through the "valley" . . . ♥

:)  today was another "quiet" day as far as days go, and quiet is good! :)  Work was "normal" (as normal as work at a school can be!).  Again I was reminded of how thankful I am for my job, my co-workers and the students.  God is good and has provided me with not only a job, but a place that I go each day that (for the most part) I truly enjoy!

Tonight was another first - I went to Youth Group with the girls this week - though this was an "easy" first - I'd only not gone for the past 4 weeks because of conflicts, not because it was hard to be there!  And, again, as ALWAYS, being with our church family was a place of sweet peace!  My aunt gave me a copy of a magazine article that was JUST BEAUTIFUL.  It was about a young (28 years old) man who had died of a heart attack, leaving behind a wife, a 4 year old and a 2 & 1/2 year old.  His wife wrote about it being Christmas time (he had died on December 1) and the search for joy, even victory in the midst of what "people called a tragedy, a shocking thing".  It was such a beautifully written piece, titled "Through the Valley" and referencing Psalm 23:4, "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".  This article was so applicable to our lives and our journey right now - it wasn't until I got home and pulled it back out to put some of it here that I realized it was written in April of 1969 - when I wasn't even 3 years old - yet, the truths of GOD don't change with time - this story, which was 33 years old held the same truths that carry us day by day!  So, not only was the article uplifting, but the reminder that God's promises are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow was yet another "nudge" from God that He is THERE in every detail!

Parts of the article were as follows (in italics):  God allows no tragedies in the lives of His children, only potential victories.  The weeks since his death have been weeks of victory.  During all the impossible days and nights I have experienced an inner peace and power - the living presence of my Savior (I could have written those EXACT words!)  I am the Good Shepherd.  Would I lead you down an impossible way?  Have I ever failed you?  I will not leave you nor forsake you.  Rest in this promise.  Trust Me for each moment of today.  Don't worry about the tomorrows. I hold your future in the palm of My hand.  Believe that I am with you now.  Remember, child, I love you with an everlasting love.  There are no errors in My blueprint for your life.  Trust Me with every step of your life building.  I don't know about you, and unless you have walked this road that I'm (we) are walking right now, you may not really understand it, but that was just amazing to read!  It eloquently expressed EXACTLY what I have heard my Lord whispering to me each and every day for the past month and 2 days!  

As I came home from church, straightened up the house and prepared to settle in for the night, I paid some bills (and Praise the Lord I am able to pay them!), and settled in to read my devotional (THANK YOU so much Rochet - how did you know it would speak RIGHT to me?!).  It began with I am with you in all that you do, even in the most menial task.  I am always aware of you, concerned with every detail of your life.  Nothing escapes my notice - not even the number of hairs on your head.  AMAZING . . . He is with even in the most menial task (loading the dishwasher, wiping the counter, paying the bills . . . ) and not only is He "just" with me (us), he is aware and concerned! The first scripture was Matthew 10:29-31 - the passage about the sparrows and the fact that not even one of them falls to the ground without the Lord knowing . . . "So don't be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows"!  The devotional went on to remind me to fix my gaze on what is unseen . . . so that is what I will do this evening, and each evening that follows!

"For we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  2 Corinthians 4:18

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