Sunday, April 16, 2006

40 Days of Prayer (days 31-34 1/2)

*****Day 31
April 5, 2006

Note: Since my last “prayer time” my Mother-in-law, who is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s has gone into the hospital and is now under Hospice care. Caring for my Father-in-law and staying some days and some nights has hindered my “on my knees” prayer time…

Oh Father, this changes the focus of everything, doesn’t it? It changes from the struggle of my call to the struggle of the moment. Who was it - John Lennon? - Who said, “Life happens while you’re making other plans”. My calling now is to care for Imogene and Bob and Joe (my husband.) For the moment the “urgent” must take the place of the overall “important.” But, who knows? The “important” may just find its place in the “urgent…”

Father, give us guidance in dealing with the struggle of “siblings.” It was so much easier, in many regards, to be an only child. My decisions were my decisions. Now, every decision must be “cleared” with the whole family. And if there is a disagreement, it must be worked out and “compromised.” Lord, give us wisdom to know when to stand adamant and when to finding a middle ground. May everything we do be to bring honor and glory to Your name, and to meet Imogene’s needs on this final leg of her journey.

Father God, give us comfort in this time of pain. Lord, it’s just not fair! Alzheimer’s is so cruel. It not only robbed us all of Imogene’s “being” within her presence, but it has robbed her children of the “luxury” of grieving. She has “left us” so gradually, that the real grieving process never had a time of its own. And now, who is this woman within this frail body? Is that really “mother?” How does one grieve for something that left a long time ago - and just when did it leave, anyway?

Help us Lord. Give us physical strength, give us wisdom, and give us comfort.

In Jesus’ name - Amen.

Day 34 ½ …
April 9, 2006

How does one have a “Day 34 ½?” I am praying this day on Sunday. Normally, this would not be one of the “days of lent” but my “days” are so jumbled at this point, that I have to look to the calendar and count to see what “day of lent” it really is.

Father, hear my cry. On my way to the hospital this morning, I take time to stop by Church before anyone arrives and kneel at the altar. I am so tired Lord, that I turn and just lean against the railing. I am physically and mentally exhausted.

Again, I find myself asking, “How does one pray for someone to die?” That is about the most difficult prayer I’ve ever had to pray - and this makes twice with in 4 months I’ve had to pray it…

Father, how much longer can this frail woman live? We begin second guessing ourselves, “Are we doing the right thing?” “Is she really not just starving to death?” “GOD! How can we not feed her?” But God, how can we feed her…?”

Lord, Easter is coming up. There are services planned, and other’s lives and “schedules” to be considered… And I am so tired…

But Father, I surrender all to You. (And it hits me.) There is a huge difference in “surrender” and “defeat” isn’t there? If I am “defeated” I have never given up, I have simply been “out maneuvered” “out-gunned” or “over-taken” - pretty much against my will…

But, if I “surrender” then “I” have made the choice. “I” have submitted to another’s will. And that, Lord, is what I’m doing. I am submitting to Your will. I trust and believe that You have a divine plan, and that You are in total control - not only of our lives, but Imogene’s life, and death, as well.

And so, I surrender all…

In Jesus’ name - Amen.


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