The other morning I woke to the distinct impression of God telling me He was going to take me where I “don’t want to go.” What a strange thing to feel like God was saying. I wondered why I would have such a thought. Immediately I asked Him to prepare my heart.
My day moved forward as usually with a few glitches, but nothing I’d say was “terrible.” Taking care of my parents on a weekly basis is always a challenge, usually of balance. It never seems to be a good time to leave home and office to go down and see them, and it’s NEVER a good time to leave my Mom and Dad by themselves and travel back. Also, they are my parents and yet they are becoming more and more childlike. I feel as if it’s a fine line, most days, between respecting them as adults and the necessary decisions I must make for them. We’re all learning by trial and error, problem is, dementia keeps changing the rules! Anyway, this isn’t always pleasant, but I wouldn’t trade the time with them. Was that “where I don’t want to go?”
Then it came, before I realized what was happening… My dear, dear friend Marianne who has suffered with stage 4 lung cancer for 3+ years (although you’d never even guess she was sick!) received the incredible news her lungs were now clear! Before anyone could raise a Whoop!, the Dr. informed her of a new tumor on her upper spine- really??? And this last 10 day round of radiation has been a doozie! A woman of such strength and independence, she finally allowed me to drive her to a few treatments due to her throat pain being intolerable. She let me into her world.
This is a world I knew too well, but I’d forgotten about it. It’s one where it feels like the treatments are going to kill you before they kill off the cancer. It’s one where loved ones just sit by and watch helplessly waiting. It’s a place where you grope and search and ask “why does this have to happen?” And you cry out to Jesus to make it stop. All of a sudden I was transported back to my husband’s bedside for those many months, wondering when it would stop, when he would be healed? I cried fresh tears from an old wound for a new friend. Then He reminded me…
“You don’t have to carry her, because I am. You don’t have to stress about me hearing you because I’m closer than her breath. I bore her griefs, I carried her sorrows and by My stripes she is healed (Isaiah 53). Just be her friend and love her with My love.” Oh, how I love Jesus. He cares about my friend’s suffering, just like He cared about my husband’s. Nothing escapes His watchful eye. It is not easy and I still don’t understand, but I trust Him to go with us wherever He calls. Always in His strength. Always for His Glory! –Anna
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