This is Val’s story as told by her…
I came from a family of love and closeness and my brother and I made the decision to remain close throughout our college years and attended Prairie View A&M University where we continued to love on and support one another unconditionally. He was my big younger brother and he was my everything.
So, imagine him suddenly passing away in June of 2011 and not having an opportunity to grieve and process my devastation because I had to put all of my energy towards being strong for our mother who was battling pancreatic cancer. Now, as you can only imagine, the day my brother left the earth realm, he took a piece of my mother with him as she too was grieved beyond measure which by the way, only weakened her state further.
Fast forward to January, 2012 (yes, seven months later) and imagine me absorbing the news (mentally within me) that my precious mother had been called home to Glory. It was a very surreal time in my life that made me pull from the remaining strength that I still had inside of me, the reserves.
Like many of my peers, my mother raised my brother and I in the church with total reverence for God and naturally, we believed that if we were good and did the ‘right’ things, bad things like this could not possibly happen. I mean, not within such a short period of time. They just did not happen, not to the true believers. So, imagine how I felt as I was going through the loss of my heartbeats Byron and Mom. I was like, “Lord, why is all of this happening to me and what is really going on?” But, as I was asking, God was replenishing my strength to continue. I was yet holding on!
During this time, I had my soulmate right by my side, holding me up, holding my hand and holding me down. But then, in August, 2012, we learned that he, my best friend of 15 years had Sarcoma (a cancer of the soft tissue) which had traveled to his lungs. We had just celebrated our anniversary and were basking in true love which had us sitting on top of the world. Then, in the twinkling of an eye, we were deep in the valley. But, I started to think and still believed that we were going to get through this, God is going to see us through this and Chris will be fine. Yes, I felt this deep within my soul as I sat in his hospital room every day praying and believing that God would heal him.
Finally! We celebrated the day that Chris got well enough to be transferred to a rehab hospital for personalized care which was an indicator that we would soon be back together, hand-in-hand, smiling and him going back to serving on the Parking Lot Ministry at our church. He served on the front line of that ministry like a true soldier and was the General of the Reed family as he covered me and my children in so many blessed ways.
YES! I was breathing a lot better knowing that my main man, Chris was on the road to recovery and God had heard and answered our humble prayers. Our family had been restored.
Return on Friday for the continuation of this story and to find out if having gone through the loss of her mother, brother and the cancer diagnosis of Chris made Val Bitter or Better. Read Val’s bio below ⇓
Move Forward In Righteousness XOXO♥
About Valerie: Valerie Johnson-Reed, mother of three children, Ryan, Kayla, and Micah. Was a Social Worker for approximately 10 years. However, after having a son being born extremely premature, she decided to change careers and became a teacher which allowed her to teach him at home. She has been an educator living in Texas for 10 years. She has a passion for reading and helping others and one way that she does so is by participating in community service with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, which is the sorority she joined while attending Prairie View A&M University. She is a member of The Wisconsin Sleepers, a coed non-greek community service organization. Valerie has a Bachelor’s of Social Work and a Master’s in Sociology.