To Him be the glory …
My ninety-seven year old mother lives in a nursing home with dementia and diabetes. She has a variety of other issues and I just don’t want her to have any more that causes more suffering. I have been caring for Mom for thirteen years now, bringing her near me from California to Texas when she needed more help then she was getting. She has gone from being able to live in a senior resident to an assisted living to a nursing home over the scope of these years…from fairly independent to fairly helpless. So many times times, I have looked to the heavens and asked, “How long, O Lord? How long?”
My soul also is greatly troubled.
But You, O Lord—how long?
And then she has such sweet days and is so delightful. Her mind is quite clear. Her body is more able. And how can I ask such a question as “How long?” I am on a roller coaster with my Mama, and have been on again, off again this ride for years. I do have a life other than caregiver, too. I am married to a wonderful man. We have a vacation planned in our fifth wheel RV for September. I have had surgery, myself, just this past May to have three vertebrae fused in the cervical spine. I am healing, yet I fell and have been in other pains since. I have other spinal issues as does my husband.
Am I asking, “How long?” out of selfishness? I love my mother. I am so thankful that I have been allowed to care for her. I am weary. “How long?” I laugh with her. I love with her. Yet, “How long?” It is about me sometimes and I don’t mean to be selfish. It is about my own life. I retired from the workplace, yet I have retired from only part of my life’s work, haven’t I? “How long?”
LORD, I have such a sweet relationship with my Mama now, and love her so. Yet, You know, LORD, I am tired and worn out. I just wonder. I have thoughts that I wish I did not have. I am sorry for I do not wish her gone. I know that one day, You will take her. Hold me while I wait on You. May my strength be in You, Abba. Guide me to be Your caregiver for her, the best I can be in Your love. May I continue to be a kind friend to others in the nursing home, residents and staff alike. May I be a light there. Oh, how I love my Mama, LORD. Thank You for listening and letting me work through this for now. Guide me to understand this beautiful psalm and the depth to which it dives. It speaks of my Mama. It speaks of me. Show me Thy Way, O LORD. Show me Thy Way that I may walk in Your freedom no matter what stage of life I am in. No matter where I am. No matter what I do or have. Just, no matter. I want nothing to matter but You. For Your glory alone, I want to live until my days are done. Amen.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood;
they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!