Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Home for the day

3:23 p.m. Today's project was to have Steve stay home with me for the day. I had most of my work here at home, and had as my first most important task, after devtions, breakfast and a few urgent errands, to write out my Bible study for Thursday morning. Also, with Vacation Bible School the last two evenings and again tonight, I wanted to spend the day with my husband!

Steve has been showing good improvements, but needed reminders to walk, instead of me pulling him along in the grocery store parking lot. He began to improve his pace, but after walking in, slipped back to the point where I had him hold on to the shopping cart for as long as he could maintain his grip. If you have small children, a very elderly or disabled companion, go grocery shopping on a weekday morning. The aisles are pretty empty, cutting down on their confusion and the awkwardness of their unintentionally blocking the aisle for anyone else. Although I must say, that people are very quick to pick up on Steve's condition, and move ahead, or I'll go a different direction to give another shopper space. It's called community, everyone making things smoother for all concerned.

Even though Steve's father had what we thought was Alzheimer's, I never thought that one day I'd need to be the leader for every aspect of our home. I certainly spent more time with the kids, and made many minor, everyday decisions for them while Steve was at work, but his was always the final word on anything of importance. With Steve in advanced dementia, the Lord has called me to unapologetically take the lead in our family. I am honored that He sees me as fit and spiritually mature enough to lead my husband through this incredibly difficult journey, because Proverbs 12:24a says,

The hand of the diligent will rule...

Steve and I have enjoyed decades of blessing as husband and wife, as well as having the joy of raising children to adulthood, praise the Lord, and now comes, after many trials of assorted kinds in our Christian walk, we find ourselves in a trial with genetic, early-onset dementia,  that relatively few belivers will face. There are millions of other kinds of dementia victims: from accidents, strokes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, even drugs and alcohol use. And we might, in a judgmental, sinful mode, even point out that "they did it to themselves," or "they must be under a generational curse," (which of course makes it somebody's fault from way back).  How sad, how misguided!

The fact is, that we live in a fallen, sin-affected world. Diseases of all kinds, and physical death, came in with the original sin of Adam in the garden of Eden. I Corinthians 15:22 states quite plainly:

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 

Sickness, accidents, mental and physical disability, pain and death--this is our lot on this earth for the years we are alive. But for the Christian, the story does not end here on earth!

Jesus not only died for our sins to save us from an eternity in hell, hallelujah, but He heals, keeps, comforts and leads us through this life, with joy even in the midst of disappointments of any and every kind. Don't you think I had planned on a normal retirement with my husband at this stage of life? Shouldn't Steve enjoy hobbies and travel for the next 20 years, after 35 years in the workforce? Shouldn't he be walking tall and confident, instead of stooped over like an one hundred year old man? Lots of shoulds that just aren't in God's will, are they? Heartbreakingly hard as his breakdown is to live with, God is more real to me today than ever.And I am more free in my spirit to witness boldly for Christ.

God is especially close to His children when we suffer tragedies and lengthy trials such as Steve and I are suffering. I guess that's why I don't spend time with self-pity! I'd rather draw strength from my God, and live in spiritual victory as a testimony to the unsaved; and as a challenge and encouragement to the saved. Knowing Jesus and surrendering your life to Him is the most important thing a person could ever do. And walking through this life with Christ, being part of His life-changing, miraculous work, is the most thrilling life imaginable!

What God decides to do with my life is His business--to obey and trust Him is mine!

1 comment:

  1. Love the attitude that the LORD has enabled you to have.

    Hugs and prayers,