My Friend along the Road

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Uncharted waters are frightening.  The unknown always is.  In each new season of my life I have faced circumstances that were unfamiliar and have challenged me to learn.  Years ago it was starting school, learning to drive, getting married and then becoming a parent.  Each of those situations was new to me and as I first started, I had no idea what I was doing or what was to come.  At moments I was afraid and uncertain, but, God was faithful and lead me through each stage.  He grew me, shaped me and taught me what I needed to know.  Today, I am so thankful that God is still teaching me, especially now that I am facing an entirely new season - the time when my parents are enduring the challenges of moving through the winter of their lives.

I am trying to be the best daughter I can be and I am happy to help them whenever I am needed.  I am loving them as Christ has taught me, but still, this is a confusing time.  For so many years I looked to my parents as the strong ones and the ones I went to with questions.  They were the ones who bandaged my knees and helped me dress.  Now, the roles are reversed and it tugs at my heart.  The other night, my dad was afraid of the future and what was to come.  As I sat with him and held his hand, I offered words of comfort while he relaxed.  When I left later in the evening, my emotions bubbled up and tears spilled down my cheeks. 

It is so difficult to see the rolls reversed.  I feel so ill-equipped to handle this season in life.  Sometimes I feel I’m the only one who has ever crossed these turbulent waters, but I know that is not true.   I am only one daughter in generations of daughters who have faced a time like this.  And, thankfully I am not alone!  I have a Friend who walks with me along the road.  His presence comforts me and gives me courage.  My fear dissolves as I look to Jesus, for I know He will never leave me.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

I am so thankful for my Friend along the road.  While we walk, He teaches me and grows me.  Without Him, I’d be lost in a sea of the unknown.  But with Him, I am strengthened.  I am blessed as He deftly guides me along the road.

Living for Jesus,


Joan





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11 comments

  1. Joan - my heart goes out to you. I lost my dad when I was 21 and my mother when I was 30. (I was born to them later in their lives). Both of them died suddenly, which is a shock, but I'm thankful they never had to suffer a long illness. It's tough to see those whom we depended on so long depend on us. But as you said, we have someone who guides us and leads us in every path and every season of our lives.

    Sending up prayers for you.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  2. Dear Joan, I will pray for you. I went through this with my mom, who had breast cancer and Alzheimer's, and it is a difficult trial to endure. Thankfully I was saved just a short while before she passed, so I too had my Friend guiding me through this journey.

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  3. Joan, the thought of eventually saying goodbye to our beloved parents can really bring us sorrow. I feel the same way with my mother, that's why I pray unceasingly that the Lord will bless her with long life. I lost my father even before I got married, so my mother is alone in our home in the province (a six-hour drive) with only a young girl-companion. We see each other every few months or so.

    We draw strength and comfort ONLY from the Lord Jesus and I know that He never disappoints.

    Have a blessed week,
    Rina

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  4. Oh, Joan. I am so sorry. I pray peaceful acceptance of this new stage of life. I dread it's arrival and know the fear. I pray God gives you the wisdom, ability, strength and peace to meet every need.

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  5. Hi Joan,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you; I cared for and lost my parents years ago. As you watch your precious parents change, age and move through the cycles of their life, I know you will be the most patient and loving daughter; you definitely have the gifts and strength from God to guide you through this experience.

    Blessings and hugs! :)
    Denise

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  6. Joan, as you so lovingly worded the description of this season of life many of us have gone/are going/will go through, it "is" a comfort and a blessing to know we never walk alone...anywhere....

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  7. Hi Joan - I will pray for you for strength and peace as you walk this new path in your life. As you say, Jesus walks with you and He knows how it is all going to pan out.
    God bless
    Tracy

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  8. Oh Joan! I totally get this one. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post called "I'm a Piece of Bologna" - in which I talked about being one of the Sandwich Generation - stuck in between my adult sons and my aging parents.

    Dealing with old age is indeed uncharted waters. Are you an only child doing this? I'm very thankful to have my brother and sister to help me. My sons live very close to my parents, and they have helped out a lot, too.

    Any way you look at it, though, it's hard to become the *parent* to our increasingly child-like parents. It's a journey that indeed requires the Presence of our Friend. Jesus stands alongside us, loving our parents through us - and teaching us the humble way of servanthood.

    Jesus holds our hands, just as He holds those precious wrinkled ones of our parents...

    Prayers are with you - I understand completely.

    GOD BLESS!

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  9. The role of mother-child was reversed for me earlier than it happens for most. My mother's progressive condition had me tucking her in at night and comforting her when I still felt I needed a mom to comfort me. It was a painful transition but it was very slow and gradual. I actually don't think I've ever even let myself mourn my mother yet. I've kept pretty strong and guarded. And yes it's a kind of mourning when you become the mother to your own mother. A loss. I am glad that you can find comfort in the Lord at this time.

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  10. I am there as well Joan. Mom is now on hospice and very much a child with dementia taking its tole. I wrote a short post on my Sacred Sunday post a few days back on how the Lord spoke to me through a hymn. He will walk beside you through this valley time. And it does become that. Somehow I just didn't see this one coming, we got our children raised, and then mom got dementia and she is now dependent on us. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,
    Gayle from Behind the Gate

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  11. It is so true; the future can be very unsettling. But as you have said: we have a friend who will see us through the struggles and certainly He will never leave us.

    Thank you so much for the encouragement.

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