When God Takes You Through a Valley | Ashley Varner

When God Takes You Through a Valley

All this month, we’ve been talking about abundance, but I wanted to take some time and share how you can have an abundant life even when you’re walking through a valley.

I know what it feels like to be in a valley. For the first several months of this year, I was in a dry and barren place. It felt like everything I had known in my Christian walk was being stripped from me.

Now that doesn’t mean that God wasn’t with me or wasn’t working on me. I was clinging to Him with every fiber of my being. And He was so faithful.

It was out of that scarcity experience, that I made this video. I’ve been on the other side now for several months and the experience has truly changed me completely.

I want to share some mindsets and thoughts that I used to walk through this time faithful to The Lord and His plan for me.

Resources Mentioned:

Renew180: https://ashleyvarner.com/180
The Mindset Reset: https://ashleyvarner.com/mindset
Make More Time Free Workshop: https://ashleyvarner.com/time
Thrive Bible Studies: https://ashleyvarner.com/thrive
Power of Prayer Workbook: https://ashleyvarner.com/prayer

Highlights From the Episode:

All this month, we’ve been talking about abundance. But I wanted to take some time and share how you gonna have an abundant life, even when you’re walking through a valley. And this video is coming from my heart because I know what it feels like to be in a valley.

For the first several months of this year, I was really in a dry and barren place. And it felt like everything that I had known in my Christian walk was really just kind of being stripped from me. Now that doesn’t mean that God wasn’t with me or he wasn’t working on me. I was still spending time in prayer. Reading his word. I was clinging to him with every fiber of my being, and he was so faithful.

But whenever he takes us through seasons like that, there’s a lot to be learned. And I really wanted to share this experience because what I really saw was this experience of scarcity. And it really reminded me of the story of Elijah, after he had talked to Ahab and he had told Ahab that the was not gonna be any rain anymore for, you know, however long for three years or something like that.

He went to this area where God fed him from ravens and there was a little brook, and this time in my life really felt like that time in Elijah’s life. And it was out of that scarcity experience that I had, that I made this video.

So it’s funny that I’m talking about abundance and things like that, and now I’m like on the flip side of that. But I wanted to share some mindset work that I did, things that God worked on my heart, to show how this experience really changed me completely. And so there are some thoughts that I used, some biblical truths that I used, to walk through this time, faithful to the Lord and faithful to his plan for me. So that is what we’re gonna talk about in this video. Let’s get started. Hey there, and welcome.

Identifying Scarcity Thoughts

I know that was a super long introduction, but I wanted to share a little bit of the background of this video. So I am naming this, “When God takes you through a valley.” But if you are struggling with any kind of scarcity mindset, this is going to really benefit you, because I really believe that there are times when it feels like everything is being taken from you. And it’s actually the beginning of something big that God wants to do. I think that it can be the beginning of God really filling your life to overflowing.

So before abundance, sometimes we are struggling with some scarcity, right? Sometimes God takes things out of our lives that we’ve been depending on more than we depend on him. He naturally is going to take those out of our lives so that there’s nothing else left, but to depend on Jesus. I think that learning how to identify scarcity thoughts and then defeating those scarcity thoughts is really paramount to making it through valleys like this in your spiritual walk, still clinging onto the Lord and really deepening your relationship with him in the process.

So that’s what I’m gonna teach on today. I’m gonna talk about how you can identify scarcity thoughts and then how you can defeat those thoughts. So whenever I talk about the word scarcity what I really mean is, any kind of thoughts that come into your mind where it feels like there’s not enough of something, or you’re not enough of something.

I don’t have enough resources

It might mean things like, I don’t have enough resources, that could be, there’s just not ever enough time, I don’t have enough time, I’m too busy. Or I don’t have enough money to invest in that. Or I don’t have money to feed my family, or I don’t have- it’s this I’m never gonna have enough of something, right. I don’t have enough resources.

Thoughts like this are hard because it seems like they’re the truth, right? It seems like they’re not a thought but they’re actually what’s happening. What we have to realize is, to take our circumstances and make them completely neutral. Instead of saying, I don’t have enough money, we can say, the circumstance is actually I have X, Y Z in my bank account. And then what you think about that amount is what starts the whole process of the way that you feel and the actions that you take. I want you to start seeing, that’s the same way with time.

I just wanna interject here that if you are struggling with feeling like you don’t have enough time, make sure that you check out my create more time workshop. It is completely free. It’s only about 20 minutes, ’cause I know that you feel like you don’t have a lot of time. So, it’s just 20 minutes, it’s completely free, you can check it out.

Make More Time Free Workshop: https://ashleyvarner.com/time

I’m alone, no one is standing by me.

If you are having thoughts like this, I want you to start seeing them as scarcity thoughts. Another thought might be, I’m alone, no one is standing beside me. No one is with me. And this is a thought that I had quite a bit in my experience. I felt like there weren’t a lot of people standing with me, I felt like I was just alone for a lot of that time. And that thought really is just that a thought.

And so what we have to do is decide, are we gonna line this up with God’s word and say, what are we doing here? What are the thoughts? What is the circumstance that’s causing me to feel this thought? And then how can I change that?

If you ever are thinking, I’m alone, that is a scarcity thought. Because you are never alone, as a child of God you are never alone. And so if you are ever just thinking anything like I’m lonely, I’m alone, that is gonna be a scarcity thought. That’s just a red flag of a scarcity thought.

I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing.

Another scarcity thought might be, I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. This is doubt, right? And so whenever we think things like this, and this can be a lot of like second guessing or trying to just go back and forth between two decisions, a lot of indecision making, that can be a sign of scarcity. And the reason is because you think, I don’t have enough wisdom to make this decision, right? It’s back to that enoughness, I don’t have enough knowledge or enough wisdom to get this right. Or I don’t have enough confidence that this is gonna turn out the way that I want it to turn out.

My personal faith is being attacked.

Another area might be, my faith is being attacked or my personal faith is being attacked. That might be from the enemy, it might be from other people, whatever that is.

I’m not enough.

And then another thought is just, I’m not enough. One thing that I want you to see from all of these statements and something that they all have in common, is that they’re all focused on me, I, us, right? And so it’s, I don’t have enough, I’m alone, I don’t know, my faith, I’m not enough, right? It’s all me, me, me. And so naturally the way to defeat those kind of thoughts is by kind of switching that.

I really believe that just being aware of the thoughts that you’re having, and knowing that they’re not true, is the first step in really defeating them. If you are struggling with this next step of defeating, I want you to know that just being aware of your thoughts is huge. So don’t be alarmed if this takes process. And that’s why I have programs like, “The Mindset Reset” and “Renew 180”, to kind of walk you through the process of identifying negative thoughts and emotions and changing those. So make sure that you check those out if you haven’t already.

The Mindset Reset: https://ashleyvarner.com/mindset

Renew180: https://ashleyvarner.com/180

Just being aware of your thoughts and being aware that they’re just sentences in your mind. A lot of times we think that our thoughts are just automatic truth and that’s not the case. And so if you are identifying these scarcity thoughts, that is a huge step forward. Now that you know what they are and they are scarcity thoughts, these not enough type of thoughts, it’s time to defeat those thoughts. And the Bible says that, we are able to take our thoughts captive. We are able to tear down and demolish strongholds in anything that builds itself up against the knowledge of God’s word.

Defeating Scarcity Thoughts

So that’s how we do that. We switch our thoughts from being focused on us to being focused on God. So let’s break down each of those that I shared and like what the difference is. Like what the flip side is of each of those.

God has infinite resources.

The first one that I gave was, I don’t have enough resources. So maybe you don’t have enough things, enough money. We can change that thought to, God has infinite resources and he’s my father. So we’re not changing the circumstance at all, right? We’re not saying that we have so much more, we’re not saying anything like that. We’re saying God does, and that he provides for us.

God has given me the exact amount of time to do the things He’s called me to do.

If you are really struggling with not having enough time and thinking I don’t have enough time, you can switch that thought to, God has given me the exact amount of time that I need to do the things he has called me to do. So the things that are on God’s to-do list for your life he has given you enough time to do those things. And if we have that thought, God has given me the exact amount of time I need, that changes our attitudes, that changes our perspective from a scarcity thought to an abundant thought.

God is for me and sometimes He will remove people from my life.

The next area that I mentioned was, I’m alone, no one’s standing by me. We can change that thought to, God is for me, God is for me. And we can even go further to that and say, God is for me, and so sometimes he will remove people from my life. That’s a hard truth to hear, but we see that over and over in the scripture where God has removed people from the lives of his people, in order to change them, in order to grow them, or even in order to make them depend on him more.

There are plenty of stories. Elijah, like I mentioned at the beginning of this video is one of those, where he had to be by himself completely, like solitary for a while. Sometimes God will remove people from your life and we have to be okay with that. We have to be able to trust that God’s way is better. No matter what God is for you, it says that in his word.

If you are feeling like you are alone, then we can switch that thought to God is with me, God is for me, God says he will never leave me, he will never forsake me, right? You can start changing your focus from a me focus to a God focus.

God has given me discernment and wisdom. And He’s given me the courage to stand up for what is right.

The next line that I had was, I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. You can change that to, God has given me discernment and wisdom. And he has given me the courage to stand up for what’s right. So if you are really struggling with doubt about, you know, decisions that you’re making for your family, or, you know, maybe you’re making a career change or something like that, and you’re feeling that scarcity thought of, I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. You can go back and say, God has given me discernment. He’s given me wisdom and he is gonna be with me wherever I go after this, wherever this decision takes me.

God is the author and perfecter of my faith.

The next line that I had was, my faith is being attacked. And what we can remember in that and what we can switch our thinking to is, God is the author and the perfecter of my faith. So ultimately, if people are wrong about your faith, or if the enemy is attacking your faith, ultimately, your faith is being authored and perfected by God himself.

If you have that kind of thinking, if you have that kind of mindset, it switches from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. And then the last line that I had was, I’m not enough. Any scarcity thought comes pretty much the root of that comes from that is, I’m not enough. The truth is that on our own we’re not enough. I know that doesn’t seem very encouraging, but I want you to know that while that is true, that on our own we’re not enough, the other truth is that we’re not on our own.

In Christ, I am enough.

So in Christ, I am enough. In Christ, you are enough. And whenever we start, focusing on God first. To see all of those, God has, God gives me, God is for me, God has given me discernment, God is the author, in Christ I am enough. When we start switching our focus to God, that’s when it changes everything, right? That’s when we take scarcity thoughts and turn them into abundant thoughts.

If you really wanna live an abundant life that’s where it starts, is taking your thoughts and saying, God, I know that I’m failing. I know that these thoughts are not correct. I know that these thoughts are full of scarcity, and I wanna change those, I wanna focus on you.

Living an abundant life

And ultimately it’s like what I shared in the very first video of this series, about how to live an abundant life. Living an abundant life is living a life full of Jesus. And so if you can take your thoughts one by one, and change them from being full of yourself or myself, you know, focused on us and changing your thoughts to be full of Jesus, you begin to change everything else around you, right?

You begin to change this abundance mindset because you are focusing on God, instead of yourself. And really that’s what abundant life is, is a life full of Jesus. So that is all that I have for you. I really hope that you enjoyed this.

If you are going through a valley, I want you to know that my heart is with you and just know that you will make it out on the other side. And if you cling to Jesus, you’ll come out on the other side, deeper in relationship with him, deeper in love with him. There are things that God can teach you in a valley that you would never learn if you never went through anything hard, right?

And so I want to encourage you that, if you’re going through a hard season right now, just know that it can be a time of exponential growth in your spiritual walk. If you will learn to take your thoughts captive and change your thinking from me thoughts and scarcity thoughts to abundant living thoughts that are focused on Jesus.

All right. I will see you guys next time. And we are going to end this series talking about when you feel ignored by God. So I will see you guys in the next video. See you then.

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- Ashley Varner

it’s my goal to reach every Christian mom with the truth that God wants to transform their life by renewing their mind.

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