At the end of April my mother-in-law came to our house for a visit. About a week after her arrival, she had what the doctors termed a series of "mini" strokes. She was hospitalized for a couple of days, as she was not able to move the right side of her body and then moved to a rehab center for the next three weeks. After rehab, she came back to stay with us where she has been since the end of May. Since that time, my husband and I have been taking care of her every need. Providing shelter, preparing and feeding her meals, making and keeping in-home nursing and physical therapy visits and now more recently, doctors’ visits. Praise God that she is doing 100% better than when she arrived here from Michigan and praise God that He kept her and gave us the wisdom to take her to the emergency when things didn't appear to be right. We had not known that she had suffered one stroke, let alone a series of strokes... but by the grace of God.
I write for several reasons today, first to encourage those that are being caretakers/caregivers to loved ones at home. Having become one and watching my husband give so much of himself, when so many things are pulling him in other directions, being a pastor, an entrepreneur, a professor, father and husband; being a caregiver is selfless loving and it requires a lot of time, energy and effort that many of us just do not have (or maybe do not want) to give. And it truly defines and shows you what you have inside of you and what you are or are not capable of doing. I have a greater respect and honor for those who have made decisions to do this on a full-time basis and I pray God's strength for you all. You are special indeed in the eyes of the Lord for what you have chosen to do in looking after the needs of others, especially those who are not your own.
I write also as a release. In the last couple of months God has been doing some things in me through this experience and quite a few others. He has been speaking (and not) and revealing Himself in new and different ways. It has been tough, but I am thankful that the end is near and God shall be glorified. It has caused me to become quiet and still and to really come to know the peace of God that passes all understanding. God has shed light on some of the darker areas in my life and even some of the people that were a part of it. I believe that I am now experiencing freedom, true freedom, like Jesus said we ought to have it. Free from hurt, free from pain, free from condemnation, free from the cares of this world. And get this, free from people and what they think. God's Word is true and that continues to be my testimony. No matter the situation we find ourselves in, there is purpose and there is growth. ALL things work together for the good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose, to that purpose.
Lastly, I wanted to share this, because I believe that it summarizes everything. Recently my husband and I were out with my mother-in-law walking into a building. As my husband stood by her side, my mother-in-law walked leaning on the walker to give her balance, looking steadily at the ground before her. In a quick moment I saw her glance off in another direction and just that quick she lost her step. And my husband said to her, "Why do you keep losing your balance?" And not even thinking I just responded and told him, "Because she is not focused on the path before her. She looked over to the right."
And at that moment the Holy Ghost arrested my thought and made me listen to and hear what I had just said. SHE LOST BALANCE BECAUSE SHE WAS NOT FOCUSED. BECAUSE SHE LOST FOCUS ON THE PATH BEFORE HER. SHE LOOKED OVER TO THE RIGHT.
And this is what God spoke; so many times we wonder why we are off balance, why things might feel out of whack, why things just don't seem to be lining up. God says it's because we have taken our eyes off of our ground. Off of our course. We have taken our eyes off the path set before us. We have turned to the right or to the left, and have done exactly what He commanded us NOT to do.
Part of our walking with God is staying obedient to His Word, to what He tells us to do. That is our walker. His Word. How can two walk together except they be agreed? That's what the Word says. If we are not walking in agreement with the Word of God, we will take ourselves off of our path and we WILL lose our balance.
The Word of God is what keeps us. The Word of God is what balances us. God's Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. If we don't stay focused on that, we will fall because we have set ourselves up to do so.
God is real. Praying that we will keep our balance and stay on the path. No matter where it takes us.
A servant of the Lord,
"The Word is my life"