Friday, January 4, 2013

Temporary Move

"This is not your rest." Micah 2:10

I have to admit, my breath caught in my throat as I opened my devotional book this morning and my reading began with those words: "This is not your rest."

Today as we plan to move daddy to a nursing home, I am reminded again that this is a temporary move.  It is not his rest.  True rest can only be found with God in our eternal home. 

I'll be honest....I've struggled so much with this over the past weeks.  My dad is the most godly man I have ever known.  He was not the disciplinarian in our home, so I can truthfully say that I don't ever recall dad raising his voice or saying one unkind word.  He is a man of integrity, intellect and influence.  He is an educated man, but also could be a great tease.  He has embraced life to the full and until a couple of years ago, lived each day with vigor.  He continues to impact my life in ways that will remain with me forever.

Even though he struggles with remembering and his thoughts wander, when asked to say the blessing before a meal, He often still speaks with authority, sharing of God's goodness in a "King James" manner which makes my heart smile.

Over the course of the last year we have seen his frame falter.  Physical pain makes him uncomfortable and he is content to sleep the day away.  His appetite rises and falls, but he often still enjoys a good meal as long as it is smothered in Ketchup.  Some days upon seeing me I'll see the recognition in his eyes as he says, "Bells"! (Daddy has always called me "Bells"; short for "Joybells".)  Other days my heart breaks as I can tell that although he shakes his head in agreement and responds politely, he has no idea who I am.

With mom still hospitalized since her fall on December 8th, daddy needs round-the-clock care.  My older sister selflessly took a leave from work to care for dad, but his needs are so extensive we had to begin intentionally pursing long-term care.

Here's were my struggle remains.  As a lay-Pastor and phenomenal father, I have watched my dad serve the Lord all his life and I want what's best for daddy.  Recognizing my sisters and I can't give that "best", we have sought direction from the Lord.  Miraculously the Lord opened up a bed for dad at the nursing home that was our first choice.  Not only have we heard of great care, but it's location is close to all of us which will make frequent visitation easily accessible.  However, in my heart of hearts, I know the best home for daddy is heaven.  At 87 years old, he has lived a full and wonderful life.  He has remained a faithful husband for 68 years (mom and dad will celebrate their 69th anniversary in May should the Lord allow them to tarry).  He is the best dad in the world and ministers to others everywhere he goes, being Christ's ambassador to all who come in contact with him.

Watching daddy now...seeing his confusion...knowing of his constant pain...often living in a place where the once familiar has become foreign, my heart longs for daddy to know the comfort and healing of his forever home.  With tears filling my eyes, I surrender my daddy.  Lord, I want the best for him.  This move today will disorient him.  I hate it.  I know You are guiding us, but taking daddy to this nursing home breaks my heart.  I need strength from on high.  

This morning my entire devotional reading included verses of heaven being our home.  Promises that God will wipe away all tears from our eyes.  A time of no more death, sorrow, crying and pain.  Former things passed away.  The weary finding their rest.

Lord, You see my heart.  You know the ache mixed with the deep that wants only the best for daddy.  You Lord are His only real true rest.  May daddy find his rest in You here on earth until You take him to the room You've prepared for him in glory.  Give us all divine strength today and may daddy know Your love...and my love too!  Love you my dear, old dad, Bells.

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Leah @ Point Ministries said...

My heart aches for you and your family, sweet Joy. I cannot even imagine. We did not have to make the nursing home decision with my Daddy. He died at home after battling cancer for 22 months. Our daddies are our knights in shining armor and it seems they will always be strong. When the day comes when they are not, it is hard...just plain hard for everyone. Praying God's peace for you, Joy.

~Grace and Peace said...

Oh, Joy. I can see that you love your Daddy very much. The pain is evident in every word. It is the hardest thing to release our loved ones to their forever home.

Praying that God will give you the grace and the peace that passes understanding.