Sometimes life feels so out of control that you don’t know when or how you will ever survive. Often there are warnings about what is to be expected as in the diagnosis of a disease like Alzheimer. You know what the end of the disease will be but you hope against hope that will not happen to the one you love.
As a Christian, I know that God knows the plans He has for each life. And when He brings pain or hardship, I know that He is still in control. He still loves me no matter what and He has purpose for everything He has placed in my life.
This summer I lost my Mother to Alzheimer after a long eight year struggle. Had my Mother been in her right mind she would have been horrified about the way this diseased caused her to act. In fact, she had told me numerous times before the disease not to “let” her act like that when observing some one that was acting inappropriately. My Mother was a Southern lady and acted like a lady. Until–the disease. She then exhibited behavior unbecoming a lady being violent when someone tried to help her dress or assist her with personal hygiene.
One of the most horrible things about the disease is how it affects your memory. It robs you of your personality and the memories that make you who you are. Mother never completely lost all her memory. She had little bits and pieces of it. She didn’t remember who her children were but knew she was suppose to love us. She would often say the words and I was never sure whether she knew who I was or not. Now her battle with the disease is over and she is whole again and dancing across heaven with my Dad. I can reflect on those turbulent years and know that I only survived with my Savior’s help. His Hand guided me and held me up when I could not do so for myself. I can tell you that without my faith, my own strength to face this situation might have been different. My peace only comes from Him.
You never imagine you will be in the midst of turbulent waters. Life seems to go smoothly and then all of a sudden that quiet gentle stream develops fast moving currents that become violent turbulence all too fast.
During a recent trip to Colorado, I was reminded how rapidly waters change from headwaters where the stream flows quiet and smooth and then changes into a rushing turbulence of swift whitewater. I observed rafters at the Royal Gorge trying to navigate through the swift violent water. Sometimes they made it through successfully and sometimes their kayak would turn over thrusting them into the swift current. Struggling to survive a watery grave, the rafter would grab whatever was there in order to pull himself up.
Yes, the waters of life seem to flow smoothly at times but all to soon these waters flow more swiftly to the point of becoming turbulent. Life is like that. But it is during those times when we must know who is our anchor. That anchor is Jesus. We can grab onto Him when turbulence wants to pull us down. He will pull us up. Because my Mother was a child of God, the Holy Spirit dwelt within her and although her mind was eaten away with the disease, the Spirit of God still dwelt with her. He never forsook her and He never left her alone. And now she dwells with Him forever. Someday, I will be reunited with her and other loved ones that have gone on before me because of Jesus Christ the Messiah who died on the cross for the remission of sin. He died for me that I might live. He is my anchor and a very present help in trouble.