There have been times in my life when I have said the words, ” I can’t handle this any more.” Those times have been few, and when I said them it was with fear and trembling. I hated to hear myself say them, but I did. Those times are forever etched in my memory. I can remember the place, the time of year, and what precipitated those moments that brought me to my knees in despair before God. They are as clear as a bell. During those times I felt as if I was drowning and couldn’t find my way out. There have been only three times that those words have come out of my mouth. One time was just a few weeks ago. I was on a trip to Texas where I was combining seeing my sister with a trip on to my parents. This trip to see my sister was such a special one for me. In just a few weeks she would face having a serious 10 hour surgery to remove cancer in her body. What she has already been through and what she had ahead of her in just a short while is excrutiatingly painful for her and for us who love her so. Our sister time visit was delightful. The day before I was to fly to see my parents we phoned our dad to check on him and Mother. There was sadness in his voice as he shared that Mother had stopped eating. She was in her 8th year of Alzheimers. We knew the day would come when this would happen, but we were not ready for it.
Daddy has kept Mother at home all these years and taken good care of her. She was now bedridden. A ten day trip eventually turned into twenty-four. Hospice was coming every two days and each time they came they sensed that that was probably the last time they would have the privilege of caring for her. Because Mother stopped eating and drinking we believed she would be leaving us within the week. However, our days are numbered and only God knows the day we will draw our last breath. Mother lingered two weeks. Those were some of the most emotionally difficult days of my life. It took a physical and emotional toll on me. After returning home, I realized I was totally depleted in every area of my life. I was an emotional wreck and a physical wreck because I hadn’t slept well in weeks. A friend texted to check on me and asked how I was doing. My reply was pretty much, “I’m a mess.” I couldn’t visualize coming out of this. Her words to me were, ” You will be fine, Kristi. God will take care of you.” She also said, “Please rest and make “selfish” decisions so you can heal.” I said, “Thank you. I needed to hear those words.
How could she be so sure I would be fine? Those are pretty bold words. First, she has experienced loss and pain in her own life and second, she knows her God. She has studied the Word of God. She knows His character and therefore, her faith is in Him. He promises He will never forsake us or leave us. He promises that He will hold us with His righteous right hand. He promises to take care of those who trust in Him. You know what else? She knows me. She knows where my faith and trust and security lie. It’ s in the living God. She knows too, the trials I’ve encountered and that God has always given me the strength and grace to get back up and keep going. She reminded me of what I already knew but needed to be reminded of. Yes, I was going to be fine because of the Who in my life. It’s so easy to get caught up on the what, the how, the why instead of the Who. That’s where I must focus. I needed to get my eyes on the God who loves me so and just happens to also be crazy about me! And, yes, He sometimes says, Come Away My Beloved and take special time to care for yourself. I also took my friend’s advice and began doing those other things of self care that were also needed in order for the healing to begin. Again, God has shown His faithfulness.
You have been through some incredible challenges, pain and loss recently and my heart goes out to you, my sister!
It all comes back down to our trust in God, doesn’t it? Knowing Him leads to trusting Him. We often forget who He is, his attributes, and “Ebenezer”. God has been with you this far, and will not stop now.