After the midst had cleared, Much-Afraid and her companions were surprised to find that the path they were on led them straight down into a deep valley. The ascent up was as steep and even higher than the Precipice of Injury, and to go down and ascend again would take an immense amount of strength and effort, and also a lot of time.
As Much-Afraid looked down into the depths of the valley her heart went numb, and she began to wonder if her relatives had been right all along. After all, if she did go down to the deep valley, she would lose everything she had gained so far on her journey to the high places. And for one awful moment, Much-Afraid considered the possibility of turning and not following the Shepherd any longer. This was not the way she wanted to go. If she turned, she could make her own choice and her sorrow and suffering could be ended at once. In that awful moment, it seemed as if Much-Afriad was looking down into an abyss of horror, into an existence where there was no Shepherd, nothing but her horrible self.
At this point in the chapter, I had to stop and ask myself, could there ever be anything that the Shepherd would require of me that would cause me to turn away from Him. Much-Afraid loved Him deeply, yet she allowed her mind to go to the possibility of turning away from Him. She loved Him, yet she did not fully trust Him. It was her lack of trust that would cause her to entertain leaving Him altogether.
After that awful moment, she cried out for the Shepherd with everything she had in her. When He appeared, she clung to Him, trembling from head to foot,
The Shepherd lifted her up and dried her tears and said in His strong voice,
The descent into the Valley was surprisingly easy, considering how steep it was. Much-Afraid was surprised to see how beautiful the Valley was. It was peaceful, very green with flowers covering the fields and the banks of the river flowing quietly through it. It was strange to her that she felt so full of peace and rest there, and more content than anywhere else on her journey. It was true that Much-Afraid look at the mountains on the other side of the valley and wondered how they would ever manage to ascend them, but she found herself content to wait restfully and to wander in the valley as long as the Shepherd chose.