by Tara Roper
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Sometimes God takes away our strength so we can rely soley on His strength. And this time, I'm glad He did. I'm on my way to Boston. To the average onlooker, I'm a young thirty something, single girl, off for a visit to Boston. One would speculate I may be visiting friends, taking in the foliage, or just having a get away. What they don't know is that yes, I'm a thirty something, but definetly NOT single. I have a loving husband and three children at home. And, I am visiting friends and family, but will not be taking in the foliage or spending my time sightseeing.
I will be taking in moments that seem to be slipping away and mortified by the sights I am seeing.
You see, I'm heading home to a father who is lost right now and a mother who is, day by day, losing her mind. My only hope for this trip is that when she sees me, she still knows who I am.
In preparation for this trip, I have been seeking scripture and guidance on how to deal with all of this, how to comfort my family and how to help make things better. Through my quiet time, sermons, and bible study, I was repeatedly directed to 2 Corinthians 4:16-17.
Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
And so, here I parked my thoughts, intent on wrapping my mind around this. The concept of physically wasting away and our daily troubles being nothing compared to the eternal glory to come. On this, I pondered and had a hard time arriving at a point of peace. That scripture is powerful, I have no doubt, to those who can remain fixed on that seemingly far off glory. Unfortunately, I was losing focus.
As I spoke to my family back home in Boston, I could only imagine the scene as it was unfolding there daily. My mother, in bed, unable to care for herself, my father unable to care for my mother the way he wanted to. her caregivers, and friends, Ellie and Mary Ellen although very able to meet her daily needs at this point, unable to drop the sadness and heaviness that hangs around this once vibrant, unstoppable force of a woman.
As I lay awake at night, I imagined how she looked, what she said, how much of it made sense, and how much was creeping out of this cave of dementia she is residing in. none of this seemed to suggest a day by day renewal to me. Theres no solution, no closure, no nothing.
And so, I grappled with this passage most of this week. In theory, it had at first brought me comfort, but as I considered the scene over and over, the eternal glory part evaded me every time. Until, in my quiet time with God, I felt led to look at this passage one more time. So, I did. And there it was, the next part, verse 18.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal.
There it was, my peace, just one verse away from where I had stopped the first time. I had pondered all week the scene, what it would all look like, feel like, sound like. What all the caregivers felt and did, the conversations that didn't make sense, or as of late, occur at all with my mother. All this time focused on the scene and the seen.
I sat back and began to ponder the unseen. That which is based on faith alone. And, my faith tells me, He will not forsake us, He is not forsaking my mother. He will not leave us, He has not left my mother, and this is His word. Isaiah 40:8 tells us
The grass withers and flowers fall, but the Word of God stands forever.
It doesn't change because of my circumstances, my emotions, or my sadness during this time. So, from here on out, when I want to have God's peace and wisdom on my mothers life, her illness, and how to persevere in all this, to really truly see clearly, I need to focus on the unseen. The best way to see clearly is to close my eyes.
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This is encouraging in light of some things I'd been going through...I appreciate your strength in God...you are an encouragement in what you shared...thank you....