“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:4-6 (KJV)
Is there a valley that you are walking through? What is giving you hope?
At 3:09 p.m. Tyler was born. But the day meant for celebration suddenly turned into excruciating grief. “Our son died the day he was born due to heart failure caused by a chromosomal condition called trisomy 18,” his mother Kelly says. “We only had two hours to hold our son, take photos, and sing to him. Tyler looked like Tim with his distinctive chin, high cheekbones, and straight nose.”
The next year was the most difficult time Kelly has ever experienced. Oftentimes she would have remained in bed if it hadn’t been for their eighteen-month-old daughter, Emily. Kelly continued to meet Emily’s needs, care for her, love her, and comfort her.
“But there were days when I cried nonstop,” Kelly says. “And there were times I just got explosively angry. I didn’t think life would ever get better again.”
“But after a year,” Kelly says, “in the midst of my darkness, cracks began to appear, and light slowly started to shine through. I knew God was speaking love to me. I knew He was asking me to trust Him.
“In the deepest human pain, I had ever known, I felt a comfort and peace begin to overtake the sadness and despair. God’s presence and love became a reality for me,” she says. My confidence in my Redeemer was returning.
“I can’t adequately put into words how God changed my life as I grieved for my son. It may sound strange, but the most difficult time for me emotionally became the most special time for me spiritually!”
Kelly refused to let the despair and depression win. Her marriage became stronger, her outlook on life grew more grateful, and she developed a more patient style of parenting.
God was providing a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair (see Isaiah 61:3). That’s a miracle! “If we’ll put our faith in God, He will rush to meet us at our exact point of need. He is close to the brokenhearted! He rescues those who feel crushed in their spirit. Christ saved me from living the rest of my life in darkness and hopelessness.
“This is what I’ve learned from the brief life of my son: Hope is a beautiful thing. Faith gives strength. And love that comes from God can defeat any darkness or fear!”.
Lord, I need Your strength, Your embrace to get me through my struggles. Restore my hope. Amen