Though I Walk Through the Valley

Even in my darkest moments, I saw I was not walking alone.

Jill Simpson-Abrahantes & Adventist Review
Though I Walk Through the Valley

By: Jill Simpson-Abrahantes & Adventist Review

Four times a year, on the first Sabbath in January, April, July, and October, Adventist members around the world are invited to dedicate a special day for fasting and prayer, as they ask God to bring about individual and corporate revival and reformation. Some time ago, the Seventh-day Adventist world church launched a Revival and Reformation website to highlight not only those special days but the ongoing power of prayer in Christian life. Among other useful resources, the site periodically includes stories of people who were impacted by the power of faithful and unceasing prayer. As the world church prepares itself for one of these days of fasting and prayer this coming Sabbath, July 1, we share a story of a person who stayed committed to God and to prayer in the most difficult of circumstances, in the hopes it can encourage our readers to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).—Adventist Review

A few years ago, I got married, looking forward to happily ever after. Soon after marriage, I discovered that my husband was battling with severe depression. In time, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and marriage became more and more difficult. It wasn’t long and we began to struggle financially because my husband wasn’t able to hold down a job.

In the midst of all this, our son Josiah was born, and within a few weeks came down with meningitis, battling for his life at a Children’s Hospital. I already had two children from a previous relationship, and it was difficult to be away from them while I cared for Josiah.

I prayed a lot, telling God that it didn’t matter what we faced. I just wanted to be able to bring baby Josiah home. God answered my prayer and a month later Josiah was discharged from the hospital. He left with the diagnosis of extensive brain damage and epilepsy, however.

Over the next six months, as I was facing the daunting reality of learning to care for a son with special needs, my husband’s depression issues worsened. Then Josiah started having a rare seizure disorder called infantile spasms. As a result, I had to spend a lot of time with him back in the hospital.

My husband gave up on life and began falling back into old coping habits, trying to cover his pain. His actions were devastating to our marriage; we ended up separating. Six months later, he ended his life and I was left to raise the children on my own.

Yet, even in this dark valley, I discovered that I was not alone, and that God would be my husband.

Many prayed for me during those difficult months, including the “Let’s Pray” team at Hope Channel. I had specifically prayed for a home in the country. God answered these prayers in an amazing way and provided a fixer-upper home in the country with 11 acres of land. People then began donating items to help with our new home. God also provided an income for me where I could work from home by making custom crocheted hats and personalized creations.

I wanted to bless others in the same way I had been blessed, so I began foster parenting. In answer to prayer, Josiah’s seizures stopped almost completely.

Today the miracles continue. Not long ago, I needed a new set of tires and God supplied me the money from an unexpected source. He is so good, and often answers prayers before I’ve had a chance to pray!

Although the journey has not been easy, God has helped me grow through these trials. I’ve become stronger as a result. That’s why I share, and I pray that my testimony will encourage others to hold on to Him, because no matter what storms we face, He will never leave us to walk alone. He is faithful!

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Jill Simpson-Abrahantes & Adventist Review