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The Valley of the Shadow of Death

“I was physically violated.”

“We were hooked on drugs.”

“I was addicted to pornography.”

“I found my husband dead.”

“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.” – Psalm 23:4 I may fear no evil, but it doesn’t meant that at times things won’t get rough.

Yesterday at the end of the church service people got up and gave a small piece of their testimony and how God had changed their lives. After the service I spoke with a friend and told her that when I am telling someone about my problems that I feel like I am burdening them. I feel like I am whining when sometimes I just need to talk things out.

I have a lot of great friends, friends that are more than willing to listen, but sometimes pride keeps me from sharing my struggles. I don’t want to be seen as weak.

At the funeral on Friday the church filled with Jimmy’s friends and family. His sons cried their eyes out. His mom was racked with pain and guilt. I wondered what was going through Jimmy’s mind at the end.

I’ve toyed with the idea of suicide in my life. Not really thinking I could do it, but I’ve wondered if I was going to do it, how I would do it. I think we may have all thought that sometimes the pressures in life were just too much to bear and that by just ending our lives it would be much easier than to deal with the pressure and the pain.

Desperation. I think that is what it comes down to in the end. I think desperation is closely tied to despair and despair is a dark mire that if you allow yourself to be consumed by it then it is almost impossible to climb out of on your own.

At the funeral service I cried. I cried not for the loss of Jimmy, but for the loss of a father and a son. I cried because of the hurt that I saw my loved ones going through. I loved Jimmy, but I can’t sit here and write this without saying that I feel like he chose the easy way out.

I hope that my Aunt Debbie doesn’t spend the rest of her life wondering what she could have done differently to help her son. We all make our own choices. We can’t blame others for what is going on in our lives, in the end we have to be master and commander of our fate.

As I sat there at Irving Bible Church and listened to each of the people tell their story I realized that I had many of my own. I’ve been in some valleys, valleys so deep that I was scared to death to share on this website because I know my friends and family read this website. I didn’t want to burden others, but more than anything, I didn’t want to let all of you down. I’ve done shameful things in my life that I’m not proud of, I’ve gone through some things that I cannot change, but I can learn from those mistakes and use what I have learned  to help others. That is what those people on the stage were doing. They were sharing their hurt so others that are going through the same things can learn from them. They were letting us all know that in our weakness we are not alone. When we fail, we are not alone and if we are fortunate enough to have Christ in our life, we are never alone.

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