Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Strength

"Stengthen the man you love..." Psalm 80:17

My Dad is becoming frail. He complains of weakness in his legs and a heaviness that falls over him. So sad to see how quickly his life has changed. Twelve weeks ago he was driving his car. Now his life is spent surrounded by four walls of a hospital room. We take him outside as often as we can for a breath of fresh air, but it's not the same. He's not the same.

A trembling hand grips a spoon at meal times. His other hand aids the utensil to it's desired destination, while a towel, acting as a bib, is in place to rescue any spills. Shuffling steps accompany the sound of a walker as we stroll down the hall. Shoulders hunched, Dad no longer stands tall and confident. He is fearful and uncertain. A wheelchair provides transportation for longer outings. The man who always cut the grass wearing a shirt and tie, now remains in pajama's and housecoat. His expression is sad. Smiles and laughter are few, but treasured. Sitting staring silently, I wonder what goes through his mind. Is he aware of all he's lost? Does he even know where he is? Does he know how much I love him...and miss him?

He tries so hard to answer questions correctly and becomes frustrated at his lack of memory. Many faces are no longer familiar. Thank You Lord for the gift that Daddy still knows me. He waits each day for our trip across the street to the park, weather permitting. Bundled up in winter coat and blankets, we head over. He loves to head to the baseball diamonds to watch a game. The children on the swings always make him smile. A pigeon building a nest. A seagull scavaging for food after an abandoned picnic. The view of the horizon. The colour and curls of that little girls hair. Father, the things I would miss, that would go unnoticed, if not walking with my Dad.

Lord, strengthen the man You love. Oh how I still pray for a miracle. I will not give up. I know God is able to heal my Dad completely, and like David who prayed for the recovery of his ill son, I will continue to implore the Lord until Dad is free of suffering here or there.

Thank You for Your promise, that as our days, so shall our strength be, Deut.33:25. My own weakness is implied by my claiming of this Word. Strength for my days...this day...this hour...this moment. Tomorrow's strength will come tomorrow. This is today's grace. As different as our days shall be, and as long as our days shall be, and as varied as our needs shall be, God's strength shall be. Lord, for the strength needed just for today I pray...for my Mom...my sisters...the nurses...my friend Melissa and her family travelling a road of waiting...my weary friend Elaine...my wedding planning friends Zoe and Kathy...my weakened friend Diane...strengthen all those You love and fulfill Your promise today.

I rest in Your strength alone.



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5 comments:

Lori said...

I'm lifting you and your family up in prayer today. God knows dear sister, the next turn in the road, cling to Him each step of the way. Praying and waiting on the Lord's lead. He will not forsake you. He knows what is best for your father, His child. There is no need to worry when our God is the leader. We will praise God because He alone, is taking you each step of the way.

Love you, Lori - AZ

Runner Mom said...

Hey, sweet one! Saw your comment on Wendy's blog and realized that you were posting on your other blog--which I keep forgetting about! GOd will--as you said--give you the strength for every moment. Just hang on tightly to His Word and allow Him to bathe you in His peace. I know that you all are worn out. Keep the faith...one step in front of the other. God will see you through.

Love you!
Susan

Kathy S. said...

Joy, you beautifully express faith and hope in your writing. Your life glorifies God continually with your expressions of love for Him, your faith, your encouragement for other people, and your words...Thank you for exhibiting a strong hold on the goodness of God. I know it is white knuckle grip right now, but after this momentary trouble there will be that promised glory...

Thank you for your prayers!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Strengthen the man, strengthen the woman, strengthen the children, strengthen your people, God, for the road ahead. Laboring in the flesh is a difficult embrace some days; in those times, Father, fill us with more of your Spirit to outweigh the flesh. Buoy our frames and remind us of all that awaits us on the other side. Bless Joy and her father; thank you for the gift of remembrance that he still possesses. And even should that fail, Father, keep it fresh for heaven where perfection resides and our stories find their completed end. Until then, we walk by faith. We walk with you. Amen.

~elaine

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Joy, we are still praying for your Dad and for your family. What a blessing that you are able to take him outside and to the park! How that must lift his spirits! I can remember how my Daddy so much enjoyed even the half hour ride to the doctor....just being able to be outside and see the scenery along the roadside perked him up. And when he first was admitted to the hospital and was found to have terminal cancer the doctor wanted to send him home with hospice. My Daddy said..NO!....not yet! I drove myself down here and I have been walking a mile every day at the gym and I'm not ready for hospice yet! He was 94 at the time. And he was right. He eventually was able to drive and go on his daily walks for a short time before he finally became ill for so long. Just seeing our parents go from being independent to being dependent on us is a gut-wrenching thing to behold. May God give each of us grace in these days.

God bless you sister,
Marilyn