“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me…”

We are all walking in the valley of the shadow of death. Sometimes it becomes painfully obvious.

Yesterday, I was hit with a one-two-three knockout punch. I learned my life partner and best friend will slip away from me over the next few years. One of my beloved offspring has severed our heretofore close relationship and is unreachable. My other adult child is struggling. I feel empty down to the pit of my stomach. This is truly the valley of the shadow of death.

When our lives fall apart, we feel like we are under attack. We ask where we went wrong. We ask why we have to endure all this pain. Even though we know better, we feel like we’re the only ones suffering. Life goes on around us as if everything is all right.

I remember stopping at Kroger the day my dad died at the young age of 57. I looked into other shopper’s faces. No one knew of my pain. They may notice me, but they could not perceive my deep sorrow. And then I realized that we all walk around, tending to our daily business, unaware of what’s going on in other people’s lives. We pass strangers pushing shopping carts, and we know nothing of their trials and tribulations. But everyone we see is or will experience suffering. Everyone! No matter where they are in this world. The choice becomes clear.

I’m so grateful that I’m not going through this valley alone. That You Are, and You Are Here, Lord! And You Know my pain. You Wept for Lazarus, and for the anguish that consumed Mary and Martha, his sisters. You are Weeping now with me.
At the exact moment I wrote that last sentence, the song “I Know” echoed my words.

“You don’t answer all my questions. But You Hear me when I speak
You don’t keep my heart from breakin’
But when it does, You Weep with me…”

On the cross, You took on all of our pain and suffering, as well as our transgressions.

Everyone needs to know that there is Light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. There is Hope in Your Saving Grace because of the Cross! And everyone needs to know You Are and You Are Here to Carry our sorrows and Lead us to the Light – where there will be no more suffering – where Creation will be Restored to Perfection and broken people will be Healed! We will all emerge from the valley of the shadow of death unscathed and whole again. We will be able to see You and walk with You daily – the Way we were Created to be – Your constant companions.
As my tears fell during prayers this morning, You Sent me this song:

“Just Be Held” lyrics
By Casting Crowns

.. You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held
If your eyes are on the storm you’ll wonder if I Love you still
But if your eyes are on the Cross
you’ll know I always have and I always will
And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My Hands
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
you’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held…
In the storm is where you’ll find Me…
Come to Me, find your Rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go…

Thank you so much Lord! And Thank You for the people around me that love me and are here to support me.
Amen! ✝️❤️

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