In The Valley

“God has shown me that even in the valleys of my life, there are things to be enjoyed.” – Lindsay Briggs

“One of my favorite places on earth is Roaring River State Park in the Ozarks of Missouri,” said Lindsay Briggs. “It is in a valley, and valleys are so beautiful to me. God has shown me that even in the valleys of my life, there are things to be enjoyed.

“One valley in my life happened in college, when a crisis threw me into a deep depression. I desperately wanted something to help me feel like I was in control. I chose to focus on the food that went in my body. As a result, I developed an eating disorder.

“Rather than achieving what I wanted, using food as a means of control only made life more difficult. I had a counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist and prescription medications, but these things only put a bandage on my problems. My mom tried to guide me toward truth with Scripture. I read it but couldn’t understand that the Lord was able to carry me through. I thought I had to fix myself.

“I knew the Lord and understood that Christ died and was raised for my sins. I was the ‘good girl’ who tried to do the right things. In fact, I found my identity in the approval of others. But spiritually, I was lacking an intimate relationship with the Lord.

“I married my husband, Tyler, in 2007. We didn’t talk about religion very much because it was a source of conflict. I hoped we’d be on the same page spiritually, but on Sundays he stayed home, and I went to mass. Tyler later trusted Christ and was baptized at a Baptist church. But instead of rejoicing, I was selfish and frustrated because that’s not the way I wanted things to go.

“The Lord started giving me the desire for my husband to lead us spiritually. I knew about the Lord from what I’d learned at church, but I did not have Bible knowledge or understand how to be fully dependent on Christ. I questioned why I believed what I did about God. The Lord showed me that it was not about labels and denominations. It was about trusting and abiding in Jesus. Trusting Christ as my savior and Lord of my life took place over an extended period of time. God gradually changed my desires, my heart and my life.

“Tyler and I moved to the Dallas area so he could be part of the residency at Watermark. This was the first time I’d seen people be so authentic about their faith and struggles. In community with others, the Bible came to life for me, and I had the desire to be in God’s Word.

“I finally started surrendering the desire to control my life and gave God the reins. In the past I tried everything from perfectionism to an eating disorder to try to manage on my own. But there wasn’t a single thing I could do to control my life. Only Jesus can do that, and He knows what paths are right for me. That’s when I embraced the words of John 3:30.

“Although I always thought our marriage was good, it was the best it had ever been once we were running after Jesus together. But that was about the time we began struggling with infertility – something else that wasn’t going according to my plan.

“Infertility has been one of the hardest things we’ve gone through, but ultimately a blessing. Becoming a mother was an idol for me, and I needed to want the Lord more than I wanted a baby. The valley of infertility was a difficult yet sweet season for me. I grew both in my dependence on the Lord and my trust that His will and timing are infinitely better than mine.

“I thought that if I ever got pregnant it would be this magical moment where I would hear the angels singing, and I would feel complete. When we found out we were pregnant earlier this year, I was overwhelmed with joy. Yet it was also a little anticlimactic. Of course I was very happy and thankful. But I know my ultimate hope is in the Lord – the only One who can bring everlasting joy.

“When we were in the valley of infertility it seemed like we constantly received birth announcements and baby shower invitations. It was hard to believe that, ‘No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.’ (Psalm 84:11) So we started looking at our Ebenezers – our stones of remembrance of what God had done in and through us. There was so much to be thankful for. God’s hand was on us growing up, in our marriage, and in our move to Dallas. These moments reminded us that God is good and gives us exactly what we need. I learned to be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him because His ways are perfect, and all of His promises prove true. There is no greater thing than this.

“Even as we anticipate the arrival of our first child, we are still looking back and remembering. I had a desire in my heart for a child, but God had a better plan for me to grow in my dependence on Him. God brought us to this point, and He will continue to see us through. He is faithful.”

To find out more about Shiloh, Watermark’s infertility and loss ministry.

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