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JULY 26 2020 | LETTER NO. 9 | LONELY PLACES
Dania's Letters

I’ve been navigating a valley for a while now. A winter season. At the early stages, I went from denial to defiance to despair. I had no idea what was happening and was clueless about how to react. It’s interesting the way we teach Faith in these parts; we aren’t really taught about seasons and how to navigate them. Valleys are interpreted as attacks from the enemy (and sometimes they are) and thus we expend our energies trying to force our way out of them. We think if we reject and 'bind and cast' enough, the valleys will disappear, or we’ll automatically scale to the other side. But it doesn’t always happen that way, does it? Sometimes, the only way to the other side is through the valley of the shadow of death. 

However, we don’t have to go it alone. He’s right there, with his rod and staff, providing comfort.

Despair to dependence. Total dependence.

One of the many, many things I’m learning in this place is how to give everything to God as it comes. The good stuff, the disappointing stuff, everything. Earlier this week, I found myself battling feelings I’d thought I’d moved past. Frustration at seeming inactivity. I was a little ashamed to be feeling this way, because I knew better. I’d been here before, learnt the lesson before. I could preach a sermon on how God’s timing was always accurate and how even when it seemed like nothing was happening on the surface, God was still moving. I knew it all, yet there I was with a big ball of frustration curling up in my chest. Previously, I’d try to work it out on my own; remind myself of all the things I knew etc. 

This time? I took that frustration right to God. Instead of being ashamed of it, I said: Lord, well here I am. I know you’re here. I know you’re working. I know the other side is coming, heck I can smell it. Still, right here, this minute, I am here with this... frustration.

Is there something you need to bring to Him?

I’m reminded of Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane, just before he was taken. He knew there was no other way. He’d left heaven to come here because it was the only way, yet he still had a “please let this cup pass from me” moment. The son of God. God himself. If he, knowing all he knew and being who he was, could have that moment, who was I to think I was bigger or better than such moments? 

Who are you?

So, I followed in his footsteps and brought it to God, just like he'd done. 

God allowed for that moment 2000+ years ago, so that in this present time, I can boldly bring my frustration, without any shame, knowing that He understands it, because He's felt the same thing.


On Repeat
Hillsong Worship, Seasons


One of the ways I experience God is through music. I didn’t think much of it until recently when I realised that not everyone experiences God this way. And that’s okay. There are many other ways some people experience God that I don’t. Nature, for one. God is too vast for all of us to experience the same way.


Like the frost on a rose

Winter comes for us all

Oh how nature acquaints us

With the nature of patience


Like a seed in the snow

I've been buried to grow

For Your promise is loyal

From seed to sequoia

This was one of the songs God used to reach me when I was sunken in despair. He didn’t stretch it down like a rope and ask me latch on and pull myself out, no. He climbed down through the ladders of this song to the depths of despair where I lay bloodied, broken, covered in filth, unable to move. He stayed there with me, enveloping me with his love. Reminding me that I was his and no one else’s. 


Lord I think of Your love

Like the low winter sun

And as I gaze I am blinded

In the light of Your brightness


And like a fire to the snow

I'm renewed in Your warmth

Melt the ice of this wild soul

'Til the barren is beautiful


Had he ever left me? Ever forsaken me? 

Adannia, I’m here. This darkness will not consume you. This valley will not swallow you.


I can see the promise

I can see the future

You're the God of seasons

And I'm just in the winter

If all I know of harvest

Is that it's worth my patience

Then if You're not done working

God I'm not done waiting


You can see my promise

Even in the winter

'Cause You're the God of greatness

Even in a manger

For all I know of seasons

Is that You take Your time

You could have saved us in a second

Instead You sent a child


He lifted me out of that hole and placed my feet on sure ground. Now He’s lighting up the path, showing me the way through. One day I will wake, and winter will be gone.


I know

Though the winter is long even richer

The harvest it brings

Though my waiting prolongs even greater

Your promise for me like a seed

I believe that my season will come

Binge Jesus.

I had already settled on not having anything for this section in this week's letter, but just a few hours before I was to send it out, I "randomly" stumbled on this, and as I watched, I knew.

I'm sure you will too.

Steven Furtick, Lonely Places

I hope you let Him into all your places this week – the good ones, the lonely ones, the ones of which you're most ashamed – He’s waiting to meet you there; let Him in.

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Chronicles of Dania

Lagos, Nigeria

dania@chroniclesofdania.com

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