|This is a detail of one of my mother's oil paintings. The inviting shelter of this cabin reminds me of the Lord's protection and guidance for those who call on His Name.|
Providing care to a loved one who is infirm brings unanticipated challenges. The aspect of my mother's care that has cost me the most stress has been assuming the responsibility for her finances.
I am not a numbers person. In school, math classes cost me the most effort of any of other academic studies, and in professional life, my ineptitude at my first job as a bookkeeper provided the impetus for me to become a teacher. I thought that I (and my employers) would be better off with me serving in a capacity that better suited my natural talents.
Fast-forward to the time when my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Mom had never shared details of her finances with anyone. I didn't even know who had done her taxes, and her dementia had robbed her of the ability to remember. Bills had been lost or misfiled, I could find no records, and I felt overwhelming panic. Here I was, a person whose biggest financial challenge to date had been to balance my own checkbook, now confronted with a mess of unpaid bills and questions with seemingly no answers. Untangling the mess took months of time, and because of my sense of inadequacy regarding numbers and bookkeeping, my go-to response when confronted with her financial mess was fear. I learned to pray much, to complete each new task as well as I could, and to trust that things would work out in time even when unanswered questions remained. And they did.
The Lord has been so compassionate to me this week when I've cried out to Him with my latest concerns. I've been reminded time and again that He is my shelter. He is on my side, and so I have no need to fear.