Thursday, May 28, 2009

Do Not Delay!

I sense a theme lately in my entries . . . lots of talk about roller coasters and complaining . . .

It's been a really, really rough season, and it continues.

I've never experienced walking alongside someone in her last stages of life, so each day is unique. The medical professionals can only "guess" at what's happening because each person ends his or her journey differently. There have been many times lately when I wonder what God's doing. What could the purpose possibly be in Ruth's struggle?

If you're new to my blog, Ruth is my mother-in-law, and she's terminally ill. For the last three months, we've watched her improve and decline, improve a bit, then decline a lot. She's very confused now, and her mind isn't functioning well. It's really hard to watch.

I feel like a small, tiny worm for saying what I'm going to say next. In light of what she's going through my "temporary affliction" is minor. But even though medication is helping my own health issues somewhat, the stress of watching Ruth struggle is exacerbating the symptoms.

It's just hard, and those of you who have been through something similar know exactly what I mean.

It's times like this when I know I need to delve deeply into the Bible and stay in constant contact with the Lord. If I don't, I risk becoming distant from Him. I know myself all too well. So I'm being diligent about my time with Him. I've been spending a lot of time in the Psalms lately, and I so appreciate how the psalmists, especially David, had no fear of crying out to God. I recently read Psalm 70, and I found myself meditating on verse 5:

But I am afflicted and needy;
Hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O LORD, do not delay.

That's exactly how I feel. This is my prayer for both Ruth and me. Hasten to me, Lord! Please, do not delay!!

Maybe you're going through something really difficult. Feel free to share my prayer.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

God has Heard

I really try not to whine . . . at least not too much.

But sometimes, life really kicks me to the curb, and I can't help wondering if God really hears me. You know those days when you pray, and you realize the old cliche is really true: Your prayers don't go any higher than the ceiling.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've had more than one day like that.

I watch my mother-in-law decline physically and mentally, and I pray for her suffering to end. But it doesn't.

I wake up feeling like a huge weight is pressing me down, and I pray for supernatural energy. But I don't get it.

I hear my husband talk, seemingly still far from faith, and I pray for his heart to soften. But nothing changes.

And so I whine a bit. I wonder, does God really hear me? And then, because I try to continue any Bible study or reading even when I don't feel like it, God reminds me: He really does hear me. He's just working in ways I can't see.

He also reminds me of His past faithfulness to me. It's times like this when I have to look back on what He's done and see the purpose in everything that's happened in my life.

I still watch Ruth with sadness. I still have daily fatigue and pain. I still grieve for Russ's lack of faith. That's my human side. But I just have to believe, although I don't see the purpose today, a day will come when I'll better understand today's suffering and frustration.

I'll leave you with some verses from Psalm 55. These touched my heart this week. I hope they'll touch yours too.

Come and hear, all who fear God,
And I will tell of what He has done for my soul.
I cried to Him with my mouth,
And He was extolled with my tongue.
If I regard wickedness in my heart,
The Lord will not hear;
But certainly God has heard;
He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer
Nor His lovingkindness from me.

Friday, May 01, 2009


I'm really, really blessed. Really.

Although, on the surface, it doesn't necessarily look that way.

As I've mentioned in past entries, things have been tough, and it looks like the next several weeks (months?) are going to be just as tough. My mother-in-law's health continues to slowly decline, and only the Lord knows the number of her days. The roller coaster continues to take us up and down and around those emotional curves.

I've felt more pain and weariness lately, and I've had to take a step out of a few areas of ministry, which has been really hard for me.

Yes, it's been hard, but I'm really, really blessed.

Just this morning, I was reminded of how blessed I am with wonderful, caring, sincerely loving friends. I know they're praying for me. They share my burdens.

What a blessing!

And then I found out that my fight against the insurance company for a medication is over . . . and I won!!

What a blessing!

Oh, and I'm going to be an honorary grandma again!!

So even with the slow loss of Ruth, even with ongoing health problems, even with the uncertainty of just living, I'm blessed.

Thank You, Lord, for each splash of joy You bring to my life. Thank You for blessings that far outweigh the difficulties. You are so good. Thank You!