I want to thank each of you who prayed for my nephew in laws celebration of life gathering.  God's presence and grace was apparent in many conversations.  The difficult part of the journey is just beginning as they walk without their husband, father and friend.  Today, an old friend sent me a reminder that God was still using my husband Darryl's words.  She remembered a time when he preached about walking through the valley of the shadow of death, that this was a time to walk through the valley, we don't sit down, we don't tarry, we don't lie down and sleep we walk through.  And if we are walking through something there is another side to come out on.  We need to focus on the end of the valley and the joy that is set before us.  This friend, Marynell Hill lost a friend this past week end and I'm sure the Holy Spirit reminded her of these words.  Her friend chose to end her own life.  In God's gracious manner she shared these words with others who also benefited from their comfort and admonition.

Many years ago the Lord asked Darryl if he had a desire for a son.  It sort of shocked him, because he had felt we were done having our two girls.  He realized that he did.  In the fullness of time, as they say, I became pregnant.  This was not an easy pregnancy.  I had all day and sometimes into the night "morning sickness", and then I began bleeding.  My doctor put me on bedrest--not easy with two young girls.   One day I read Psalm 23.  The Holy Spirit had me focus on the valley of the shadow of death as well---but it was the next words that caught my heart "there will be no evil".  I received the peace and direction I needed at the time.  If this was going to be our promised son, then nothing could take his life, but if for some reason, I would mis-carry, there would be not evil in that either.  Both of our lives were safe in His hands.  I felt so free and peaceful.  Amazing the next day the bleeding stopped, bedrest was over and although the morning sickness did not cease, I enjoyed a relatively uneventful rest of the pregnancy and gave birth to our dear son Andrew.   Sometimes the story if different.  The loss happens and it feels evil.  This is a time to go back to the character of our God, praying and asking him to bring the good from our experiences, for ourselves and others.

I also learned about shadows.  Shadows cannot harm us--but they can make us fearful and afraid.  They can rob us of the joy and blessing of God's peace and comfort by tormenting thoughts of "what ifs" and stormy pictures of the worse case scenarios.  This is not God's perfect way for us.  His way is perfect (Psalm 19).  When we walk with Him, we walk in peace and trust.  Llistening and obeying His voice and instruction leads us to greater trust and peace.  Ask Him to shed His light on every dark place so you will not be a victim of his tormenting lies.  Lies are like shadows--when we see them, we need to replace them with tthe truth.  If not those shadow lies can become more and more real and controlling.  It is up to us to pull them down by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let us choose to walk in the Light of God's Word and Presence.  There is warmth, love, peace and truth.and NO hidden agendas in His presence: just grace and help in the time of need.  At times there is discipline and rebuke as well.  These are for our own good.  They cause us to grow in love and trust.  I love the safety of knowing God's character.  It reveals His loving nature as well as His firmness. I am so grateful for our Lord.  I bless His name.  Let us determine now to walk through every valley we come to--trusting Him to lead us out into His resting place.