It’s been a few weeks ago, now, that I felt like I just couldn’t handle this situation anymore. It was right about the time Jeff had been battling a cold for several days and then I caught it, too. I was so exhausted and sick. He was bed-bound. I began feeling angry and resentful. Like if I got the chance, I’d be really tempted to get in my car and drive for a very long time.
I reasoned with myself, that driving off would be a really pointless move. Even if I could selfishly get past my conscience, I wouldn’t get any further than pulling my first kid out of school before I’d have to scrap the plan. Reason for Early Dismissal – “We’re running away.” Yep, pretty sure that wouldn’t fly with the staff as a valid excuse. That gave me a good chuckle, and the temptation was over pretty quickly. But the fatigue and frustration were still very much there.
I’m not sure if Jeff’s mom sensed my desperation, or if the Holy Spirit just whispered to her “It’s time.” But the next weekend, she moved in to help take care of Jeff. She is an independent technology consultant which means she can do her job from anywhere there is quick access to an airport. Mom can’t be here all the time, of course: she does travel for work. But when she is here, she takes the night shift so that I can sleep.
Some friends and neighbors have also been helping out at night when his mom is out of town. And several have come during the day to sit with Jeff so that I can do errands, take kids to the doctor/dentist, etc. Jeff’s sister came for a weekend to help out, too.
I haven’t even mentioned the meals. Several ladies have been signing up to bring meals throughout the week. It has been such a relief to not have to worry about cooking dinner all the time. I feel like I’m doing pretty well if I can keep up with the laundry and taking care of Jeff and the kids, so dinner is a very welcome blessing.
And then there’s the yard work and maintenance projects. One couple has taken on the regular mowing. Other former patients and their families & friends have come to trim, weed, rake and cut down a tree. One friend is on groundhog duty. (I think we’ve gotten them all now.) The outside faucets are all winterized, the play set and fence are stained. When I write it all down, it overwhelms me the way people have offered to help.
So all that is to say that I’m grateful. God hasn’t chosen to intervene and heal as we had first hoped and prayed. But what He has done is that He’s made it very evident that He cares about the details. That He will not leave us. And just as the Bible promises, His strength is made perfect in weakness. It wasn’t God’s plan for me to do this care-giving alone. But He allowed me to start feeling pretty weak so that I’d be in the right frame of mind to accept help just when we needed it most.
He knows me so well.