Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reinforcements

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.

14 comments:

CalamityJr said...

Thank you again for sharing your deepest thoughts. After reading today's post, I scrolled down to reread some of your earlier writing, and am amazed (though I shouldn't be!) at the path God is leading you on, how each step leads to the next in just the right order for you to be ready to hear what He has to say. You are teaching me as well, and for that I am grateful. Blessings to you, Jeff, your family, and the extended family of friends walking this path with you.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Thank God for family and freinds... I've been thinking about you, Adrienne, and praying your Jeff --and for YOU every day... I know that all of this is VERY hard --and I wish I were closer to be able to help in some small way...

God Bless You --and your family... Hang in there... You are a very strong person --and I admire you so much.. Thanks to Jeff's mother for being willing to help.

May God be with all of you.
Love and Prayers and a HUGE HUG,
Betsy

Corner Gardener Sue said...

One of the good things God is bringing about is blessing you with help and support, and in turn those people will receive blessings from Him.

I would be like you in needing to get to the point I was ready to accept help.

Typing through tears and with prayer,

Sue

Sue said...

Isn't it interesting that those who are always ready to jump in and help, are those so reluctant to receive help. So thankful that there is a faithful crew to serve Christ by ministering to your family. REmember how Moses had to have help holding his arms up?! Even the "best" need the physical and spiritual encouragement!!

Love to you and your family.
Sue

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Sue, I was just thinking of that story yesterday!! Figuring my situation is not worthy to compare, but I find it interesting that it's the story that came to your mind to. Isn't God's Word great??

Aliene said...

This can't be easy but we know Our god is in control. He will give the strength you need each day. God bless each of you and keep you in His great big Loving Arms.

JKoenig said...

Adrienne,

I could so identify with your feelings. It was just a year ago that we were taking care of my mom 24/7, and there were times when I felt like I just had to get away, if even for an hour or two, or to go home for a night, so I could get a full night's sleep....and then to think you have children to keep up with and take care of....I am so thankful that you have friends and family who have stepped in to help as they have. I will keep you and Jeff, your family and other caregivers in my prayers. You are all so special.

God be with you......Janice

Shell Bell said...

Running away is never bad thing. Sometimes you just need to get away for a bit. Accept the help and run away for a few hours. Then you can come back refreshed and ready for some more. I know this is extremely difficult. But isn't it amazing how many people the two of you have touched? All those people want to return the favor. Know that there are prayers being said for ALL of you.

Splendid Little Stars said...

wonderful post! How great that we can help others and we can be helped by others. Love flows during those times.
This is what came to mind: Praise be to the God...who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
I watched my sick mother being cared for by people and thought that those individuals were being blessed by helping. My mother was providing an avenue for their blessing.
keeping you in my heart....

deejbrown said...

Christ. You are amazing.

Glenda said...

What a beautiful, honest testimony of God's grace and care! May God continue to supply all your needs and bring peace and strength to all of you.

Prairie Patch said...

I'm so glad you have a wonderful support system around you.

Valerie said...

In the midst of a battle - it is often so very hard to know if your feelings are right.

I will never forget the moments (I had my mom and hospice help in my home during her last month of life in this world) when I knew I couldn't go on any more.

I remember feeling so guilty because I couldn't do it anymore. Crying and sobbing on the phone with my brother in law - who had travelled the same path with my father in law. Being assured by him that what I was feeling was normal - and in retrospect - I think part of God enabling me to deal with the separation to come.

God took me to the brink - and thankfully brought me back. You are so very blessed to have so many stepping up and allowing you the freedom to care for your family and Jeff.

I am praising God and Thanking Him this morning for His family that has stepped up around you and is caring for you and helping to take care of the details of life - in so many ways.

Praying for you and for Jeff - and your children. As hard as they are ... treasure these moments. It may be why God has enabled you the freedom to just sit and be there, while the other things are being cared for.

You are in my heart and prayers.

Anita Johnson said...

Dear Adrienne,
I was reading blogs on this cold November night and I clicked on yours, then noticed you had this blog too. I am so sorry to read about your husband's struggles. I never knew what you were going through until now. I will add you both to my prayer list that I keep by my computer..."strength for today and hope for tomorrow". God keeps His promises.
Anita