Walking Through a Door of Hope


 “…he restores my soul” (Psalm 23:3, NIV).

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.  There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope” (Hosea 2:14-15, NIV).

Nine years ago, today, my husband and I said “I Do.” Considering all the Lord has done for us, it felt appropriate to launch a blog on our anniversary.

Today, we commemorate all the highs and lows of our marriage. Yes, we are celebrating both valley and mountaintop experiences because all of it has made us stronger.

Reflecting on the past year, we journeyed through a valley of trouble, but were led to a door of hope.

We rang in the year in 2011 with great excitement.  A baby was on the way! Over the holidays, we surprised our families with customized, baby sonogram mugs. We will never forget the happy tears and congratulatory hugs.

The New Year also marked a new season of ministry for us. Officially ordained as ministers, we began to serve on the pastoral staff at our church.  The year could not have started any better.

Then, on January 11th, I miscarried.

I was only ten weeks along in the pregnancy, so it didn’t seem as bad.  But, little did we know the loss would rock our worlds.

So much unfolded in such a short period of time.

After undergoing a D&C procedure, I experienced anemia, weakness, and physical pain. I found difficulty in doing the simplest of things, like climbing up a flight of stairs. In order to heal well, my husband and I felt it best for me to resign from my job.

I went from maintaining a busy schedule, working in full-time ministry, to not working at all. As a workaholic, it felt as if my world turned upside down.

Externally my “normal” was changing, and internally I was just a mess.

Despite a short-lived pregnancy, my body still went through hormonal changes, triggering horrible anxiety and panic attacks—things I had never in my life experienced.  The bouts brought on MANY sleepless nights for my husband and I.

Depression—a friend of anxiety—also tagged along for the emotional ride.

I often feared death would pay me a visit again when I least expected it.  Thinking the worst, I frequently spent time in the emergency room.

I’m in no way trying to puff myself up here, but I’m the straight A student, hard-working, neat freak, perfectionist, in control type of gal.  So I never imagined having a ton of illogical and irrational emotions swirling everywhere. Everything was out of my control.

I found myself in a desert. I was in the Valley of Achor, or the valley of trouble, and could not find my way out.  And, yet, God came and restored this broken soul. 

The valley can either overtake you or propel you.

Traveling through the valley propelled me to seek Him out. For I knew only He could guide me out.

It felt as if He held my hand tightly, wiped away my tears, and turned my face towards Him.

And, He spoke lovingly. Though tender, His voice resounded louder than my turmoil within. Holding onto Him, He gently led me through a door of hope.

Today, I’m a different Me.  Not a more “in control” me.

No.  I am a more “surrendered” me. A more “grateful” me.

While in the valley, journaling became a faithful practice. As I blog, I desire to share some of those journal notes, along with past and present experiences, in hopes to encourage anyone who is in a “Valley of Achor”. TRUST ME – a door of hope awaits you!

Today, I am THANKFUL for nine AWESOME years with my INCREDIBLE husband!  Love you babe!!  🙂

By the way, forgot to mention…we are proud parents of a precious baby boy!!  God is Faithful!

About Natalie Nieves

I am a lover of Jesus. I am happily married and blessed with two beautiful children. My husband and I serve on the Pastoral Staff at a church located in New York City. I pray that God would fill you with unspeakable hope as you read my blog posts!
This entry was posted in Anxiety, Christian, Depression, Devotional, Encouragement, Faith, Fear, Hope, Infertility, Marriage, Miscarriage, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Walking Through a Door of Hope

  1. Nat,

    It is a joy to read your words and see all God has done. He is always so faithful and truly does make everything beautiful in it’s time. Thank you for sharing your powerful testimony. I rejoice in how the Lord has blessed you and praise God for His Door of Hope! Looking forward to reading more. I know you will encourage many. The best is yet to come.

    Lots of love,

    P.S. – Welcome to the blogosphere! So glad you’re here! 😉

  2. Christina Bayron says:

    It took me a little while to understand that receiving the Lords mercy and grace didn’t mean a free pass on the hardships of this world. We still have to endure many a rough season, but knowing that He is our “door of hope” means that we can and will get through it…..after all, hasn’t he endured it ALL for us already!

    Thank you for this nugget of hope and inspiration. I look forward to reading more.

  3. Lisa J. says:

    Faith isn’t faith until tested. You dear sister have the gift of faith and to persevere. I love you so much and look forward to reading more words of encouragement as we all need them.

  4. Nancy Santiago says:

    Hi Nat, Thank you for being so transparent. God has bless you both with an amazing baby boy. So I am so glad that eventhough we go through really hard and painful experiences God always Comes. I really related and I also thought I will Die, but God Almighty was there always holding me, and I felt peace. I still think of Jude alot( everytime). I know I will see him again. May God continue to bless you and your family. Nancy

  5. Liz Robinson says:

    These words of of wisdom are absoloutely
    Wonderful . To see how our God has been so
    Faithful. Looking forward to seeing and sharing
    More of what God had done for you. I truly love
    You my sister .

  6. Wendy O. says:

    Natalie, your blog has so blessed me. Thank you so much for your transparency. What an awesome testimony of God’s grace & Mercy! God is truly faithful! Amen!

  7. nnieves3783 says:

    Everyone, thank you so much for your comments! Hopefully, I’ll be posting once a week, if time allows 🙂
    Thank you!

  8. Mary says:

    :)…. I luv u … Some things we learn only through difficult times.. Thank you for refreshing words of hope!

  9. Janine says:

    Hey, I may not know you but I’m so glad I came across your blog !!!! Reading them has given me new hope not only in God but in the situation I’m going through. Keep up the good work ! Can’t wait to read more

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