I have lived through my worst nightmare. Truth be told, my nightmares never even came close to the reality of watching my son suffer through a terminal disease. Deep down, I think I had a very naïve assumption that life pretty much works out if you “work hard” and “do the right thing”. There are all the catchy sayings that add up to “be a good person and your life will turn out ok.” We think we can control our lives, but control is an illusion, friends.
I was rolling along just fine with my husband and three sons, when my world imploded. My youngest son, Dylan, was diagnosed with a terminal illness called Krabbe Disease. I thought we had passed the risky part of having another child. My pregnancy was good. Dylan was born perfect. There was no bad news from his newborn screening. He was the easiest, happiest baby of the three. When Dylan was 8 months old, our world came crashing down because we were told to take our son home to watch him die a horrific death. We were told that his death was “certain by age 2”. However, Dylan lived 4 years, 3 months and 2 days after his diagnosis. That was the longest, darkest valley of my life. But God was with me during it.
There is hope because God is still with us, even in the darkest valley. We must find HOPE in Him, not in our circumstances or our own abilities to “control” our lives.
Our beloved 23rd Psalm says: 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
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil; for You are with me.
There are 3 very important points in this scripture.
- We walk through the valley. God did not send a helicopter to pluck us out of that dark valley. We walked through it day by day and it was a long, painful journey.
- I’ll say it again. We walked through it. Therefore, we came out on the other side. That means it was not permanent. (That does not mean that you “get over” this experience. It means the pain decreases, and joy is more readily available).
- “Thou art with me.” Thank you, God, that you are with me. I very desperately wanted God to send the helicopter to pluck me out of the valley and save me from the pain. But He didn’t. However, He did promise to be with me. And He was. And He still is. And He can be with you also.
~ Amy May
Mother of Dylan May (1/16/04-1/6/09)
Read the May Family Story here.
We praise You for who You are and the promises You have made to us.
We thank You for Your promise to be with us, during our darkest valleys.
We claim that promise now, Lord.
We ask You to meet us where we are now, in our pain.
Please fill us with Your presence and Your peace.
Walk with us, Lord, and hold our hands.
Lift us up when we are not strong enough to go on.
Carry us Lord, through this dark valley, to the other side.
In Jesus’ Name we pray,
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.