Sunday, September 19, 2021
The other night I awoke with John 8:36 in my mind: "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
Since my mom's death from Alzheimer's disease, I have been struggling with grief issues; not just the sorrow of the final parting, but from something like post-traumatic stress from my years of caregiving. Nearly 20 years before she died, I lost my mother as she had once been as she began suffering signs of dementia.
The truth the Lord wanted me to receive through this Scripture is that my path forward is not to be defined by grief; Jesus sets us free from the crippling power of sorrows, past or present.
When we are sad we can't be happy simply by deciding to do so. When we are depressed we can't "snap out of it" at will. However, we can choose to believe that all sorrows are comforted in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
"Sometimes we nurture anger toward the Lord, but this is self-defeating. It is a divine paradox that the only comfort for our injuries lies in the arms of Him who allowed the blows to fall. We don't have to understand, but we do need to trust. The decision to trust takes place in the will and not in the emotions, and so even on our most difficult days we can agree with King David's words: 'But I trust in you O Lord, I say, 'You are my God, my times are in your hands'' (Psalm 31:14.)"**
**from 100 Days to Freedom: Release from the Self-Condemnation of Overweight, day 89
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021
One of the difficulties of transitioning to the role of caregiver for a parent is dealing with grief of loss. Parents often provide nurture and counsel well into their children's adulthoods; my mom certainly did. And so when Mom stopped cooking for us and lost interest in the daily details of my life, I was angry and grief-stricken.
Earlier this week a friend and I were talking about the difficulty of not casting blame when other people let us down. We came up with a pretty simple prayer from the perspective of frail and fallible human beings who are walking side-by-side along life's path with other frail and fallible human beings:
Dear Lord, help me speak when I need to speak, remain silent when I need to remain silent, and pray when I need to pray. It isn’t as though other people can keep me from what I need; that’s the devil’s lie! All I need spiritually and emotionally resides in my relationship with You. Help me look to my own obedience so that in every present moment I choose Your will rather than my own. I release those nearest to me from the heavy responsibility of meeting my heart's needs, and pray to increasingly find all my needs met in you.
As they make music they will sing,
“All my fountains are in you.”