Renewed Hope

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I had a dream once when I was living away from here. I’ve remembered it all these years later. I’m standing on a snow covered road and Mom is trying to walk to me but she is afraid and I can’t help her. I never forgot that feeling of trying to save her, and I have the same feeling now. I feel helpless that I can’t rescue her from Alzheimer’s and her own mind. My overwhelming thought so many times throughout the day is “my Mom needs me.” 

I can’t fix her lostness right now. All I can do is remind her of who she still is. And help her remember. She spends most of her days trying to piece things together, gathering the threads of her life that have become unraveled. I do my best to field the questions, “Why am I like this?” “What’s going to happen today?” “When is Dad coming home?” “Why do I always have to leave my home?” “Did I take my pills?” 

All day long, we try to reassure her that things aren’t as broken as they seem, but she knows the truth. 

After I wrote this the other day I realized how depressing it was and I didn’t even want to share it. But then, like a thunderclap in my mind, God reminded me of my life. My wonderFul and precious life. Of everything He has helped me through all these 61 years. And the words held tremendous power: 

“But God…….” 

When added to the end of every juncture in my life, however painful or sad, it’s the blazing hope that stands out. Like a bas relief carving, the pain fades into the background as the image stands out. But God……

He has come through so many times I know I have lost count. 

I can’t write a happy ending for Mom or anyone else for that matter. We each have to decide to do that for ourselves. I can do what I can to make Mom’s transition easier but I can’t lose myself in the process. And I feel like I am lost right now. In the thick it. 

But God….God has already written us all a happy ending, and His name is Jesus. It’s what we’ll celebrate in two weeks that has made that possible. If I had to be truthful right now I haven’t felt like Holy Week is coming, we’ve all just been trying to stay afloat. 

I miss my life. I miss my best friend. I miss God even though I know He’s never left me. I thank Him for every grain of peace I can snatch up. I thank my best friend in the world for sticking this whole thing out. The only reward she is getting in all this is hours spent alone. I miss our drives, our weekend trips. I miss just driving across town and finding 10 things to laugh about. 

But God says……”For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Cor. 4:17

I am not healthy, I exercise but still put on weight. When did my body decide to betray me? In shock I saw my reflection sitting on the toilet (from the closet door) and I wonder when my profile from chin to neck changed so drastically? And the stress is always there just under the surface. I find myself gulping food like I’m in a race and I don’t realize how shallow I’m breathing until I pause to take a deep breath. I live with an hourglass in my head, and the sand is always draining away.  

But God….”My health may fail, and my spirit grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” Psalm 73:26

I am already grieving the loss of my childhood home. It’s a comfort to go there because I feel like it’s already drifting away. When my Grandma’s house was left empty after she went into the care-home it was devastating. I remember walking across town, letting myself in with my key and walking from room to room while others were out living life, I felt like part of mine stopped.

At that time I was in the throes of Anorexia. I couldn’t stop walking, I measured every ounce of food, and I wanted to disappear. I could’ve easily died. But the prayers of my Mom and Dad and many others I’m sure brought me out of that pit. 

But God….”Brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay. He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand.” 

God healed me. I awoke from a dream and it was as if a spell was broken and I began to eat. I began to fight for my life, and God and I won. And I can’t even explain everything else I went through after that. God brought me through it all. How can I keep from having hope in this instance too? 

And I worry about the cats at the house. Abby and I have made a truce. I think she finally realizes I am someone she can trust after 10 years. And George is used to being fed and coming in sleeping on the furniture. What will happen to them when the house is sold? 

But God……remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” And…..”Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” Matthew 10:29-31

Friends, when I started this post a few days ago, I felt a lot of things, sadness, depression, hopelessness. But God turned it around even in the midst of it. He is the hope-bringer and He has assured me that all will be well. We will get through this. 

Thanks be to God, for today this message comes with renewed hope: 

” But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead in our trespasses , made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved.” 

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