I am Gertrude Flynn-White whose name is on the cover of my inspiring book, “My Valley Experience -Beating the Odds ” I am a child of God, a widow, a grandmother, a retired principal, a motivational speaker and a writer. I use the term “writer”, and not “author”, because so far, I have only published one book but I have been a writer all my life. As a teacher for 40 years, I had to ensure that my weekly lesson plans were well written and all instructional materials in place. As principal, I had to make presentations or speeches at different forums and this practice has helped to sharpen my research, writing, and communication skills over time. Now I relax at home and share inspirational blogs when I am not traveling.
Life is a journey paved with opportunities, success, setback, disappointment, sickness, loss and other forms of adversity. Some experiences are similar to the “Valley of Baca” also called the “Valley of Weeping” mentioned in Psalm 84:6 “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.” In spite of the unforeseen circumstances, the weary pilgrims found sweet solace as they refreshed themselves with the blessings from above. It is the same way God provides for us when we trust Him and look to Him for help. He turns our sorrow into joy and our misfortune into blessing. When our enemies fight against us, He lifts up a standard against them and blesses us right before their eyes.
On my journey, I too, have encountered many challenges that seemed overwhelming sometimes. On three separate occasions, I was plunged into the “Valley of Adversity” by the sudden death of my 16 year old son, the death of my two brothers who died less than 36 hours apart, and then, the sudden death of my husband. I encountered others valleys too, but my strong faith in God gave me hope of a brighter future. Although these experiences pulled on my mental, physical, emotional, social and spiritual resources, my reservoir of faith was never empty. I believed in myself , I remained calm but optimistic, and enveloped myself in the strong determination that I would be a victor and not a victim, the head and not the tail.
There were times when I maliced Him because I thought He neglected me and was not answering my prayers. However, I was in love with Him so, like every other relationship, these feelings only lasted for a short time as the lines of communication soon returned to normality. I developed and maintained a strong personal relationship with God and trusted Him to restore me. I learned many lessons in the valley but the one that resonates with me is, “You have to go through the valley in order to appreciate life on the mountain.”
Christians will pass through valleys of despair and depression created by unforeseen circumstances. From time to time, God allows us to experience the ambience of the mountain or the lowest depths of the valley. We often wonder why we can’t remain on the mountain but we have to remember that valleys are a part of life too. As long as we are alive we will experience our fair share of challenges. If we view these challenges as obstacles on the road to success, we will be encouraged to explore ways and means to tear down these barriers or rise like an eagle and fly over them. I accepted the LORD when I was about nine years old but He revealed Himself to me in the deepest and darkest valleys. He assured me that He is still my loving Saviour and friend and would restore me. He has clothed me with His grace and this is sufficient to keep me.
Now, I am able to look back at my past experiences and appreciate His unconditional love. It’s like being on a mountain top and having a breath-taking view of the valley in the distance below. I am able to see the rugged terrains, the dark dungeons representing the different valley-situations I encountered and the long, winding ascent to the mountain top. Standing beside me, you’ll find my prayer partners, my destiny-helpers, and my close family and friends who formed my support-system as I sojourned through the valley.
My vision is to facilitate positive change through empowerment. My mission is to use this platform to encourage, motivate, inspire and empower persons who have had similar experiences. When you read my book, “My Valley Experience-Beating the Odds“, in which I share my story, you will be in a better position to see the Supernatural move of God. God bless you.