On the way down the hall, I chatted a bit with activities director Carla about the importance of faith in the lives of the residents, as she was setting up chairs for a two-part showing of the classic movie "The Ten Commandments" after lunch. It's one of her favorite movies, and she shows it at Christmas and Easter. We agreed that it's particularly important for the septua-, octo-, and nonagenarians in her charge to be strong in their faith. I am so glad that Steve is in a privately owned residence where faith can be freely spoken of, and where so many Christians are employed!
There is a reason why I spend precious little time teary or dreary, whether privately or publicly despite Steve's deteriorating condition: the Lord's comforting strength, pure and simple! Psalm 18:1-2, NLT says,
I love You, LORD;
you are my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and
my God is my rock, in whom I find
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
Daily I see changes in my husband physically and emotionally, as well as the changes that result from his illness in every facet of both of our lives. The changes are profound and life altering. Stressors such as financial loss, time swallowed up by disability and medicare paper work, home responsibilities meant for two people now devolving upon one person, hospital emergency runs for a person who never experienced even one sick day a year...those are major changes for any spouse to deal with. And one day in church when Steve was still attending, I was worshipping with arms raised, and smiling with joy, when the devil accused me, saying, "How can you be happy right now, when your husband is dying?" For a split second, I felt disturbed and condemned in my spirit, but then the Holy Spirit reminded me,
I knew it was a word from the Lord, and in agreement continued to worship with a freedom and fervency I hadn't felt in a few months. I'd gained the assurance that Jesus would be with me in everything the near and distant future would bring.
Believer, if Jesus is everything to you, you will take comfort in these words from Malachi 3:6, KJV:
I am the LORD, I change not.