Gabby is busy writing a book called “Standing Up on the Inside” about her experiences over the past year covering the pre-diagnosis, diagnosis and post diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. what follows is a prayer she wrote shortly after being diagnosed.
“Dear God, I thank Thee for the opportunity to come before Thee in prayer and thanksgiving this night. The last eight months I found myself walking a path I never imagined walking and I want to thank You for walking that path beside me. There were many days of confusion and frustration, knowing that something wasn’t right with my body but unsure exactly what was wrong.
It was a time when my patience and my trust in You was stretched to the limit and tested-almost to breaking point. Yet you knew how much I could handle as You always permit things to go so far and no further.
I now stand at the foot of a new challenge, with much uncertainty as to how steep the path will become. Nevertheless I do know where the path ends and that is what really matters. I also know that I am not alone and that You are always next to me, sometimes even carrying me, as You have these past months. I know that this attack on my health is an attack of Satan. He is such a fool, thinking that by attacking me and hurting me, he will draw me away from You. You and I know how very wrong he is because, after these past eight months, we are closer than ever before and sometimes, when You hold me in Your arms, I feel so close to You, I can almost hear Your heartbeat. There are times, when the days feel too long, that You take me by the hand and encourage me to keep going. When night falls, the best part about going to bed, is knowing that I can fall asleep in Your arms.
I thank Thee for Thy goodness and mercy and for the many blessings and gifts You send me each day. Thank you that I am able to go for a walk every day and experience the magnificence of Thy creation. Every day You send me another gift, whether it’s a butterfly or African Hoepoe or a bunch of dainty little veld flowers, each one brings me such joy. Thank you for my eyesight and the ability to hear different sounds. Please God help me to make the most of each day and always find something to be grateful for.
Thank you for the love, support, prayers, generosity and friendship of all my family members and friends. Their love and support is so tangible and their prayers have carried me through a difficult time. I pray for my darling mom, because I know this is a test for her too. I thank You for her special love, support and friendship and I pray that You will comfort her and give her the strength she needs. Thank you for my darling dad, who recently showed me just how close he is, in a short but wonderful and comforting dream. I also thank You for my guardian angel, who I know is always with me, guiding, encouraging and supporting me. May he know how much I love him.
And now, dear God, I wish to repeat to you the words taken from Hinds feet on High Places, “I will go down with You into the wilderness, even if you cannot tell me why it has to be. I will go with you, for you know I love You and You have the right to choose for me any path that You please. “ Thank you God that I know that I do not need to waste today’s energy worrying about tomorrow, but can take one day at a time, knowing that I’m in Your hands and You are my compass, always there to steer me in the right direction. Please help Michaela and Danielle, as I’m sure in some ways this will be a test for them too, as we are required to make changes to our lifestyle. Guide us in finding a new home where we can be happy and have all our pets with us.
Dear God, help me to be an example to my girls, showing them that no mountain is too high to climb and no valley too deep or too dark to enter. For it is our journey through the valleys that builds our character and gives us strength to climb the mountains. I will now go forward along this pathway, knowing with a certainty that whilst I have this condition, it will never have me and although it affects my body, it will never touch my soul or spirit because they belong to Thee and are overshadowed by Thy wings for eternity.
I am not alone because I am blessed to be able to walk with Thee, my Friend and this indeed is a true blessing, for which I am so grateful.
Praised, Hallowed and Glorified be Thy Holy Name forever, Amen”