I volunteer most Tuesdays at a church which facilitates a program that serves people with beginning to moderate dementia. It is a wonderful social program for the participants and also serves as a much needed respite for their caregivers. It is further a huge blessing for us as volunteers to be able to serve others this way. We gain more than we receive.
Recently we took the participants on a little outing for the morning and early afternoon. It was beautiful day for this outing. The weather could not be more perfect. For most of the participants and volunteers it was a very enjoyable day. One participant, however, seemed to have gotten caught up in a negative mental loop on this occasion. She also happened to be the one I was paired with that day.
There were a few things that day for which I had to exercise patience. They included her repetition of the same story and questions over and over. They also included her insistence that since our outing had taken us so close to her daughter's place the bus should drop her off there instead of taking her back to the church to finish off the day. She simply would not let it go, and kept arguing the point. Obviously protocol, legality, and wisdom would not allow us to honor her request, but she could not understand the wisdom of it all.
I needed to remind myself that this woman even with her beginning dementia was and is made in the image of God. I also was thinking the next morning how much we are sometimes like that with God. We often just do not understand God's ways with us, and we do not understand His plan. We are not always willing to trust God's wisdom in allowing what He does in our lives. We may question the wisdom of God's ways and decisions.
Personally I think about all the indignities my husband went through because of his disease. I think of all the heartache I experienced as his caregiver. I think of the grief of losing him and living my life as a widow. It is tempting to think, "Why, God?" I do see much good which has come in my character as a result of all this. I see how my love for the Lord has grown, and I see ministry for others which has resulted. I see partially God's reasons and plans in it all, but I will never see the whole picture at least not before Eternity.
I simply have to trust that God knows what He is doing. I need to trust that He loves me with an everlasting love and that He is so much wiser than I am. As one book that I read recently put it, I need to give up trying to understand God and just praise Him and thank Him for His love.
Dear caregiver, the challenges of care-giving and life in general can be overwhelming at times. Trust that the Lord is with you through it all. Trust in His love and wisdom. He is infinitely wiser than you are.
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