Cycles of life

This morning I am contemplating the faithfulness and goodness of God. I am reflecting on all the things that have transpired this year. It has been a year of major changes in my life.

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of my mom’s death. This year has been surprising on many levels. I always dreaded the death of a parent. I just couldn’t imagine life without them. I love my mom. You will notice I used the present verb. I know she is alive in Christ. Before her death, about 10 months or so, God gave me a vision of her running free and healthy in an open field. I knew He was telling me she would be whole again and that she was His. At first, I was a little fearful of knowing she would be dying soon, but truthfully, that fear was unfounded. God held me close through the process. He allowed me to see she was at peace and was aware she was dying. Her faith upheld her and God met her where she was. Even in her actual death there was a great Peace. When I found her, there was a light shining on her despite the room being dark. I know God had someone escort to her to him.

In this year, I have missed her. Greatly. Slowly different memories have come back. I have to tell you that God has been good to me. Even in my sadness of not having mom here, I am aware she is safe with Him. God has given me peace in this knowledge. I can’t imagine going through all of this and not having God to uphold me. For those who have followed my writings in the past, you already know I have a tendency to wonder at the cycle of life. Even now, I find myself again pondering it all. Once again, I am dealing with a parent with dementia and navigating what this will look like. It is different than when mom walked this road. Some things are the same, after all: there are consistencies with the disease. The difference is in their personality and also the degree of my involvement. Before Dad felt the full brunt of mom’s disease. I would swoop in to give him a break, but then go back to the shelter and relief of my own home. Now I am the one that is carrying the full brunt. I have more understanding of what Dad had to deal with and why he grew to distance himself in certain things. I battle to remember that this isn’t my dad that I grew up with. I struggle with to contrast of the vibrant strong father I grew up with and the weak and broken man he is today. Sometimes he tries to exert his independence but sadly that is not very often. I am sadden to see his lack of interest in life. I am in the process of having to make some very difficult decisions and quite frankly I wish this cup could be removed from me. But I have to believe that God will be guiding me and upholding me once again.

When that day comes, I am trusting God to again be my strength and peace when my world is once again forever changed. What does that future look like?

I know that God has chosen for me to have this responsibility to help my parents at the end of their lives. In the past, this was a normal process that families walked the prior generation through. Our society, our style of life today isn’t familiar with this intimacy of the final days of loved ones. We put our loved ones in institutions and let someone else deal with the issues, the details we don’t want to see. We are insulated from death and dying in so many ways. I am grateful to be in this process with my parents. Their lack of fear of death has been educational and reassuring. I am reminded they are only 20 years ahead of me. We too will someday be at this point of the end of our days. I have to think about what I want my final years to look like. I want to be as healthy and active as I can. I want to retain my independence for as long as I can. I want to grow closer to God. I want to step into the destiny he has for me when my future is no longer focused on my current assignment.

In the meantime, I want to remember what God has done for me so far. I want to remember his faithfulness to me, my family. I want to remember his provisions, his protection, his love. I want to remember how he has held me close when I needed it. There is so much uncertainty and fear in this world today. When I step back from the scenery of the despair and hopelessness that is in this world, I am reminded that in all things, God is in control. God is still on his throne. Life has cycles. Evil has been busy trying to destroy humans. Yet as dark as things have been in the past, God has rescued mankind over and over again. God has always had his remnant that has held on to him. While I don’t like what I see happening in the world, and those who are evil want me to be in fear, I have to remember that, this too shall pass. In the scheme of eternity this really has no impact on who God is and what His Kingdom will look like. I am choosing to focus on what God’s kingdom looks like and the hope that he gives us. I am choosing to remember all the times God has rescued me personally from my own situations.

God has been faithful as I have navigated the good and the hard things in my life. Yes there are challenges, but there have been tears of sadness and of happiness. I am blessed by God’s faithfulness and his love that is unwavering. So what ever the future holds for me, my family, I choose to trust God to walk us through the next cycles that await us.