As an EDS Mama, I’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death. Some of you reading here have been there too, perhaps even burying a loved one who you have walked beside in this same valley. I’ve felt death’s heavy presence and I’ve experienced evil hovering over my shoulder and laughing at me. But I’ve learned to not be afraid of it. Or so I thought. Recent days have brought a new perspective to my understanding of this dark, scary valley.
I woke up a few days ago to the news of twelve police officers shot in Dallas, Texas, five of them fatally. See, I may be an EDS Mama, but I have other children, too. One of those is a police officer. I have always prayed for this son’s protection, but I do not fear for his safety. So, I surprised myself that as I sat and tried to comprehend what the news anchor was saying, I found myself weeping. It took me some days to understand why I felt so shaken.
I raised my son and all my children to view people as they are, not based on the color of their skin. I am proud of my son that he applies this to his job. To him, a criminal is a criminal; the appearance has no bearing. I do not intend to argue about what side is right or where middle ground meets, but as I’ve pondered these current events, I’ve found myself reflecting on the valley of the shadow of death.
I may be familiar with this valley because God allowed me to be there through my EDS journey, but my son willingly walks in it each day that he goes to work as well as every single day he is off duty because every police officer is never truly off duty. It’s created a new fervor in my prayers of protection for him just like the days when my daughter was in that valley because of her EDS. I know that he can walk in that valley, be aware of the danger around him, and still be able to not fear it just as I learned. Not because he is a tough cop, but because He knows his Father in heaven. And his wife will do the same because it is her calling also simply because she loves him.
Just as He always does, my Lord is challenging me today as he raises the bar of whether I will trust Him. It took me a few days to work through this, but I am able to sleep again and trust Him fully knowing He has my son’s back just as He has mine. I’m deeply encouraged that God is aware of my insecurities and fears. The very day of these tragedies, He spoke to me through a dear friend who texted me encouraging words that she was praying. I feel so proud that God raised my son up for this challenging time to be a protector of all people. “Even 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”, Psalm 23:4 ESV.