you through every pain, strife, victory, and joy? And not only can one live in this moment with full calmness of mind, knowing God’s presence, but one can also share this calm, this joy, and this love with others!


As I was sitting in Mass realizing this, all of my worries and concerns drifted away. I left that afternoon, the sun was out and God’s hope was palpable. His life echoed through the trees, was sung by the birds, and was seen by the friends at my side. This feeling stuck with me and whenever I recall this moment the strength to live fully comes back and fills my spirit like a fresh glass of water on a hot summer’s day.


Yet, I do have to “recall” it. Who am I to say that I’ve achieved a sense of peace that I can maintain 24/7? Days come that remind me of the pain and strife that exist in this world. And in listening to friends and loved ones who are hurting, I cannot help but feel their pain with them. It is times like these that I forget that not everything is up to me. I cannot control everything, I cannot change people or past circumstances, and I certainly cannot control the way other people choose to think and act. Some things just happen. And this is when I need to remember most that God is with me, and with all of us.


I do not have power over everything, but I do have the power to recall God’s presence, to take life’s circumstances and try to put them in perspective, and to use the gifts I have to the best of my abilities to make the journey a little brighter for those around me. I think all of us have this power within.


I wrote most of this article in the first person singular because that is where I can most truly speak. Everyone is different and comes through life with different experiences, successes, strife’s, sorrows, and joys, but all of us have a common source, a common Life within us that finds its origin in the Father. He gives us our waves of peace and our sparks of life to share with others. And He is the One who walks with all of us, a constant travelling companion who is always by our side. All we have to do is turn our heads and see Him standing there, ready to walk the next step with us into any field or valley ahead.    


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