May 23, 2011


The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
~Phil. 4

Like a firefly trapped in a Mason jar. Stiffled, I peered out, watching others’ dreams come to pass. My own on a shelf next to me.

Little by little, my happy-go-lucky heart flickered. Sadness cupped his hand over what little light was left as I acknowledged outloud the depths of my disappointment.

Extinguished. Exhausted. Expectant no longer.

“I’m so sorry your dreams are dashed,” my friend offered. “Wish I had known sooner how difficult this disappointment has been for you. Woulda been an honor to walk it out with you.”

“Thanks. But a broken heart is silly. Especially in light of others’ pain.” Our friend’s husband had just passed away. Who was I to be sad about a mere break up?

Silenced by unworthiness. Belittled by doubt.

Years of wisdom, scrolls of mercy, flashed in her eyes.

The beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them.

She took my hand and we journeyed back. To a time when she lost her children. And someone told her to check her pain at the door. To keep it in perspective to others’ pain.

She took my hand and we journeyed back. To a time when the Lord ministered healing from the grief of empty arms and empty cribs. He rocked her tight, shielding her from the daggers of false words by careless hearts. Pain was acknowledged and given a name and sifted through, not simply tucked in a dark corner.

She took my hand and we journeyed forward. “Your pain is genuine. This valley is real and you have to walk through it to get out. Don’t belittle your grief.

She granted permission to acknowledge the ache and loss. Drastically different than her own, yet no less honest. Not till that moment did I realize I was holding my pain at a distance, shunning it for perceived absurdity. I needed her words.

And while it’s true that

It is wisdom that realizes:
I cannot expect anyone to understand me fully.

~Brennan Manning

We were created to at least give an effort to be understood. While our main hope and healing hinges on the Lord alone, it’s vital we share our journey with others.

Is it perhaps time to ask for help out of your valley? The grace of others settling in the valley with us is needed at times. Counting stars during the long, dark night of our soul is more comforting with others beside us. The first ray of light often is glimpsed by them anyhow.

No one could hear the whole counsel of God in isolation.
~Richard Foster

Friend, no matter what other voices have said, your pain is valid. Seasons of pain come. And they also leave. Don’t miss that last part. Pain is not meant to linger indefinitely. Often we need a trusted companion to walk us through it. Someone who will undo the lid on our Mason jar. And fly next to us, out of the valley.

Going Deeper

A few years ago I read Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner by Wendy Blight. Hope, joy, faith and trust were brutally ripped from her in a violent hour. She made her way through the valley she was pushed into and encouraged me out of mine as well.

This summer, Melissa Taylor is leading an online study of Hidden Joy. Friend, I pray you’ll consider walking out of your valley with the girls going through this study. No matter what the source of your pain is, I trust you’ll find hope and healing in this study. Click here for more info and to join.

Also, we’d love you to join us in our series of leaving the hurt behind. Jump on board by clicking here!

xoxo, Sam

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  1. pinkdaisyjane says:

    Oh how I wish I had heard these wise words so many years ago. Thank you for sharing this wisdom, Sam!

  2. Danielle says:

    Girl! Poetry, is what your writing is. So beautiful! So real! I love it. Thank you for sharing your heart and life with us!

  3. stephanie says:

    "Beautiful people do not just happen"…wow! Samantha, you are one of the most beautiful people I have ever met, and I haven't ever even seen you in person…yet I know when I do the rays of Jesus' love just bursting through your eyes are going to take me aback. You amaze me. With your writing. With who you are. God is so evident in your space…even your online space. Walking the journey with you sister, makes my heart smile 🙂

  4. Hurts, no matter how big or small we think they are, shape us. I like the advice you were given, "don't belittle your grief" I think when we are willing to bring them out into the light and share them with others and express them to God…He does something AMAZING with our pain. Not only does He comfort us and heal us, but then He finds a way to take the hurt and help it minister to someone else.

  5. Heather Bleier says:

    That would be me. I've stayed silent. Partly because of guilt and shame that I know in my heart shouldn't exist, but my head is stubborn and won't let it go. More than that, I stay silent because so many others have been through so much worse, my molehole does not compare to their mountain. My perspective has started to shift though, not quickly, but it's shifting none the less. I've started to write my story, my molehill. When it's complete I hope I'm am wise enough to share.

  6. Melissa Taylor says:

    Beautiful Sam! Absolutely beautiful. You are so right that we need others, we need to allow others into our "mason jar" as we climb out. And then, later at an appointed time, we will most likely find ourselves going into someone else's mason jar to help them because we've been there and now know how to help.

    I love that you are my friend. This post is amazing!

    Love You,

  7. Fields of gold says:

    Me too Heatherly! Even still I often have to remind myself my pain isn't white noise, but it's valuable and useable in HIS hands.

  8. Fields of gold says:

    Thank you Danielle!! You're so sweet! Honestly, these words are simply the overflow of just sitting with the Lord. Hoping His grace pours out of them.

  9. Fields of gold says:

    Steph, what an extraordinary comment… grateful for your precious use of such kind words! Can't wait to meet you face to face too and see Jesus just oozing all over you.


  10. Fields of gold says:

    Eileen… so aptly put! I agree… when we allow it, God uses our pain for other's healing. And often in an extra measure of our own healing. One of my favorite verses is "He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

  11. Fields of gold says:

    Heather, that tug to remain quiet, bury my pain, cover my 'molehill' gets me too. I know you know this, but I'm gonna tell ya anyway… your pain matters so much, Jesus took it on the cross. That's how amazingly special you are and how much each ounce, pound or ton of your pain matters.

    I hope when you write your story, you'll allow me to read it.

    So glad to hear things are shifting! 🙂

  12. Fields of gold says:

    Thanks Melissa!! I see you go into other's Mason jars every day in 1000 ways… what an inspiration you are!

    Love you!! Praying for this study!!

  13. ~*~KIMBERLY~*~ says:

    I so needed this today…. Praise YOU, Adonai, Yeshua, the Messiah… Thank YOU!

  14. ang wilson says:

    From a head, heart and spirit approach, you wove Kubler-Ross, our beloved Bible and other poignant quotes effortlessly to speak clearly on the importance of embracing and sharing our grief in our healing journeys. Thank you such a well-written post. It both moved and helped my hurting heart. Blessings.

  15. Anonymous says:

    WOW!! God continues to use you as if He is speaking right to me!! I have been in the exact place! Recently fianlly after walking in a 6 month valley of my own shared it with a friend and got a lot of the same advice as you did…:) I am praying for you!

  16. Fields of gold says:

    Kimberly, God is so worthy of our praise! Rejoicing with you!

  17. Fields of gold says:

    Ang, thanks so much for your kind words. All glory to the Lord for His hope and healing He gives. Praying your healing continues as you dive deeper into Him. Blessings to you friend!

  18. Fields of gold says:

    Dear Anonymous, wow, so good to hear your 6 month valley is coming to an end. I pray hope shines it's light into any leftover recesses and anything stolen in that time will be restored double.

    Thanks for journeying with us… it's good to have friends along!

  19. Hester's Heart says:

    You write beautifully Sam! God has truly given you a gift. Continue to fan into flame the gift he has given. 😉 Promise a personally signed copy of your first book! Love you girl, Hester

  20. Wow great post again. Also for me it's sometimes difficult to not compare my pain but also my hapiness with others. So many people are more happy than me and at the same time when I feel pain, I think that my pain is not enough to talk about compared with others wherever on this earth. Then what is left? Only not giving yourself the care we need and can be given by others and God. But all this is settled so deep in my thoughts. After a valley of more than a year I am certainly climbing up, with loving people around me that help me climb, that's amazing. I am wishing that to you and everyone who is in the same fight against dealing with pain alone.
    No pain is to little because it's your pain, and that's real for you. Thanx for sharing!

  21. Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth says:

    I just love you, Sam. Beautiful firefly, HE has a beautiful plan for you!!! So excited to see all He has for you. The gifts and heart He has given you are amazing.


  22. Fields of gold says:

    Dear Hester… sweet sister, how glad I am God crossed our paths in this journey! Thank you for your encouragement.

    We'll just have to plan book signings at the same book store together! Can't wait to dig into yours… hopefully next year!!

    Much love!

  23. Fields of gold says:

    Sweet Ingrid, Every one of your words is precious. Thank you for sharing where you have been, and where you are now, and where God is taking you.

    I'm so glad to hear others are walking out of the pain with you, and you're not alone!

    You are worthy of His love and positioned just right for His healing.


  24. Fields of gold says:

    Aw, Sharon, you bless me so much in so many ways! Thank you for your life giving words from your life giving heart! What a gem and jewel and treasure you are!!

    Lots of love!

  25. Anonymous says:

    So very helpful and comforting – has given words to exactly what I'm feeling but unable to voice.Thank you. Even knowing this site is here to turn to is amazing.Only found it two nights ago.Huge comfort to read

  26. Please pray for me. Me and my husband is going to try again to make our marriage work. Please pray that temptation won’t cross his path again. Please pray that the Lord will work with his heart to make my husband fall head over heels for me again and that he will only have eyes for me. Please pray that our marriage will last forever. Please also pray that he will forgive me for what I have done and that he will have mercy on me. Please pray that my husband will love me and my children unconditionally. Amen

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