Blessings in disguise

The mourning doves accompanied my prayer time this morning as I crept out early, first cup in hand. Some people might think it irreverent for prayer posture, jostling my cup out there. They might think I should put first things first and wait for my caffeine jolt, but I think He enjoys that I want to share it with Him.

I prayed at the beginning of this sabbatical away from work, this unbelievable blessing I have, 60 days with pay….what other job does that? I prayed that I would be a blessing, that I didn’t want it to be all about me having time off to do whatever I wanted to do. I wanted to lift the time to Him to see what He would do.

Sometimes He gives the opportunity almost as soon as the prayer is breathed into the air. Be careful what you pray for! Dear friend’s Dad went into the hospital so I have been driving her Mom who has Alzheimer’s from our home to the hospital and back to her home. She has been staying here at night since she can’t stay alone.

As is so often the case in this life, things happen that are just not “just.” My friend has never been treated very well by her folks though she has always been the one to care for them. She is a natural caretaker and does what is right regardless. Preferential treatment brother who has caused them nothing but grief and heartache is, as usual, nowhere to be found.

So I was happy to help her bear this tremendous load. She is already taking care of two households so it is the least I can do. Yet I know it pained her to allow me to do it. I guess I will have to let her in on my prayer…..

As Christ-followers we make the choice to pick up our cross each day regardless, knowing He will be our strength. There is humor in every situation, and as my friend and I have discussed many times, Alzheimer’s can sometimes be a blessing, if you can call it that, in disguise. The disease tends to wash away all old hurts and wounds until there is nothing left but the caring. The looking after from day to day, much like caring for a small child.

I can’t imagine what must go on in her mind. Her Mom, once an excellent nurse who passed out meds everyday, now can’t remember to take her own. Once meticulous about her appearance, she forgets to shower for days at a time, her once perfectly coiffed hair is now disheveled, though to her credit she laughs when she looks in the mirror and realizes she needs to do something with it. It is hard to watch such a metamorphosis, heartbreaking really. Hard to watch when eyes go blank and she says she understands and you know she doesn’t.

I see the pain in friends eyes. It’s always harder when they are your parents, I think. Emotionally anyway. But today I am asking God to help me see her Mom as a young girl with hopes and dreams. She made one very important decision in her life and that was to have my friend when everyone advised her to have an abortion, since she had cancer when she was pregnant. I think of how many lives would not have been blessed, saved really if she had not been born.

“Thank you God, for helping me to serve in this small way. You know I am one who clings to my own free time. You know everything about me and still love me patiently step by step. Help me to learn the lessons you want me to learn. I love You for loving them too God, and for allowing us to keep our sense of humor in trying times and help me see others with Your eyes. In Jesus name, Amen”

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-12

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