While caring for your loved one in Hospice, you may face many unpleasant surprises. The person for whom you are caring may be, like mine has lately, schizophrenic; have drug-induced hallucinations, be easily confused; angry, and accusatory toward you for no apparent reason; be double-minded (say or want one thing one moment, then switch to the opposite the next moment); have forgetfulness and dementia, etc.
Also, there will most likely be lots of strangers coming back and forth (aides, nurses, social workers, chaplains, medical delivery people, etc.).
These things can be challenging to your physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual health.
Ask me how I know!
Being a writer who prefers much private time alone (aside from teaching online and fellowshipping with my husband and going to church and occasional church-sponsored events), all the strange people coming back and forth every week has been somewhat wearying, although overall they are helpful, and of course are there to help Mom medically, and for social contact.
I’m so glad the LORD does not tell us all the details about what He leads us into at times–and He is good, and all His ways are perfect. He alone knows all the reasons for how He leads us in the right paths for His name’s sake (Psalm 23). He is the Good Shepherd, and our Good, Good Father, Who loves us more than we can know!
We must continue to “cast our cares”–release the worries and other negatives– to Daddy God, our all-knowing Comforter and Guide.
This is easier said than done, from what I’m learning, but I trust God. He has always been faithful, and will always be faithful, and it comforts me to know that He knew every detail of this junk I’ve been experiencing before the world began. Thus, He is working it out for the best of all involved. His plans for me are good (Jeremiah 29:11)!
Normally, I’m a very continually positive person, and never get sick. However, there was one particular evening when “dear Mom” was being something else, and I realized my blood pressure was up because my heart was pounding rapidly–very rapidly.
I don’t have high blood pressure. I’m in good shape, and my heart is very healthy.
I grabbed my husband and told him he must pray with me against the high blood pressure. Meanwhile, even while we were praying, Mom was yelling, trying to interrupt.
Or was it the devil?
One can only bind the enemy in the Name of Jesus so much….the rest is flesh, and not even God can override the free will of a human (That’s why there is so much curse and evil in the world. That was NEVER God’s plan, nor is He responsible for it! HE is the reason there is any GOOD in this earth!!).
I am not a nurse, nor a CNA, nor have I ever wanted to be one.
However, I know (as I’ve had to remind myself) the LORD instructed my husband and me to move in with my very crippled, diseased, widowed mother (She’ll be 82 in January if she makes it.), for her to stay in the house she and Dad built over 50 years ago, so she will not have to go to a nursing home.
Sounds noble, right? It is because it’s a huge sacrifice on our part, of time, freedom, our own space, and more (including sleep, lately! UGH!); kinda like having a baby, only not nearly as rewarding.
However, I’m discovering through these challenges that I need to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in myself more; that I have not been nearly as patient and loving, not to mention much given to prayer or quoting the Word, when I’m awakened suddenly out of a deep sleep (especially after working diligently to get her ready for sleep, from bathroom visit to meds to positioning in the bed, etc.), by my mother yelling at me from the next room.
The past has tried to rise and strangle me, and distract me from the LORD.
I’m glad to say I’ve refrained from cursing, but my dear husband, man of God that he is, mentioned the other day that saying “blankety-blank” has the same connotation. So, I’m busted! 🙂
I’m really glad the LORD is giving us grace for this, and for the aides nurses, and private help Mom has just a few hours a week, or I would have hopped on a one-way plane ride to any other country weeks ago! (Probably…at least in my mind!)
The LORD can use all things, though. It has been very awkward, but the LORD’s been somewhat healing rifts that have been in this mother-daughter relationship for over 50 years. Praise His name; only He can do that.
I’ve heard it said that “no pain is wasted,” and I have mixed feelings about that. I do know that He is faithful to never give us more than we can bear (although some moments, it has seemed otherwise), that He works all things together for our best and His glory (Romans 8:28), and that what the enemy means for evil, He can always work for good (Genesis 50:20).
As He’s encouraged me a time or two lately in my heart, these “momentary light afflictions are working for us a much greater glory (2 Cor. 4:17-18).”
Thank God again, because it’s been hard to see that lately.
However, the LORD is helping me to learn to be thankful for the good–especially for my dynamite, faithful husband, who is truly my hero on earth. I never would have attempted this without him.
I had such supernatural peace and joy about moving in with her–after that last bout she had in the hospital, where she grew only worse, then in rehab a few days later, where she still grew worse–and I sprung her out a week early–that it could only be God!
So, another proof that it was God was that my husband was in quick and true agreement.
In the natural, the thought of moving back in with my mother has been about as appealing as having my eyeballs poked with hot coals, or my fingernails pulled out, or worse.
Of course, those are only (some) of my thoughts in the flesh, and after all, I am first a spirit, one with Christ Jesus, and He’s always got my back. His Holy Spirit reminds me to yield to Him (Who is Love, Peace, Joy, Gentleness, Kindness, Meekness, Temperance, goodness, and faith)…and sometimes I’ve obeyed.
For some reason, it’s been harder to do that overall, in this environment.
The LORD knew that, and He continues to sharpen me–and deliver me from getting emotionally involved; to be, as one world-renowned minister says, “delivered from people to deliver people”.
Amen and amen.
The only good thing in me is Christ, I’m discovering even more! When I try to handle this life by myself, it’s frustrating, wearying, distracting, and other junk.
Tonja and her husband live to exalt God. They lift Him in books, presentations, and merch (P.O.W.E.R. Girl!; LEGACY: VISIONS OF THE KING; YOUR HOLY HEALTH; and more); service in church, community, and the world; via the “River Rain Creative” and “POWERLight Learning” YouTube channels; and more.