"This" is an all encompassing term that refers to:
- giving up my job as teacher
- facing retirement at age 57 with a laughably small retirement fund
- becoming dependent upon Farmer John (my husband) for all my financial needs, and by extension, upon the farm itself; which I've learned is an undependable source of income.
- watching my mother continue to fade away from me
- carrying an increasingly heavy caregiving load
- coping with the fact that the much anticipated (and thus far one-and-only) royalties check that I will receive from my publisher will be for a grand total of $144.00. I am being paid approximately fourteen cents a copy for the books my publisher has sold for me.
If you are annoyed by Christian platitudes, as is at least one of my readers, please stop reading now. You may go about your business, leaving me in the depths of depression (gloom, despair, and agony on me...).
I'm praying as I write this gloomy post, and here is the verse that comes to mind:
"Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you" (1 Kings 19:7).
These are the words that an angel spoke to Elijah, who, even I will admit, was in worse circumstances than mine. He'd fled for his life from the evil King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, he was the only prophet left alive who was a true spokesman for the Lord; and now they were trying to kill him too! When the angel spoke to him, Elijah got up, ate, rested some more, and then ate again. He was then able to continue his journey.
I don't need physical food right now, I really don't. I've just imbibed a 23 grams-of-protein power bar. And so what kind of intake will truly strengthen me for the journey ahead? Of what can I partake that will kick the whine out of my voice and put a sparkle back into my eye?
Wait, I know this one...
Prayer. Praise. Fellowship. Scripture.
That's the formula I taught my students back when I used to teach Sunday School, and it is a formula that has usually worked for me in the past. But there is one more element not listed here, and that is intercession. It's hard to ask others to pray when we are in need. It takes humility, and a willingness to admit we can't pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.
This morning I was at just that point of despair. After I'd proclaimed to my own reflection the impossibility of the path before me, I went to my computer, composed a pathetic little "Please pray for me" email, and sent it winging on its way to three dear friends who are my closest prayer partners. When I arrived at work about an hour later, one of those precious intercessors was sitting in my classroom, praying. She gave me a hug, held my hand and prayed aloud for me, pledged to continue to pray and was gone.
And I'm ok now.
The point of this rambling entry is, dear fellow caregivers, that you really cannot do what you need to do all by yourself. Cry out to the Lord, and humble yourself to ask others to intercede for you.
Because even if you think you can't, the Lord can; and the intercession of others will help you to go forward in His strength and not your own.
Scripture: "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me" (2 Corinthians 12:9).