Even In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death: God Is With Us

* Note: This blog is part of a series called Even In The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death.

The events which occurred earlier in the evening on December 10, 2010 would not be learned by my family until about a month later when I remembered them. We know now that after leaving school, I'd gone shopping for materials for an art project my students were going to do the next morning. We know it had taken me much longer to do this task due to the snow which had ended some time earlier. The commute had been long and slow. We know that due to the delay, I did not stop at home but decided to just get my items before going home. Apparently, I also decided that rather than go home and fix something to eat, I picked up some take-out food and headed home.

I know I logged into CB that night and from an email I sent at 10:15 p.m., I learned I even chatted with Alison Stewart (@Kiwibird) earlier this evening. Apparently I had been "tracking" her down and I'd been so happy to chatch up with her! I know I got a response to my email and went to bed shortly thereafter... then, the time bomb in my head went off. Deep inside my brain was a tiny aneurysm which they tell me I appear to have been born with. After 49 years of pressure, this weak area burst and without any warning whatsoever, I was suddenly fighting for my life... right in my very own bed.

In looking up some stuff for this series of blogs, I came across an email I sent to a friend that morning of December 10th, 2009. I have edited it a bit, adding in an explanation here and there.

I wrote:

Today I read:   "He is not the God who waves the magic wand and makes the Babylonian or the cancer go away. He is the God who sees and hears and enters into the suffering with His suffering people in the wilderness."    Needless to say, these words jumped out at me. I thought about a blog I wrote right before I went in for my first biopsy. I just looked it up and ironically, it was written on December 9, 2007... exactly two years ago yesterday.

(note: This blog is called Teardrops )
Anyway, the part I was recalling after reading what Michael Card wrote was:

(my note: I had been reading a book by Michael Card this friend had sent me called A Sacred Sorrow)
"I sobbed and screamed in agony at God. The questions came spilling out. All this was happening as I was zooming down the freeway through city traffic. There was silence as I struggled within myself. I wiped away my tears and listened. There wasn't an earthquake, a voice from heaven or anything else that would catch the attention of anyone except me. I had the sudden realization that Jesus Christ, Immanuel (God with us) was crying along with me. The outcome wasn't important. At this moment, God was crying along with me. He knew and understood my pain, sadness and fear. 

When life is difficult, words only help so much. The most comforting thing of all is to be tightly held by someone as you shed tears together. I was being held by and shedding tears with Immanuel. The same is true for all of us."
When I asked God why He was leading me down this dark road, He was not silent. He told me... He told me it was because He could. Does that make any sense to you? I don't know as it will but... I knew what He was saying. People don't understand that. Most don't seem to anyway. They think that if God leads you down such a path you are kicking, screaming, fighting and need to be "fixed/saved" by them. They think you are being dragged down it against your will and that you MUST be bitter/angry at God. 
This isn't about whether or not God made cancer go away and keeps it away. It is about whether or not I need a Savior every day of my life. It is about whether I will cling tightly to Him... no matter what. It is about whether I relinquish my will to His will regardless of what that looks like... I could go on and on but you get the idea... I hope. We say we love Him but do we love Him even if He places us in the furnace, the lion's den, prison or chemo infusion room? Can we still trust that He is bigger and He turns our darkness into light?

The above quote was written a little over 15 hours before my brain aneurysm ruptured. In retrospect, it is very apparent to me that God was preparing me for the battle I would soon be facing. When you are walking through The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death (which doesn't mean just physical death but any sort of difficult circumstance), it is critical to remember that God equips us to walk through that valley... even before we enter it. This process might not be as apparent to you as it was in this situation. However, I have to tell you that generally it is not as apparent to me either! Just because you or I cannot see what God is doing does not mean it is not being done.

The point is, God gives us what we need when we need it. Not when we think we need it necessarily but when we truly do need it.

While I remember little from late in the evening on December 10th through December 16/17th, I do remember this one thing. I remember being aware of God "breathing" these words upon me after being slid into the back of the ambulance.

I am with you.

When you go through your own "Valley of the Shadow of Death", remember that He is with you as well... regardless of what the enemy may say. Choose to listen to God's Word instead and never forget, even in The Valley of the Shadow of Death... He is with you.


K :princess:

Alison Stewart @kiwibird ·

There is only one place to be to find peace amidst the storms of life. It was in the storm that I found out how great that peace is. I praise God that you too, found that peace.