Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. In all your ways acknowledge HIM and He will make your paths straight.
— Proverbs 5:3
— Proverbs 5:3
It seemed to happen suddenly for me. Boom! I was a caregiver but I was not ready and certainly had a lot of questions about what was really happening. My mom was sharp mentally, but then there were the growing moments where her mind seemed so forgetfull or confused. Maybe it was just her grief from losing my dad after almost 70 years of marriage. I wondered if she could still live alone like she insisted. We lived hundreds of miles away and had a very uncomfortable feeling for her. She had great neighbors and a supportive church. I was uneasy. Little did I know what would happen over the next six months. I was heading into what I call the dark fog.
Looking back some two years later I see the hand of God making provisions, the presence of God carrying us through dark times, the promises of God coming true and the light of God shining brighter than ever.
There were times of depression, darkness, hopelessness, pain and deep frustration. Those times passed. I kept looking and praying to God with eyes of faith even in the darkest times. Maybe those were the times I prayed "the hardest".
I come out of those times of darkness thinking about the light. God created light. I have read some books about near death or death experiences and pay close attention to what is said about the light. I read in Revelation 22:16b, "I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." In John 8:12 Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
It was on the road to Emmaus in the darkest of times for two of Jesus disciples that Jesus quietly joined them. Jesus talked to them about scripture and their eyes were open to see scripture in a new way. Then when Jesus left them they said in Luke 24:32, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scripture to us?" I see that 'burning within' to be like God's light within. The burning is a warmth and a comfort. It is also the opening of their hearts that Jesus was pouring so many wonderful understandings.
I went to seminary. Preaching and teaching others about God was what I was called to do. But it was in my own personal darkness that I really saw the light. I thank God for the darkness. Scripture now is a warm bright light for my heart. I understand the darkness, but I understand the love of God even more. I saw God speaking to my mother's heart even when in her dementia it was hard for me to have conversations with her. Now like Paul I own what Paul wrote in Romans 8:38, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us form the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
If you are in darkness right now, know that it is only for a time. Maybe you can't do too much, only struggle to control what small pieces of life you can muster the energy to handle. At my bottom I could only say, "God I trust You." I believe that just calling to God and saying "Jesus help me" is enough. It is in the darkness that the light of Jesus will shine. My prayer for you, "Jesus, show your light to those in darkness." My suggestion for you is to fix your eyes on Jesus and trust Him.
Sue Brettmann RN has been devoted to Caregiving both in her career as an RN, Parish Nurse and caring for her aging parents through the last 40 plus years. She has experience in trauma, home care and hospice. Her strong faith walk and relationship with Christ has always been a part of her care and she is committed to helping others see the gift of Christ in their personal journey's.