We were riding around the beautiful German countryside, and my dad's solution to being lost was to climb higher. Eventually, he would say, if you get up to the top of the very highest hill, you can look down and see where you are.
Life is like that. When dark times come, and we enter a valley, it's hard to see where we are. We don't know how long the valley is, and we're down too deep to see what's around us. I've found myself saying that we have no choice but to go forward, but I'm not sure that's quite true. In one sense, we continue breathing and existing in the midst of difficulty, but the choice of whether or not to move on really does reside with each individual. We could choose to wallow in the valley.
CS Lewis said that one of his fears in grief was that he'd find that the valley was actually a circular trench. A trench from which there was no escape. I think that's most likely a matter of mindset. We have the power to decide whether our valley carries us forward, or whether it becomes a circular path that we tread over and over again.
So it's onward and upward, and the Lord gives victory to those who press ahead.
"I will lift up my eyes to the hills,
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made Heaven and Earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved,
He who keeps you will not slumber...
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in,
From this time forth, and even forevermore."
From Psalm 121