Tuesday, December 10, 2019

It's Okay to Ask

Sometimes, I am not sure what to do with such a wide range of emotions that are associated with caregiving. There is daily grief over what was, the shaded future, and what could have been. There's a sense of loss that is different for each caregiver. For me, it's the loss of my son although his body is still here. I also feel the loss of relationship with him and the future we were supposed to share as he matured, married and began a career and family. With my mom, it's a different loss due to her dementia. There is the loss of the relationship, as well as the loss of her memories of all the things we shared over the years. The grief, losses, and social isolation can chip away at my heart and soul as I fade into quietness.

As believers, how do we deal with these things? Where is that line of faith? We know all too well that there are no "Christmas Miracles" in real life. Not for us anyway. But that's a lot to carry, isn't it? It can be so difficult to navigate through a wide range of emotions on any given day.

I have to take my heart back to hope. Is there any? Sometimes, it really doesn't look like it - but there is always hope as long as we are breathing in and breathing out.to be honest, I'm not sure I always know what that hope looks or feels like. But since I've made it a practice to hide His word in my heart, my mind wanders over to Psalm 42.

The sons of Korah start the psalm out describing their deep desire for God. They call it a thirst - like the deer longs to be refreshed by the brooks. This first little bit has been used in worship choruses for years, but if you did a bit deeper into the psalm you find that they were trying to find God in dire circumstances, just like we do as caregivers sometimes.

The writers were seeking God in a hard circumstance, not worshipping Him in Sunday morning church. They share feelings of despair, feeling forgotten by God, and oppression of the enemy. For us, the enemy may look like brain injury, dementia, or something else. But our soul becomes disturbed (v.11) like the Sons of Korah.

But then they end the psalm in the most unusual way - with a declaration of trusting Him. They turn to ask themselves - why are you discouraged oh my soul? So, it must be okay to ask, right? I can't tell you how many times (every day) I've asked. And it's okay. Especially when it's followed with - I shall yet praise Him - the help of my countenance and my God. Still declaring in the midst of things so hard to understand - that He is still my God and I will continue to trust whether I can or cannot see.

Today, in the midst of pain, disappointment, and struggle I will declare - You O Lord are the help of my countenance - You lift me up! You are still my help and I will still trust You and praise You. Will you join me?

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