Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: WAIT (08/30/18)
- TITLE: Anchor of Hope
By Bonnie Kronberger
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“Time to go potty.”
As I slid both his feet toward the side of the bed his hand reached out for mine and held tightly as I strained to pull his two hundred pound body to an upright position. The job was soon done. Alzheimer’s has robbed him of so much.
“Back to bed.” Sleep didn’t return nearly as quickly as it disappeared.
“Lord,” I pray every night, “please give me sweet sleep and sweet rest so I can do this again in a few hours.” Even then, there is no guarantee the diaper won’t become saturated and the bed wet. Oh well, it’s manageable.
Last night felt unmanageable. After a few hours of sleep Lee woke me up, sure something terrible had happened to me. I turned on the light and assured him everything was fine, but he was adamant that I had been attacked. He pushed back on all my reassurances. I wanted to become angry at him and argue back, but instead cried out to the Lord for direction. He reminded me His word is sharper than any two edged sword. I reached over and grabbed from the nightstand my book of scripture prayers, Face to Face by Boe. I began reading aloud about God and His relationship with us. I figured the words and meaning would not sink into Lee’s mind but the enemy would understand and have to flee. Courage surrounded me as I read on and on.
Lee was up and down the remainder of the night but he was instead fixated on having to take care of nonexistent cows. Each time I was able to convince him to wait until daylight. God’s presence and power carried me through the darkness of the night.
“They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint. Teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait.”
This great Stuart Hamblen song from Isaiah 40:31 is a refrain that runs through my head and heart periodically as I care for my husband, while Alzheimer’s eats away at him.
Our days have many pleasant times. We have a routine that works well. He reads Bible verses most mornings, very slowly, in a mechanical kind of voice and cadence. Many words are mispronounced so the meaning is obscured. However, he is in the Lord’s presence. I often close my eyes and soak in God’s presence too.
His prayers have become jumbled words as his memory of vocabulary diminishes. He prays in a sing song voice that makes me smile. I hear in his prayers a heart of repentance, and thanksgiving that Jesus is his Savior. Many times he ends the prayer, “...in my name, amen.” That too makes me smile, knowing Jesus understands.
He looks to me for everything and I try to lead safely and joyfully. God has amazingly gifted me with patience and tenderness for the most part.
I occasionally forget his mind is in Alzheimer’s world and will begin to share a thought or story. His confused stare reminds me my words are meaningless. Silence is a sad part of our relationship now.
None of these things are catastrophic in themselves, but when you put all his inabilities together day after day, then year after year, it can become daunting. He will not get well, as the disease continues to claim more of him. Sometimes my mind goes to a place of questioning. “How long Lord, will this difficult, unnatural lifestyle go on?”
I know the answer before I ask — only God knows!
I am sustained by hope. Hope encourages me to persevere in the wait. My hope is in Jesus and I hold on tightly to the knowledge that someday we will see the promise of heaven. So I wait upon the Lord, knowing His timing is right, praying He will keep me in perfect peace as my eyes are fixed on Him.
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