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I’m going through a very strange time in my life right now. My teenage daughter (now 19) has embarked on a life of her own, after many years of being a full time “drama queen” at home. So much chaos and confusion since the day we adopted her, at the age of 3. Rebellious by nature, she fought so hard against obedience and submission in any form. It was a rocky 15 years, and I felt much like a ship that had been battered, and shipwrecked in the storm, by the time she moved out. But I knew that God placed her with us, and I knew that I did all I could to teach her His ways, and to nurture her, and provide a mother’s love. Many, many heartaches, and many, many tears were a part of our journey. When she first moved out, she plunged into even greater rebellion. I could not save her from herself, or the path of destruction she was choosing. (Though she seems to be doing a lot better right now.) At times I honestly thought I would lose my mind, as we tried to raise her. Many times I wondered what I had gotten myself into. But I know now that God was working on me as much as He was working on her. I had to learn to submit to a situation that I felt might kill me. (I ran away twice because of the stress.) I had to trust God to give me the strength I needed to persevere. I had to be willing to put aside all my dreams, of what I thought being a mother was all about, and love her unconditionally. She is very close to me, and in some ways very much like me. (Though in many things we are very different.) Right now there has been a time of separation. Her dad has been having lunch with her on Sundays. I haven’t seen her since Christmas. She is going to school, and working 2 jobs, and hanging out with her friends. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for us to get together, but hopefully, we will soon. She knows that I am always here for her.

When she left home, it should have been the start of my time, right? I had fulfilled God’s assignment, (or at least I had endured it.)

But the year before she left home, my stepfather died. He was my dad since the age of seven. He was a tall, strong man (6’4″), and I always like to say that if the world broke, he could fix it.  (He was a great handyman.) He wasn’t someone that I ran to, with my emotional concerns, but we grew exceedingly closer as the years went by. My mother had retired, and was in terrible health at the time (and still is.) He had retired to take care of her. No one ever dreamed that he would die first. He was so much healthier. (But no one knew that he would need triple bypass surgery either.) He came through the surgery fine, but developed hospital acquired complications of pneumonia, staph infection, and serratia. He was on a respirator for a couple of weeks, gasping for breath. It was horrible to stand by his bed, and watch his struggle. We couldn’t even touch him without wearing those latex gloves, and he couldn’t communicate with us because he was so sedated. We felt so cheated. Just a few days before he died, the doctor took him off the respirator, and he was able to very weakly mouth, “I love you” to my mom. We were so very grateful for that moment. (It was all that we got.) Soon after, he had to go back on the respirator, and his organs shut down, and he was gone.

That left me to be the primary caregiver of my mom. I was so scared in the beginning, that I couldn’t sleep at all. This started when my dad was dying. I knew that he was dying. I prayed and I believed for his healing, but I knew that he was dying. I think that God had revealed it to me, so I could begin to prepare myself. That is what I will always believe.

In the beginning, I thought that I had to keep my mom alive. It was too much psychologically for me, and to this day it still is. (Except that I know now only God can keep her alive.) I also thought that I was responsible for her happiness, but try as I would, I could not guarantee her sustained happiness. She is like an unruly, stubborn child at times, but I love her dearly, and we have bonded in an amazing way since my dad died. And that is the good that has come from his passing.

But the responsibility of her life, (on top of mine) has been overpowering . My nervous system is on edge, and I really cannot keep up with my own household duties, or maintain a close relationship with my husband. She still lives independently, but has insulin-dependent diabetes, and often goes low (blood sugar) and sometimes falls. She will not use her walker, and she really needs to. (I have saved her many times from going into a diabetic coma, and I know that something could happen to her at any time.) I have to live with that, and it makes me afraid and anxious. I think I am even aware of it in my sleep, and I keep my cell phone by my bed at all times, and everywhere that I go in the daytime.

(I apologize to those of you who already know this story, and I hope you were able to skim through the basics.)

But I had to set that background up, in order to let you know where I am in my life, at the moment.

In a word, I am overwhelmed. I am isolated, alienated, and depressed. I feel like I am at the bottom of a very deep well, and I can’t seem to claw my way out. I feel incapacitated at times, and disorganized. Everything at my house suffers because I am always on my way out the door to another doctor’s appointment, or hairdresser’s appointment, or to the bank, or grocery store, or the post office, or other errands for her. Some days I feel that I don’t even breathe properly. It is taking an emotional and physical toll on me. I don’t sleep at the right times, and that is probably the biggest hurdle that I now have to face. I must get my sleep back on track.

For the last 2 years I was a member, (and later Moderator) on a Grief Board. I found a great deal of my own healing there after my dad died, and I was asked to oversee the main board. But as many of you know, there was a misunderstanding there that could not be mended, and I was unmercifully attacked by some very cruel and heartless people, so I resigned. (Life is just too short to be treated like that.) But I had some of the most wonderful friends there, that came to my defense, and I can never thank them enough. I know that I honored God in standing up for what was right. (And in standing against what was wrong.) I have peace about it.

It’s funny, a few days before all that happened, I began to have a stirring in my heart that perhaps it was time to consider moving on. Dealing with death (and grief) on a daily basis is very hard, and it can bring you down, if you don’t have a good balance in your life. I have always been there for everyone else in my life, but I find that when I need support, there is nowhere for me to turn. (So I go to counseling.)

Sometimes I have to be dynamited out of a position, in order to move on to what God has for me. I tend to get comfortable, and want to settle where I am. But there are seasons in our lives, and when that season passes, the anointing lifts, and it is time to seek God once again for His will. I feel that it has something to do with writing, but I will wait and see. I have to get my personal life in order, and wait upon God, and see what He has in store.

My favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, ” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

He has plans for you also. We all have a purpose, and it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, God will use you for His glory, if you let Him. And He will change you into His likeness along the way.

So maybe like me, you’ve been through some really difficult times, and you feel like giving up. Let’s believe together that what Satan intended for evil, God will use for good. He can bring something beautiful out of the worst situations. Just keep trusting Him, and seeking His will, and praising Him in the storms of life…

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