October 3, 2006

If you want me to

Ginny Owens

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The pathway is broken

And the signs are unclear

And I don't know the reason why you brought me here

But just because you love me the way that you do

I'm gonna walk through the valley

If you want me to

Cause I'm not who I was when I took my first step

And I'm clinging to the promise that you're not through with me yet

So if all of these trials bring me closer to you

Then I will go through the fire

If you want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen

When you lead me through a world that's not my home

But you never said it would be easy

You only said I'd never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me

And I'm all by myself

And I can't hear you answer my cries for help

I'll remember the suffering your love put you through

And I will go through the valley

If you want me to.

I began a very intense journey a few years back. It feels like my family has been weathering a series of storms for years. At the beginning of it all, I had no peace about any of it. I was never angry at God, but I know at times I felt like we had been abandoned. On September 14, 2005, my journey changed. Not knowing where else to turn, I opened my Bible. I turned to Psalms and just began to read it. I felt like God's word was truly Living Word, and helping me through specific trials I was encountering. Knowing that there is a possibility that you will face death changes your outlook on how you're living. None of us know when our time here is up, so it is really not a good idea to wait until sickness invades you. I was just blessed to have God open my eyes when He did. I have been saved since I was about 7 or 8. I had prayed for Jesus to forgive my sins and come live in my heart before that, but I remember praying it at vacation bible school and knowing my name was written in the book of life in Heaven. I remember thinking how neat it would be to enter Heaven and have Jesus open that book and say, "Ah, yes, here you are. Come on in!" What an amazing experience that will be! I feel like when I started this journey, I was just a baby. I was living off of "baby food" in God's word. My husband has said before that I had a textbook example of how treatments for cancer should go. After the initial bad news of my diagnosis, I did not receive much bad news. Everything went better then planned. I was blessed that God gave me that experience. He knew my faith was small, and help build that up by showing me examples of how He loves us and can heal us. He opened my heart to be sensitive to His word and also to His voice. I feel like this is when I began to crawl and slowly graduate to the more "solid foods". I know that I went through my experience so that my faith would be strong so I could fight this battle with Jeff. I have always said that I felt we were battling spiritual warfare, and Satan was trying as hard as he could to take us as prisoners. I believed up until the very end that God could still raise Jeff up. Throughout Jeff's battle, I felt like I was learning how to stand in Christ. I was learning to take steps of faith, because I knew He is right there behind me in case I fall or just need to lean on Him to regain my strength. Before Jeff left this earth, I made sure he heard me say that Satan did not win this. We were able to keep our faith going, and trusting that God loved us and was in control. I never had that feeling of abandonment like I had in the past. That is how I know we won this battle. "It may not be the way I would have chosen", but I know that Jeff is seeing the rewards that he talked about in one of his entries. The last things I told Jeff were that I was thankful that he kept his faith, and that he taught me how to keep mine. His trials were over, and he had enough treasures stored up in Heaven at age 35 that would last him for eternity. What a thought! I told him that God was not finished with me yet, that is why I am still here and I will continue the work  started here. Hard shoes to follow after, but I know that Jeff found his strength in God, and I will do the same. I will continue to go through the valleys and through the fire as long as God wants me to. I fought so hard to keep Jeff here, I prayed with so much faith. I can think of no better person to have in Heaven, fighting hard now for me, and praying with so much faith that I will join him there one day. "I'll see ya when I get there" is the last thing I whispered to Jeff. I know that I am learning to walk this walk of faith, one that I believe that Jeff was running by the end. That is my prayer... "Lord, help me get to the point that I can run!"

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