Friday, July 8, 2016

God's Steadfast Love

After twelve years of taking care of Mom in our home we will begin the work of transition to nursing home care within the next few months.  I remember a line from a favorite movie that I'll probably misquote but the thought is intact:  People say change is a good thing, but all they really mean is that something you very much did not want to happen, has happened.  

I did not want to ever have to go through the process of putting Mom in a nursing home. After the years of challenges my husband and I have accepted in providing care to Mom in our home, I felt I'd paid my caregiving dues. I assumed the Lord would not make me entrust Mom to the care of others when He had so obviously assigned me the responsibility of taking care of her.  But now, here we are, feeling the Lord's unmistakable nudge to move forward to preparing Mom for nursing home care (a specific set of steps have unfolded for this process, and I will share these here in the months to come in hopes that others can be helped). 

As a first step to this process we are looking for a new home for my mother's cat. Mom has always seemed mildly allergic to Kitty, but the benefits of companionship have outweighed the concerns about a possible allergy. However, the cold Mom has suffered this past week has led to alarming bouts of coughing and wheezing.  What if this virus has sensitized her even more to allergens? And so Kitty has been sent to a friend's house for a week, and after that we'll try to place her in a home where her experience as an Alzheimer Care Cat can bless others.  

I am unexpectedly bereft over Kitty's absence.  Those of you who read this blog regularly know there has been no love lost between Kitty and me, but I feel her absence keenly.  I've fed, brushed, transported to the vet, and changed the litter in the box for this cat for her entire life.  I have taken care of her, and caregiving leads to attachments whether one intends it or not!  Her leavetaking causes a minor bout of grief-fueled heartache that is a harbinger of the much greater grief I will feel when my mom is no longer here.  

This morning, recovering from my own cold, tired from long bouts of middle-of-the-night caregiving, discouraged, and feeling alone, I came to the Lord.  The words "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow," came to mind. I thought the phrase was from a Psalm, but when I looked it up I found those words were uttered by Jesus at Gethsemane, when no one would stay awake and watch with Him, and He was headed to the Cross.  And I realized that on my behalf He bore what I will never have to experience; I don’t have to endure separation from Father God.  With Christ as my bridge, that connection will hold.  God is with me. 
And then I read the Biblegateway verse of the day, Psalm 138:2:  

I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.

Reading these words gives me a feeling somewhat akin to stepping into a warm bath when muscles are aching and flesh feels chilled; I breathe in a deep sigh of relief.  God's love is steadfast.  He is faithful.  We are not alone.  

I can't bear the grief of putting Mom in a nursing home, but the Lord will bear it with me.  I'll move forward in obedience, and take my comfort from the knowledge that I don't have to bear this sorrow alone.  


  1. I will be praying for you during this transition. I know I will someday be facing this as well. I know you'll find just the right home for kitty. I also never wanted to put mom in a facility but the day may come when I may need to and when that happens, the Lord will let me know. Praying for you, my friend.

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Melanie. You have mine. God bless you and your family.

  2. He will go with you and He will be everything you need.

    Each person is so different, but a friend was placed in nursing care after fighting for years not to go. When the pastor visited him last week, my friend said that he didn't know why he had fought so when he loves the food and loves all the attention and care. He feels as if he can rest for the first time in a long time. Perhaps you and your mom will find it that way, too. It will release you from the caregiving and being cared for cycle and allow you to focus on the heart of the matter without the entanglements. Praying for you and your family.

    And thank you for your kind words at my place...bloggers have been wonderfully supportive.

    1. Thank you for this wonderful encouragement, Vee. You continue in my prayers, I'm just so sorry for the grief you are facing, and am blessed that you steadfastly turn to the Lord for strength.

  3. Oh, Linda! I'm so sorry you are having to move in this direction. I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you and your husband. Romans 8:32 has become a very special verse to me over the past few years! The assurance that He will provide what we need because He has already provided the most difficult...the salvation of our souls. Daily grace is yours as well as future grace. God's grace will be abundantly sufficient! I will be praying for you, Linda!