When my husband came home from the hospital after having suffered a stroke during surgery six years ago, he did some very strange things. He thought that I was his sister one day, and another day, he recognized me as his wife. I caught him standing in front of the mirror, shaving the right side of his face with a face cloth, never touching the left side of his face. He would step into the shower without closing the door, not realizing that water was spraying onto the bathroom floor. Between my mother living downstairs and my husband's illness, I was in a desperate situation.
I became the mother, caregiver, and financial advisor, as well as the shopper for food and the payer of bills for both ourselves and my mother, making sure that we had enough propane, got the grass cut, and had the water filters changed every three months.
I felt hopeless. I thought that I could handle things, but outbursts of anger, times of anxiety, and sleep-deprived nights showed me otherwise. I needed help. It was during a moment of complete disarray and tears that God's voice told me to call for help: my pride had to go.
Psalm 18:6 – In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. (NIV)
I called my husband's sister, who drove over a hundred kilometres in order to help out. She brought homemade food and her other sister to look after their brother while I went out with a friend for lunch. Just to get out of the house for a few hours was like a breath of fresh air! When my husband's sisters left, my friend drove up from the city to give me a hand.
My husband has improved a lot since that time, as he now shaves himself on both sides of the face, knows that I am his wife, and closes the door when showering. Although he has vascular dementia, things are much better than they were six years ago. God knew what was going to happen and answered my prayer of hopelessness through the helping hands of family and friends.
Are you at your wit's end at the moment? Are you going through something right now and feeling hopeless? Ask God to help you.
Prayer: Lord God, You know our rising and lying down. Even though we feel all alone, You are right there. May we, in our distress and hopelessness, call out to You, and wait to hear Your voice. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Bringing In The Sheaves" (Lyrics)