Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Even When Our Hearts Condemn Us

Our adult son Jonathan's new job doesn't begin until mid January, and so he is spending a few days here with us. Having him here is precious and also oddly painful because of the knowledge that he will be leaving soon. Last night he went to visit his girlfriend, who lives about an hour away, and they went to a late movie. Jon arrived home around 2:00 a.m. and I was awakened by the sound of the front door closing when he returned. Half drugged with sleep, all my mother worries for him began to surface. I could scarcely come awake enough to pray but when I did the words the Lord provided me were comforting.

As parents and caregivers there is a constant fear that we are not doing "enough." Particularly with Jonathan I carry a burden of guilt over having let him down, and a conviction that I did not do enough for him as he was growing up. I went back to work before Jon's third birthday, and he had to go to day care. Later, when he was enduring those difficult transition years from age 10 to 15, my time and attention were focused upon his sister's many high school and college activities. During that time I was fragmented further by my own issues with an overwhelmingly busy work schedule. I have always carried a guilt burden where Jon is concerned, and also an ongoing fear of failing him.

But last night, when this kind of worriment would not let me fall back to sleep, I prayed and then wrote the following message as from the Lord to me:

Protecting those you love is not your job, it is Mine. Rest in the knowledge of the power of My protection. Where your strength fails, Mine will sustain. Where your vision is blocked, I see. Where your knowledge is inadequate, Mine shall not fail. Sleep now in the sweet confidence of a child whose father has promised that everything will be alright. Stop questioning Me and stop attempting to help Me to bear a load that I have already lifted from your shoulders. I have him. You do not need to fear dropping him because you are not the one who is carrying him.

What blessing! When, as caregivers, we are suffused by that crushing sense of inadequacy or fear, let us remember that the Lord is the One who carries our loved ones. May we abide in Him in obedience, but trust Him to succeed even when we fall short. We do not need to fear dropping them because we are not the ones who are carrying them!

Scripture: "This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything" (1 John 3:19-20).


  1. Mmmmm...I needed this. I think every parent, every caregiver needs this. Not long after Daniel was born, I cried out to the Lord and said, "I can't be ever-vigilant, I can't be perfect, I can't protect him from everything." What relief I felt when the Lord reassured me in much the same words He reassured you. It is hard not to pick that precious burden back up though...or to go the opposite way and fail to give of oneself (in prayer, time, energy) when God does ask it.

  2. Thank you for this post.

  3. That was priceless. Thanks so much for posting it as I feel like we all can benefit from your prayer and words. We do need to 'let go and let God do it'.

  4. I came to your blog today to ask you who published your book. I had an idea I wanted to share with them . But than I read your post and you helped me . My son is 19 now. He totally cares for himself and helps me financally because I am caring for mom and not working. I am always ashamed of this because it is my job to care for him not the other way round. But I read your post and it made me feel better. For years I worked and mom cared for him. I prayed everyday for the lord to help me with him. Keep him safe and he has . He gave me the most wonderful son I could ever have. Thank you and Thank the lord.

  5. OH and who published you book? Thanks. I need to order it . I will I am .

  6. My book is published by Bridge-Logos and can be purchased from The link for the Amazon listing is to the right on the main blog page, or you can do a search at Amazon for "My Mom Has Alzheimer's: Inspiration and Help for Caregivers." Here's the Amazon link but I'm not sure it will be functional in a comment:

    Thank you Karen for your supportive words. It sounds like we both are blessed to have such wonderful sons!