The Valley of the Shadow

Unknown

Precious Seed

This is Grace’s story. She was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1989. She was a beautiful, sweet-natured girl who was well loved by her peers. Her face always glowed with unusual warmth and vivacity and her captivating smile always brought a sparkle to her soft brown eyes. Grace’s life was in full bloom until one morning in early July 2003. This is Grace’s story as it was published in her school yearbook (a book containing contributions from pupils) and excerpts from her personal diary.

‘It was just after grade eight graduation (in Canada). I was so looking forward to a long summer break, but little did I know that that summer would change my life.

In early July 2003 I started to feel very tired every day and weaker than usual. First checkups didn’t show any problems. But I also started having severe attacks of pain in my abdomen, lower back and legs. So, back to the doctors we went again. This time an ultrasound was suggested. I wasn’t expecting anything serious. However, the ultrasound showed a mass around my spinal column.The doctor suggested that we go to the Hospital for Sick Children as soon as possible.Although he was able to arrange an appointment quite quickly,my pain increased extremely – almost to the point of my being immobile.

Surprisingly, after our appointment at Sick Kids, we were told that we would be admitted to stay.Many, many tests followed including surgery as well. Then came the shocking news: I had a cancerous tumour on my spine. So many feelings passed through me all at once. I was confused, mad, scared and I was trying to realize what was really happening. I couldn’t believe it. I knew God allowed this to happen but I didn’t know why. However, I wasn’t really upset with God. Most people blame God for the bad things in life.Of course, I was really sad and scared, but somehow God gave me peace so that I could accept it.

I had just gone through major surgery on my back but they could not remove the whole tumour. It was a on very delicate spot on my spine. So instead they released the pressure it made on my spine by scraping some off to test in the lab.This helped a lot with my pain in my lower back and legs. The doctors needed to determine the type of cancer and any available treatments.As a result, I had to undergo stressful chemotherapy and rounds of radiation. Before any of my tests or sessions with a doctor, I would pray with my mum and dad together. I have to admit I was quite scared sometimes, even to tears. However, deep down I always had a sense of peace.

That summer was filled with endless tests and I met many doctors, nurses and hospital staff. I was praying more than ever the following weeks. Since I was confined to the hospital for the whole summer, I found much more time to read my Bible every day. I felt my relationship with God was strengthening.He and I were becoming closer. I really felt His comfort and peace whenever I prayed. Sometimes I would still ask, Why? Why me, God? It encourages me to remember that God has a purpose for everything,Rom.8. 28.

Near Christmas time (2003) I felt led to get baptized. I felt that, since I was saved and part of the family of God, I wanted to get baptized. I wanted my life to be a witness for Christ. I felt really good that night. I was consecrating my life to God. When my grade 9 school year began, I was determined that I would do the work and pass the grade. This would have been something impossible on my own, but with everyone’s prayers, the Lord helped me through the whole year. With the help of my classmates, teachers, the filming of the classes and sending my homework everyday I was successful. For this I am thankful to all of them.

Today I am still fighting this horrible disease, but only with the help of my Lord have I made it this far. He helped me through the pain, through all the needles, treatments, and through all the bad reports that we have received from the doctors. My home assembly has made a difference and still does, with thoughtful prayers, caring actions, sincere love and beautiful gifts. I thank them all so much for this.This is the love of the Christian family of God. The power of prayer is great. I can’t imagine how difficult this experience would be without the Lord Jesus Christ. So all I can do is pray and depend on the Lord for the rest!‘

Grace’s father writes:
‘Our daughter, Grace, was saved in 2001 and later on baptized and received into fellowship at Eglinton Avenue Gospel Hall. The title Grace chose for this yearbook article was ‘Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil: for thou art with me’. While Grace walked through the valley, she was conscious of the Lord’s presence as He promised. Shortly after she wrote this article, the doctor told Grace there was nothing more they could do for her medically except to try to manage her severe pain. The day after she heard this news, Grace wrote this prayer in her personal diary:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know everything is in Your hands. It has always been. There is nothing that human doctors can do. However, You are the great physician. I do not know what Your plan is, but I do know You! Whatever You do is the best for me.You have promised in Your word, ‘all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.' I know You have a purpose for my illness. I just do not know what the purpose is. Of course I want to get better; but You may have other plans. I accept whatever You do. I thank you so much for everything You have done for me. You may want me to be with You soon. I love You, Lord. I thank You for dying on the cross for me and for saving me from my sins. I know You can heal me, but Your will be done. Thank You for giving me peace, I really need peace. I know You can take away my pain. Please do, Lord, but again Your will be done. Lord, You have helped, comforted, calmed and cheered me up. You have brought me through a whole year and about three months. Now, please let me be able to see the yearbook when it comes. I am really excited – just two weeks please.

These were Grace’s last words in her diary. God granted her prayer and gave her exactly two weeks. He also granted her simple request to see the yearbook. Two weeks later, Grace died and went to be with her beloved Redeemer on November 1st 2004 after battling with cancer for about 16 months. We are missing her greatly but we know she is in a far better place’.

Grace would have been 15 years old just over two weeks after she died.

There are 23 articles in
ISSUE (2005, Volume 60 Issue 3)

Are you fully covered?

The Attire of an Harlot

Baruch

Bearing One Another’s Burdens

Editorial

The Fruit of the Spirit is Peace

Gospel Work and other Activities

He Was Delivered Up

The House of God

How should a believer deal with depression?

Is God ever unkind?

Jacob at Bethel (1)

Jerusalem

The John Ritchie Library

My yoke is easy, and My burden is light

Studies in 2 Thessalonians

Tape Teaching

Ten things God won’t ask on that day

Through a Mother’s Eye

Understanding what the Bible means

The Valley of the Shadow

Wise words from the book of Job

A Year with Your Children in the Bible

This article is not part of a series

There are 67 articles by this author

Springburn Gospel Hall, Glasgow

Christian Workers’ Relief Fund

Brass Tacks

Neston Gospel Hall, Wiltshire, England

Low Waters Gospel Hall, Hamilton, Scotland

Sharing Christ with Muslims - A basic Guide

The Moral Maze

Heroes of the Faith

Timeless truths about the local assembly

Timeless truths about the local assembly

Rebel without a Cause

Ten things God won’t ask on that day

Is what you do for the Lord, a job, or a ministry?

A brief history of Jalan Imbi Chapel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Valley of the Shadow

F. Cundick

Symposium of Bible Doctrine

E. W. Rogers

Harold P. Hobbs

‘Day by Day through the New Testament’ and other books available

How would we react to this Today?

‘Father God’

The First Day of the Week

Appendix to the Sweet Saviour Offerings,

Information

Henry Miles Linton

Leonard Cave

The 1989 Christian Year Diaries

Caring for those who find themselves left to cope on their own

I have learned to be content

Christian Websites

Perfect

Behold the Lamb

Joshua 14. 10.

Pastoral Insights (2)

No Replay Received!

Request Clear Answers (Leaflet)

False Teachers Active

Family Life Decaying

Harry Lacey

A truthful tongue avoids half-truths

Views from the News

Views from the News

Who Cares?

BURMAH ROAD GOSPEL HALL, PENANG, MALAYSIA

Believers under threat

Bryn Mawr Assembly, Philadelphia, USA

Views from the News

Managing your anger?

Winning souls with tracts

Nelson’s Ultimate Bible Reference Library

On-line Bible, Version 2.10

He is coming

‘But there is forgiveness with Thee’

Mal. 4. 6.

Blairhall Assembly, Scotland

Remember the Children and the Adults at Christmas

Bible Bytes

Egypt And Babylon

Training for Missionary Work

Are Things Ready To Die? - And If So What Then?

“A Rigid System Of Priorities”

Christ And You (Colossians)

Argument

A Guide To Personal Work

Some Salutary Questions

Let Every Man Take Heed - 1 Corinthians 3. 5-17