Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Valley of the Shadow

I have not written a post in almost three months. I have written elsewhere, but not here so it is past time to revive this practice. Today at church we said goodbye to a young friend, a child of our church, who is going to Northern Ireland for a year as a young adult missionary for the Presbyterian Church. She has started a blog about her adventures, and you will find her link under Erin Jezek. She said she too need to post something now that she is on her way, and I committed to updating my blog as well. We have had a bittersweet time at our church of late. Today was a sweet time of remembering this young woman's life and sending her off with our prayers and well wishes after she was commissioned for service. She is so full of life and promise and will be a blessing to those she meets there. I pray they will bless her as well.

The last few weeks have been a rough ones otherwise. A little over a month ago we lost a long time member to leukemia. Our pastor commented that there seemed to be a pall cast over the church as we waited knowing this woman would die soon. A month after her death, our pastor died. She went in for surgery and never woke up. We are still reeling from that loss. As a result of these bitter experiences, our congregation has spent too much time of late in the valley of the shadow of death. I have been thinking about that phrase from Psalm 23 as we have gathered around to support each other: "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me." I am grateful for the words of the Psalm I memorized as a child to comfort me in this sad time. And even more grateful for the knowledge of the sure and steady presence of God with us as we have travelled through the dark shadows.

Grace and Peace,
Donna Sue

No comments: