Yesterday I made this photo of my mom and dad at Ross Memorial. They were delighted to see each other as they had not seen each other in about 8 days. Jeff and I moved Mom to Elmcroft off of Milford Church Road last Monday and on the same day moved Dad to Ross. This was a hard move but Dad has come to the point he has to be in skilled nursing care. I am very satisfied with both of the places and feel their care is once again up to where it should be. This is for sure a very difficult and trying time for me to see the demise and difficulty my parents are going through. I have examined their care in so many ways to think, "How can we do this?" So I ultimately end up with this question, "Why Lord?" Why do you allow dementia? Why does the body slow down and cease to work as it should making walking, standing, and thinking so difficult? Why?
The trouble and difficulties with Mom and Dad began 3 years ago and of course continue to this day. I do not want to seem like I am complaining, I am not. But when people tell me they are caretakers for someone who is a senior adult or a handicapped person I now realize I am dealing with someone who needs and deserves respect. So many do this task of being a caregiver everyday, but for everyone who has this task, it is difficult. Love and obedience to God's command to "Honor our Parents" are the reasons why we do it. But I am so often praying for strength and asking My heavenly Father Why?
My faith drives me to the Scripture to seek answers always. James is one of the first books I every really did an in depth study of when I was just a young teen at Hurt Road Baptist Church. These passages spoke to me then and continue to give insight today.
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4 NLT
This powerful verse speaks to my question and I believe in the deepest part of my being for sure that God will strengthen me. With all of the many things that have taken place in my life I have to cling to this verse. I am blessed, but I am still struggling with many issues in life. We all do. This next verse is also one that often comes to my mind in the trails of life.
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 1 Peter 4:12-13 NLT
Peter knew some struggles in life too it seems. So with these two passages above I seek to answer the question Why? But it doesn't make it any easier. So I look to Paul and Matthew to give me some verses for comfort.
11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. 14 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. Philippians 4:11-14 NLT
This helps me to realize that many of you give to me and each other strength and comfort in this world. God has blessed me with so many friends who truly care. Although my post on mom and dad though few and far between, they are read by hundreds of you. Your love and support it seems, is always there. But your support for me and my support for you is really not enough. Without the Lord we would not be able to go on and this I know for sure. So I look for more in God's Word to speak to my trials. I love Jesus words to me.
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
Daddy gave me the yoke he used to drive young steers through the woods pulling out logs when he was just a boy. This little yoke always made me realize that dad has had a difficult life being born in the Great Depression, living through WWII, an the Korean Conflict. I guess that old yoke makes me think of the Matthew passage and the tough upbringing that both of my parents have lived through in their lives.
But I also realize that they have had a great life too. Retirement of 30 years on the lake is proof of this. Big Christmas events, fishing, hunting, and motorcycles are all things we can remember with similes. Good times have been there and tough things too. But faith in the Lord is what really matters through good and bad times. And it is what really matters now.
I prayed with mom and dad after I took that top picture yesterday. I prayed for strength and peace. I am seeking this through troubled waters and I know where it is found. Peace will come soon enough. I know daddy knows the Lord. He is tired and ready to be with the Lord. But the real answer why he is still here is for me, mom, Jeff and all of our family. Thank you Lord for my mom and dad.