It’s a new year and the fresh clean pages of my journal are beckoning me to thoughtfully record my hopes, dreams, goals, sentiments, and struggles. However, much of what I write are the lyrics of the same song with a slightly different melody. I feel stuck in the mundane rhythm of my unchanging circumstances. This causes me to doubt God’s movement in my life.
Sometimes we are called to live in the frustrating conundrum of seemingly unchanging circumstances.
I’m a caregiver-mother. I have been one for 32 years. The precious soul that I care for is my daughter, Rachel, who has cerebral palsy. She is truly one of the four dearest gifts ever entrusted to me by God. Yet, this situation is hard, and finding the delicate balance of her needs, my needs, and the rest of the family’s needs adds to the complexity of this situation. Caregiving has certainly exposed my human frailties. Sadly, my patience often runs threadbare.
Sometimes in my weariness I liken myself to the Wicked Witch of the East riding through the house on her broom with the fury of a cyclone leveling whoever gets in her way. God help my family. Truly!
Even the best altruistic version of myself is not enough. I am not equipped for this. I need His grace to live fully, love fully, and actually thrive here. Leaning hard into grace is my lifeline. Fully knowing this grace is a hidden gift - a hidden mercy.
My husband and I should be empty nesters. Presently, we have no idea what the future holds as it relates to our daughter’s long term care. We are being called to ruthless trust, even when the hand of God seems so still - so quiet - in the natural realm. Ruthless trust has also become a hidden gift - a hidden mercy.
The movement of God in our lives is often mysterious. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).
Maybe, you feel this way, too. Have you been fervently praying with no visible movement or answer from God, at least in the natural realm, for the healing of a loved one, the return of a wayward child, a chronic illness, a job opportunity, additional resources to pay bills, or a welcomed change in a difficult marriage? These are issues we carry so close to our hearts. God’s silence can make us feel weary and forgotten.
In my own weariness, I sincerely press hard into God as best as I know and plead with Him for understanding. In turn, I have felt a gentle challenge from Him to pray differently, speak differently, and view life differently.
Now, this is my heart’s prayer:
Abba-Father, please help me to fall in love with the life you have given me. Teach me to fully live within the parameters and limitations you have allowed. Help me to accept that you are doing something greater - something eternal - in this struggle. Open my eyes to your generous provisions and blessings. Help me to trust the goodness of your heart.
I still struggle. But I sense a gradual shift - an opening in my heart to the possibility of fully living and thriving right where I am.
Sister, may this prayer comfort you, too.
Word of the Day:
“ I know what I’m doing, I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (Jeremiah 29:11, MSG)
Author: Maryanne Abbate