My mother's behavior a year ago caused an anguish of soul that was very difficult for me to bear. I got to the point that even eating became difficult. Her illness along with her circumstances of change and medications had caused her to be very abusive with words. Even though it was necessary for her to live in a facility, due to her proximity I was responsible for her care and upon a daily visit I would leave crying with hurt and not knowing what to do. In the meantime I was also managing my home, my children including homeschooling and very occupied with the care of my bedridden father who was living upstairs dying of cancer. Now why am I recording all this now? Because I want to convey with total abandon and truth that the thanksgiving, joy and peace that flows from Him is real and I am only made the richer from this seemingly hard thing my life. James 1:3 states, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." It is unexplainable to those who do not know the power of His Holy Spirit as the treasure it is living in these earthen vessels. His grace and mercy is as real to me as what I can clearly see with my eyes. It cups me and holds me close. It strengthens, encourages, and never lets go.
Now it is winter again and I am sitting here with my dear mother. No longer are her words abusive. She is at times as sweet as dripping honey thanking me with her upturned eyes looking into mine. There are times of great confusion and talking incessantly without really communicating anything. Other times, which are getting more frequent, are bouts of hallucinations. These personally are the most difficult for me.
Yesterday, she was scared. Bringing her comfort with my words did not work, so I went to the piano and I played hymns. Those old hymns of the church, the ones I knew she knew and somewhere they must still be back there in her consciousness. I played those familiar tunes and as I sang those ageless words I could sense His peace pouring into me too. I got up from the piano and went to peek in on her. Her eyes were closed, for awhile anyway.
Joy is not gush; joy is not mere jolliness.
Joy is perfect acquiescence, acceptance, and rest
in God's will, whatever comes.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.