Seeing God in the storm

1 Peter 5:7

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10

I sat beside my dad as he lay in a hospital bed in the critical care unit. I rested my head on the bed’s railing and held his hand in mine.

I thought back to a few days before when he told me about an upcoming fishing trip he was planning. He was excited to take this yearly trip that gave him rest and rejuvenated his mind and body.

Dad’s age has not stopped him from living an independent life while being the primary care giver to my mom who has Alzheimer’s disease.

I always knew that if something were to happen to dad, there would be tough decisions to be made about mom. She needs 24-hour care which myself and my siblings cannot provide.

The day dad went to the hospital, I did the hardest and toughest thing I’ve ever had to do. I moved mom to a nursing home.

For now, this is a temporary move . If dad recovers, he will continue to care for her. If not – well, I’m not ready to go there yet.

This heart-breaking choice haunts me. Mom, who has become the child in our relationship, now sleeps in an unfamiliar place surrounded by strangers. I asked her for forgiveness, but she did not understand my plea.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring or if dad will recover. This dark valley I currently walk is filled with anxiety, stress and sadness. It is a place I walk knowing that life can change forever in the next moment.

If I were not in my shoes – if I were merely watching someone else’s life – I would feel sorry for them. I might even wonder where God is during all of this.

But I am not observing it. I am living it. And God is here with me.

Mom can no longer verbally communicate. The disease has taken that away from her. But God speaks through her. I see Him when her eyes light up at the sight of my dad and when she tenderly holds his hand in hers.

I see Him when dad tells me how much he loves me and when he makes me laugh even though he is in pain.

I see Him when mom reaches out her hand and puts it in mine.

I see Him when my husband manages our home in my absence.

I see Him in friends who reach out to make sure I am ok.

I see Him in my aunts who are acting in mom’s place to make sure I get enough rest.

And I see him in my siblings as we encourage and comfort each other.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.Psalm 23:4

With every step I take on this journey, God is constantly reminding me of his presence. He is holding me up and giving me the strength to walk.

And the best part is, He will never leave me.

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13 thoughts on “Seeing God in the storm

  1. Lifting you up just now, Jenny, to the heart of our wise Heavenly Father. May He give wisdom for every decision, peace instead of panic,and the firm assurance that you are not walking through this dark time alone.
    You have said this so well.

  2. I love how you said,” I am living it. And God is here with me.” May the Lord hold you all close and grant you continued confidence in the eternal unseen One who manifests His presence in the ways you’ve described. Blessings.

  3. Praying for your family today, Jenny.

    We lost my grandmother to Alzheimer’s in January. Mom finally moved both my grandparents to an ALF last June — it was such a hard decision to make, but a necessary move for their safety as my grandfather lost all his eyesight. — Caregiving is brutal on the heart, but I would encourage you to not beat yourself up. You love them more than life itself, and you are doing the best you can in a situation that has no perfect solution…. You are being present and you are praying them through the most difficult season of their lives. That is what matters most.

    HUGS

  4. Oh Jenny, I feel every word you wrote in my gut … not because I’m where you are exactly, but because I sense whispers of it may lie ahead. I need to read things like this now–stories of God’s faithfulness and presence in situations like your family’s–because it builds my courage for the future. So thank you for sharing from this hard, hard place, and may God continue to strengthen you, help you and uphold you in his righteous right hand.

  5. Yes, Jenny! He is with you! Two weeks ago when I flew to Florida to be with my daddy in the ICU, my Heavenly Father kept showing me how much He loves me, too! Too often we miss it, tho. I pray your Dad makes a full recovery! Blessings, friend!

  6. I’m so sorry you are going through this! I can’t imagine your pain. We are in the midst of a storm ourselves, and I see God everywhere I turn. He doesn’t always show Himself in the way I want Him to, but He never lets me doubt that He is there. Blessings!

  7. Thank you for sharing your comfort, peace and sorrows. Blessings to you and yours. I am part of the Five Minute Friday community stopping by for a visit.

  8. Jenny, God does walk with us through the dark places. May the Lord give you strength for the challenges. I understand a little. My mother has dementia and my sister is the caregiver. Tomorrow I am going to her home to provide respite care while she takes her daughter on a trip to visit colleges. We may need to place my mom in a nursing home–it is an emotional struggle. I pray that God will direct our steps.

  9. I have been where you are now and am soon going to have to do it again!! My dad had Alzheimers for 5 years before passing away in 2004. I helped mom care for him in their home. My mom re-married in 2006 and lost that husband coming up on a year in May. Now, my mom, who is almost 80, is alone and for several months has shown signs so familiar to me. I spend most days with her, but I have a family of my own. Her dementia has progressed so quickly that my siblings and I have had to discuss our options of assisted professional care – either in-home or nursing – which mom is very much against and it will not be easy to do for any of us! I am so glad you mentioned how even in the storms of life, we can choose to see God!! You and your family are in my prayers, Jenny! He will carry us through!!

  10. I am so sorry about the heartache you are having at this time. It is a very hard time in life when you have to make decisions about parents and watch parents you love in the hospital. We just think they will always be there. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and praying God will ease your burden.

  11. What a hard road you are journeying right now. Those are tough, difficult decisions to make. And in those times, you are right, we can be so thankful we don’t walk alone! Praying for you today, friend, that God will be your strength, wisdom, joy and peace! Hugs and love to you today!

    Thanks for sharing your words with us! (Stopping by from #IntentionalTuesday)

  12. Goodness Jenny, you could be telling my story only the roles are reversed. My mom is primary caregiver for my dad. She fell and broke her arm over Christmas and I went up to help her while she recovered some, and got a good real-life dose of what her life is like taking care of my dad. I now have a lot of regret with living so far away and in-home care-givers doing the job I should be doing. And I know that if something new were to happen to my mom, I’d be in the exact same position that you are in, and trust that I’ll be able to hold the hand of my Lord as you are doing when the time comes. Bless you for sharing your story.

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