During the summer of 1984, my husband, H.L., and I took a vacation. We put our bikes on the back of our car, and proceeded to travel from North Carolina to visit my parents in Indian Rocks Beach, FL and my in-laws, who lived in Tampa, FL
According to our plans, we came back up through Charleston to spend several days at ‘Wild Dunes’ on the ocean. We so enjoyed our time as we would ride our bikes to lunch and around ‘Wild Dunes’.
One afternoon, I put on my bathing suit to take a walk on the secluded beach. As I was walking along, the scripture from the 23rd Psalm just kept ringing in my mind.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” (Psalm 23:4)
As I started meditating on that verse and saying it over and over, somehow I felt it was much more meaningful, and tears started to flow. Somehow, I felt like it was almost a commitment.
That evening we went out for dinner, and as we rode out the gate, there to our left was a doctor’s office, and one of us commented about the doctor’s office. Who ever notices doctors’ offices?
The next day, H.L. went out to play golf, and I rode my bicycle down to the restaurant to have shrimp salad for lunch. Our plans for the afternoon were to go out on a boat when H.L. got back from golfing.
I finished lunch, went back to the condo and put on my bathing suit to take a walk on the beach. Again, there were very few people out on the beach.
As I walked along, my legs started itching, and I thought maybe it was the sand on them, so I went to walk in the water. Then I realized I was breaking out with hives, and pretty soon, my lips started swelling. It was all happening so fast, I didn’t think I could make it back to our condo, so I started looking for someone I could ask for help.
Far up ahead, there was a father playing in the water with a couple of his little children, but I didn’t want to bother them, so I kept on walking and almost trying to run.
Then in the distance I saw two women sitting in beach chairs and reading. I decided to ask them for help. By the time I got to them, I just said, “I need help.” I showed them my condo key and told them the number. I said, “My husband’s name is ‘Harold’”, and down I went.
The next thing I knew, H.L. was there with the car on the beach as far as he could come. He helped me up and into the car. We profusely thanked the ladies – and remembered the doctor’s office just outside the gate we had seen the night before!
We got to the doctor’s office. He immediately took me in and put me on the table. When he found out I had shrimp salad for lunch, he decided that was the problem because his brother had the same problem. (Needless to say, I have had no shrimp since then!)
For 2 ½ hours he worked with me, with shots, etc., and I was finally able to leave, shaky, but thankful to be alive.
The following month, H.L. and I flew to Denver, Colorado to visit his sister. While there I fell and had one of the worst sprained ankles I had ever had. That caused me, several weeks later, to go to my doctor about my ankle, and he recommended I also have a mammogram.
In the process, I was found to have cancer, which ended up with double mastectomies within a 6-month period.
During that last 6 months of 1984, I did, indeed, walk through the valley of the ‘SHADOW’ of death, but no evil was able to touch me! The operative words here are ‘walk THROUGH’!
I came through all of this – even the cancer – and I chose to have no chemotherapy – nor radiation – nor pills – no any kind of treatment, although my doctor suggested all of the above.
As of today, I am 32 years out, and don’t consider myself a ‘survivor’; I consider myself an ‘OVERCOMER’, because although I ‘walked through the valley of the shadow of death and I feared no evil, God was with me all the way!’
Our God is a Good God! He can be trusted in our darkest hours!!
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
YEA, THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
Psalms 23:1-6 NKJV