Sometimes it takes time to understand “why” something has happened the way it did or to understand how we have actually been in the right place, at the right time – even though it didn’t feel like it at the time.
For example. The whole “job” thing. It’s been one big question mark since I knew I was going to take medical leave to Walk Through the Fire. The day I left work, I knew – deep inside – that I wouldn’t be going back , even though the Powers That Be had treated things so nonchalantly that they didn’t even bother assigning my work to someone else, or getting a temporary to cover for me. And I actually did quite a lot there, after 10 years.
When I got laid off after being released to go back to work 11 months later, I was good with that as well. I didn’t want to go back to that Toxic Waste Dump anyway, and felt God definitely had other things in store for me. Since that time, it’s been an interesting journey. So many stops and starts. So many things I thought I would try, and didn’t – or did, to no avail. Every time I applied for a job like I used to have, I felt sick in the pit of my stomach….a sure sign I am NOT on the right track.
Fast forward to last month. I wrote about it in a couple of posts ago. Basically, I had my own health issue to deal with, then my husbands’ surgery, and then my daughter’s medical emergency. Granted, without a job or benefits, money has been tight. BUT, we have been keeping our heads above water and – more importantly – if I had taken a job a few months ago, it would have been so much harder on all of us. It’s been a priceless gift to have the time and freedom of movement to care for myself and my family.
My prayers were answered – just not in the form I thought, or hoped, they would be.
Yesterday I wrote about Closed Doors being an answered to prayer. And just like that, within hours of posting, I got my next “Go This Way” sign.
I was on my way home from my Floral Design Course when I called my Mom to check in with her. She’s 84, a widow, and is almost completely housebound (in chronic pain and nearly in a wheelchair). What makes her physical condition extra sad is that her mind is still really sharp for her age, but she is “trapped” in a body that is ceasing to function.
Mom lives about an hour away, and has a very nice lady, Secorro, come and help her several days a week with things she cannot do for herself: laundry, house cleaning, shopping…even some cooking and taking her to get her hair done. When she picked up the phone yesterday, I could hear the stress in Mom’s voice. Turns out Secorro – who has been a part of our extended “family” for several decades – just received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
THIS is a game changer.
And just like that, I believe I now have my next Assignment. Granted, driving two hours plus, round trip, will be a pain in the ass. In the last 16 years since Dad died, we’ve been unable to convince Mom to move closer, or into some sort of assisted living community. She wants to stay in her own home as long as she can, though, and in her community – and I get that even though it makes “things” harder for us…for me…to care for her. A more stubborn woman would be hard to find – an attribute that seems to be gaining strength with every passing year.
But, she’s my Mom and I love her. I know her days remaining on this earth are slowly coming to an end and keeping her as comfortable as possible feels like my “mission” now. I don’t want her to feel afraid about what is going to happen to her, or that she is alone. It is the least I can do, for all she has done and all she has meant to me. Count me as a full card-carrying member of the Sandwich Generation – that growing group of us Baby Boomers who find themselves caring for 2 or 3 generations. (While trying to care for ourselves as well.)
Perhaps not this week, but soon, I will make the trip out to Mom’s 3 days a week to make sure her life and self are as comfortable and “together” as possible. I think she is even going to pay me what she’s been paying Secorro, even though I told her she doesn’t have to. And frankly, the money will come in handy – I was just getting ready to start looking for a part-time office job this week.
So there is my Answer. I have my direction, and with it, a deep sense of awe and gratitude that I have the freedom of movement and time to do this for my mother. Deep inside, I know…without a shadow of doubt…that our financial thing will be taken care of.
God never leads us where He doesn’t also provide for us, be it strength, resources, or a sense of purpose.
“Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.”
1 Timothy 5:3