Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
“…for the joy of the LORD is my strength.” Oh, I cling to this for He is so very present in and around me this day. I sense His very Presence as I go about my tasks at home and out and about. I feel a lightness that was not there a week ago. For fifteen years, I have taken care of my mother in many ways, even as she lived in an assisted living and a nursing home. She passed away on January 30, 2013. Because her wish was to be buried with my father in Arlington National Cemetery, we waited and waited. In July, they called and set the date for September 9th. September 9th is behind us now. It is behind me. All the paperwork and details are done. The burial is finished. Letting friends know about the service is taken care of and behind me. It is all behind me.
The days of Mama’s life pass by my mind’s eye and heart and I know that I did the right thing in bringing her to be near to me. Her love and care for her children and husband were extraordinary. She lived fully.
But there were many tasks that went on and on with new tasks taking the place of some. But those things are over. The bookkeeping for her accounts, done for many years, is done. The burden of the condition of Mama’s mind, the dementia, is gone. Mama’s confusion and disorientation is wiped away. The burden of giving insulin to her before and after work, making sure she got her medications and the right ones, or the monitoring of the medication schedule with the nursing home staff is gone. The burden of the calls from the facilities telling me of needs, problems, diagnoses, and so much more. The burden of an inability to travel very far from home with my husband because we might have to hurry back is behind us. Surely, I miss my Mama so very much, but she is gone to be with our LORD and I rejoice in that beautiful thought. I also rejoice that Mama is no longer in pain; the dementia, the cancer, the diabetes, et al, are gone…GONE! FOREVER! Praising God for all of this!
Within days of arriving home from Arlington, I noticed the change, a lifting, a lighter feeling on my body and in my heart. My shoulders seem to stand more upright without the burdens. So many burdens that I carried and gave to the LORD over and over again, although not very well, I must admit, have been lifted from me. God knew and always was with me. He carried me, walked by me, loved me through it all even when I called out over and over again, “How long, O LORD, how long?” I was not wanting Mama to go away. I just struggled so as I watched her suffer. And God is with me now as life takes on new turns for me, for us. I could not have done it without Him.
“Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. ‘Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. Exodus 6:6-7
Praising Him for He has done this for me.
Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalm 55:22
He sustains me.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God who is our salvation. Selah. Psalm 68:19
He bears my burden and is my salvation. Praise You, Father.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
He gives me rest. He teams up with me and teaches me. He shares my burdens with His gentleness and humility. Praising You for everything. Hallelujah!
YES, LORD Jesus, You have given me rest for my soul. I do rest in You for I know You are the giver of every breath I have, for every heartbeat, for every step I take. Thank You for the time with family and the love we shared in Washington, D.C. Thank You for the especially fine service and the way I recall beautiful parts of it in my heart. You were with us and are with me now. I praise You, LORD, and thank You for lightening my load. I feel tender and at the same time strong because You are my strength. I feel a gentle whisper reminding me of who I am in You. Thank You so much for everything, including the last fifteen years with my Mama, and for the whole 98+ years of her life. I got 65 of those. I pray I did things for her and my family in Your Name. And I call upon You for You are my strength and my joy. Amen.