The error a dementia patient makes is one to which we are all prone: "If I feel this way, someone caused it." Mom doesn't recognize that her increasing sense of isolation flows from inability to follow conversation or TV dialogue, along with failing hearing and vision. Childlike, she believes I know of her discomforts even when she hasn't told me of them. If she is too warm or too cold, she assumes I know and have purposely left her to suffer discomfort. These misperceptions test her Christian charity to the degree that she can't keep her temper with me. And so the actions and words I perceive as expressing vindictive dislike are actually Mom's responses to what she perceives as lack of care.
This is, as my grandma used to say, a fine kettle of fish.
Or, as Mom used to say, "We are between a rock and a hard place."
This is one of the most uncomfortable times of my life. I spent most of yesterday in agonized prayer and I want to share with you the resulting confidence I feel that the Lord is in control, He has our future--both Mom's and mine--in His hands, He hasn't forgotten me, and He has seen my labor and has compassion for my tears. Even as I cry out to Him for deliverance from this hard time, I also cry out for protection for my mother. I can't imagine how this can all work out but the Lord is in the future as well as in our past and present, and I trust Him when He says all will be well.
This snippet from a favorite poem by Freda Hanbury Allen says it well:
Trust were not trust if thou couldst see the ending of the way,
Nor could thou learn his songs by night, were life one radiant day.
Our sense of well being or lack of it during every difficult time of life comes down to whether we trust God's goodness--or not. When my responses are governed by lack of trust I suffer insomnia and have to double up on the antacids. What a blessed relief to remember that the Lord is sculpting the future so that by the time it reaches me, it will have assumed His perfect form. He will make us a way through this difficult time.
I pray to honor Him with my responses now so that when this particular life battle is in our past, I won't have to feel embarrassed shame over how I panicked. Lord I place my trust in thee!
The Love of God
by Freda Hanbury Allen
The love of God a perfect plan
Is planning now for thee,
It holds a "future and a hope,"
Which yet thou canst not see.
Though for a season, in the dark,
He asks thy perfect trust,
E'en that thou in surrender
"lay Thy treasure in the dust,"
Yet He is planning all the while,
Unerringly He guides
The life of him, who holds His will
More dear than all besides.
Trust were not trust if thou couldst see
The ending of the way,
Nor couldst thou learn His songs by night,
Were life one radiant day.
Amid the shadows here He works
The plan designed above,
"A future and a hope" for thee
In His exceeding love.
"A future" -- abiding fruit,
With loving kindness crowned;
"A hope"-- which shall thine own transcend,
As Heaven the earth around.
Though veiled as yet, one day thine eyes
Shall see His plan unfold,
And clouds that darkened once the path
hall shine with Heaven's gold.
Enriched to all eternity
The steadfast soul shall stand,
That, "unoffended", trusted Him
Who all life's pathway planned.
I have an heritage of bliss,
Which yet I may not see;
The Hand that bled to make it mine,
Is keeping it for me.
Here are Biblegateway links to the Scripture references Allen used in her poem: