The grace to keep walking

Evening bird

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:12

Another step was taken down this lonely road we have been walking for the past 2 years. The social worker came to perform an assessment on Elaine’s Mom to determine what kind of facility she can quality for. It was a big step and one taken after much prayer and I will say, agony on the part of a daughter.

And no matter what anyone says and no matter how much the other family members support you? The decision still feels like a sack of cement on your shoulders. Yours and no one else’s. It is overwhelming. It’s a lonely place when you feel like fingers are all pointing at you.

The caseworker was late. And I was not being very understanding. “It’s not like they don’t know what kind of havoc this causes.” I said, not very graciously. Elaine had to be back at work at 1 and she was supposed to be there between 11 and 12. It was now 12:15. And Joyce was perturbed. She asked what time “the warden” was coming. We had to laugh a little at that.

I made myself scarce when she did show up. It is painful enough to have two people listen to how you can’t remember the answers to simple questions, let alone 3. So I bowed out as gracefully as I could, still being available if needed.

She asked all the usual questions….”Do you know your address, do you know whose house this is, do you know what date it is, what day of the week it is”……and over and over again. It was fail, fail, fail.

And haven’t I said over and over again since we started this that I felt a failure myself? A failure at patience, a failure at loving, a failure at showing enough kindness, extending enough grace?

From the other room, fiddling with my phone, I heard snatches of this and that, and I know that she looked to Elaine for the answers, and that she was prompted not to answer for her. They needed an honest assessment.

And it’s there I need to stop when I think of how tragic it all is, to end up where she is right now, and how terribly sad. I wonder how would it be to have strangers ask you questions that will determine where you go for the remainder of your life? Plumbing the depths of a mind that has become cloudy and knowing the answers aren’t there?

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes has a way of bringing it all home.

And yet it is the best thing, the only thing. It is no longer safe to leave her alone. And it is the best thing for a  daughter, who is bending under the strain……who has almost forgotten how it is not to live under a dark cloud.

It has brought me to my knees over and over again, and Elaine much more than I. She has had tremendous grace through it all. She has treated her Mom with the kindness and nurturing that she herself was never given, even as a child. Now that’s what I call true grace. Jesus grace.

And really, unless we grasp firmly onto the Grace that Jesus offers, we are all sunk. So again and again, I can only thank God for giving us the hope that will never fail.

And for each new day, which comes with its own supply of fresh manna grace. I had to learn it again when I found out the case worker, bless her heart, has her own tale of heartache, which spilled out while she and Elaine were talking out in front of the house.

I feel the loving reprimand of God once more.

Grace, more grace, I pray.

6 thoughts on “The grace to keep walking

    • Thank you faithful Susan…..everyone I meet seems to have their own story, their own bundle of “stuff” they need to deal with, I am just so glad I have the Lord to go through all this. I can’t imagine going through life any other way. Thank you for comments 🙂

  1. A beautiful, yet bittersweet post. I LOVE your wording, Lori — ‘loving reprimand of God.’ ‘Jesus grace.’ Thank you for sharing your and Elaine’s journey with those of us who have been there, are currently walking this path, or who will in the future. Your words are like guideposts.

    Grace & peace,
    Pam

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