This has been the darkest season of my life. But in my soul I know that Jesus fights for me. He is for me and He stands behind me. He has never left me, and He walks with me through the valley. Every day, I have moments when sadness overwhelms me, but God stands firm and His love continually washes over. Way back in January my word for the year was hope. The valley of the shadow of death, is anything but hopeful. What I love about Psalm 23:4 is it says, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me.” “I walk through.” By God’s grace I will not stay in the valley. I will come back hopefully more like Him then when I went in. And that gives me hope. ,
“Yet, He knows the way I have taken; when He has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold.” Job 23:10 (HCSB)
Never in a million years would I have wanted my tragedy to be etched so deeply into my story. But I wonder if God loved me too much to leave me complacent. God knew that I loved Him before the tragedy, but He continues to call to me to come closer, go deeper. I want to emerge out of this valley of death more reflective of Him. I cannot move or breathe without Him.
Today was hard, really hard. I have to go to work. I have to get out of bed and get in the car and keep going with my life. I have to put one foot in front of the other and breathe in and out. Quitting is not an option. Each new day is a miracle from God. I want to run back in bed and pretend it never happened. But I must grieve with God and all who love me. I am not alone. Like I said, today was hard. I was trying to hold it together but inside I was falling apart. I was taking groceries out to a customer. I was hungry, my hair was a disaster, and one of my earrings had fallen out! Ah! I began my normal procedures for dispensing. My customer smiled big and launched into her little speech. “God told me to buy a coffee for whoever brought my groceries out. I’m so glad it was you!” She thrust an extra-large cup of coffee into my shaking hands.
And then I lost it. All the emotions I had bottled up inside of me came gushing out in big heaving sobs. I couldn’t stop crying! Thankfully I hadn’t put makeup on that morning. She smiled in a caring motherly sort of way. She didn’t ask me to explain my messy, tragedy. She took my hands and she prayed. She asked Jesus to cover me in His love. Actually, to be honest I don’t remember much of her prayer, only that she said, ” God You know how broken Sarah is, but You are not broken, God.”
No, while I am falling apart, Jesus holds me together. He is not stressed out or taken off guard. He is in control and He is good. I couldn’t stop crying because the love of Jesus was too overwhelming! When you are enveloped by God’s love there are simply no words. I think that is a slice of what Heaven will be like. We will be overwhelmingly beautiful in His awesome, glorious presence.
First when God gives you a nudge no matter how small, obey Him. Maybe that means asking the cashier for her name and how her day is going. Maybe it means helping the struggling momma with three little ones and full hands. Maybe it means sending a card in the mail, or sending someone a text. I don’t know what God is telling you to do, but simply say yes.
Secondly, I cannot say thank you enough. I could never thank everyone enough for lifting me to Jesus when my prayers were only gut-wrenching moans. For all the people who texted, prayed, hugged and let me cry, thank you. For everyone who took me for coffee and continues to let me know that I am loved. I am forever blessed with my immediate family and my HUGE Jesus family! It wasn’t until I was shattered this deeply that I realized how deeply I was loved. And every time you reach and show me love you are giving me hope and showing me that God does not give up on broken people.
JESUS sees You.
JESUS knows You.
JESUS Loves You.
“The LORD is my shepherd.
There is nothing I lack.
He lets me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life
He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
For You are with me.
You rod and Your staff-
They comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Only goodness and faithful love
Will pursue me
All the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
As long as I live.”
Holman Christian Standard Bible