Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Journey of Faith

God has taken me on an incredible journey of faith. In my wildest dreams or thoughts, I would have never imagined walking this path. Last year, about this time, I was thinking life was confusing and difficult. My mom had been ill and in the hospital. My step dad was in a nursing home with Alzheimer's. Many of my days and nights were spent taking care of them. My husband was home, without work, suffering from chronic back pain. My youngest son was out of work and living at home. And I had just started a new career after being out of work for over a year. It was stressful learning all new products and trying to concentrate on my job with so many people depending on me and the bills piling up.

Life did, indeed, seem difficult. I longed and prayed for change and rest. I was feeling restless and out of sorts. God seemed distant, although my faith did not waiver.

Spring turned into Summer and my time became increasingly spent. The few hours I had to myself were late at night. I turned to writing as an outlet for my restlessness. I poured my heart into creating stories as an escape. Nothing seemed to help. I had never been so self absorbed in my own thoughts. I felt stretched in every direction with no compass.

I remember praying and asking God to change my life. Please, I begged, get me out of this black hole and help me see your face once again.

As the leaves began to change colors, my mood stayed black and dark. I could see no light or future, only more problems I couldn't solve, money I couldn't make enough of and people I couldn't help. By Thanksgiving, my step dad, Ed, entered the hospital and things went down hill. Most of the holidays were spent by his side, holding my moms hand, helping her to let him go. By late December, the doctors gave us no hope and sent him to a nursing home to live out the rest of his days. Christmas day we were called to the nursing home. He was near death and was taken back to the hospital by ambulance. He remained there thru the first week of January, then sent to hospice to die. His last breath came early Monday morning, January 15th.

Gathering up Mom, I called my husband to come be with me. By now, he was no longer driving due to the pain medication he was taking for his back. Our son brought him to me and we got thru the day. I had not spent much time with Jim due to my work and taking care of my parents. When I saw him walk thru the door at hospice, I realized how much I needed him and missed his taking care of me. Too much time had passed since we had connected. I think I was angry at him and myself. I also noticed how weary he looked. My heart ached to run away with him for a rest. We had been planning a trip to Florida for this week, but canceled out tickets when Ed took a turn for the worse.

The next few days were spent planning the funeral and helping mom deal with her loss and what would be her future. Jim stayed in the background, sleeping through most of the plans. He managed to go to the viewing at the funeral home and the funeral, but did not feel like joining us for the dinner. Again, I prayed. God, please help us. Please change this. We are drifting apart and I don't know what to do.

When I returned home from the lunch, Jim was asleep. It had been a common occurrence...sleeping alot. He stirred as he heard me come in and asked me if he could fix me dinner. He seemed so groggy but managed to make us something. Both disappointed about our cancelled trip, we briefly agreed to try to rearrange it in the near future. Once again, our life was put on hold.

The next day I returned to work, trying to pick up where I left off the week before Ed's death .
Before I left for work that morning, I went downstairs, only to find Jim sleeping on the couch. I got him to lie down, kissed him goodbye and went to work. Little did I know, the next time I saw him, just a few hours later, our lives would forever be changed and I would be on my knees begging God for his life. Change had come.

(to be continued)