My demise or my rise?
Imagine your mind is almost at its breaking point!! No sleep, no peace, depression and
confusion all around. You are holding on, by a thread, to the last bit of strength that you have left.
Yes this was me. My mind had been stretched almost to the breaking point. Dealing with a loved one who has Dementia and Alzheimer is a heavy weight for anyone to carry. For me this weight was heartbreaking and almost broke my mind.
I was a tried and true daddy’s girl. He was there for me every step of the way in my life. He was my comfort, my support, my encourager, my security and yes he spoiled me every chance he could. To watch his memory, character and sometimes temperament fail, was a true strain, one I had never felt before. It felt like I got hit with a high voltage stun gun. One day, after a night that I had literally only got 3 hours of sleep. I greeted my father with a good morning and soon after, I found out that “HE HAD NO IDEA WHO I WAS”!
Imagine the sorrow that hit my heart after tirelessly going back and forth trying to get him to remember me. It was a battle that I was not winning. Every day after, that had me on edge; thinking to myself, will he remember me today? Never knowing how he would respond to me was a tiresome task. It wore my mind and my heart out.
The hurt got worse when I realized, he knew my mother, my uncle and even my sisters but not me. He had forgotten his baby girl, the one who would lay on his chest and fall asleep. The one he would drive around town for hours during Christmas, just because he knew I loved to look at the Christmas lights on all the houses.
In one night, he didn’t know who I was. Lord this can not be my reality right now! How could he remember everyone else but me? I know with this disease you cannot take it personal when these things happen but I did; I couldn't help it, this was my dad.
Tiredness, depression and sickness had began to set in my body, from all of the stress I was carrying. O but the terror did not stop there. Each doctor’s visit got worse and worse. He had diabetes, high blood pressure, the Alzheimer's had progressed to dementia and later I found out he had cancer in the spine.
My life could not get any worse at this point. There were days I could not find someone to sit with him, so I could try to attempt to take a nap. My mom would come and help when she could but help from family was very scarce at times.
When I could get my uncle to stay with him, I still went to church. I still tried to draw my mind into worship. I would cry out in service for God to free me from the torment I was feeling. After service I was afraid to think of what I would be going home too. I wanted to rush home to make sure he was ok, but scared of what I would find.
I remember feeling so overwhelmed one morning. I turned to the wall in my bathroom and tears flowed from me like a steady river stream, I broke down. Jesus why me? Why am I going through all of this? Feeling like God was punishing me for some sin I did and didn’t know what it was.
With tears flowing down my face, a runny nose and my arms lifted in the air. I asked God again, "WHY ME?". He responded in a still calm voice, almost as a soft whisper on a breeze, “My daughter, this is your story”.
What? My Story? Those words seemed to be burned into my mind. I could not stop thinking about it all that day. It took me some time, in fact a long time for me to realize that God has written a story for my life, just as he has for yours.
Some parts will have drama, some will have pain and in some cases it feels like a horror movie that will never end. But in all this, you have to know that God is not allowing these things for your demise but they are designed for your rise.
In my moments of no peace, depression, weariness, helplessness and confusion, God was with me. He wanted me to see that I will overcome this. There is no depth of sadness that I won't pull you out of. There is no heartache that I can’t heal. When you feel like you have no peace; I will give you peace that surpasses all understanding. I will bring clarity to your confusion. If you would only trust in me, I will teach you how to rise above all of this.
Your story may have a different setting, character, conflict and plot, but the resolution of the story is designed the same.
James 1:2-4 NLT says,
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing".