We drive by hundreds of them. They sit across the street from us, beside us, behind us. Some are big. Some are small. Some are neat. Some not so much. We either don’t even notice them or we judge them by what we see. These houses are homes to someone. And every home has a story.
Our Hallmark ideas want us to believe that the perfect little family is inside having the perfect dinner around the perfect table in the perfect kitchen or dining room. But how many “perfect” homes really exist? None, of course. Life isn’t a Hallmark movie. Life is real, and many times, real is hard. Real Hard!
Behind those closed doors may be an abused mother or children. There may be financial issues that are drowning this hard-working family. There may be a child with learning disorders that push this family’s limits emotionally and financially. There may be a loveless marriage the couple is trying to endure. There may be a mom fighting life-threatening cancer while tending to her school age children, her husband working extra hours to offset the medical bills.
Or there could be someone taking care of their aging, terminally ill parent.
Until we reach a certain age, I don’t think any of us ever imagine we will be in that situation. Our parents are our parents. They take care of us, right? In a “perfect” world, we shouldn’t have to reverse our roles.
Riding by my house, one would never guess the story unfolding inside. All looks normal. The grass is cut. The flowers are blooming. The flag is flying. Just like most any other day.
But inside, the roles have reversed. Our big, strong, dependable daddy has become almost totally dependent on us. My sister and I have become the “parents.” PLEASE understand I am NOT complaining. I am thankful to have him in my home. It is our honor to do for Daddy whatever has to be done. That is what he has always done for us. Yes, sometimes there are tears of self-pity as we grow tired and weary. But the majority of the tears are for him. It hurts our hearts to the point of no explanation. We do what we must do and then shed the tears in private so he won’t see them.
As I sit on my back porch, spending time with the LORD, I cry out for His mercy and grace and strength for all of us. I plead for an increase in my faith to totally trust God’s will and God’s plan for this situation that becomes more difficult for Daddy every day. My heavenly Father listens to my tears, my frustrations, my questions, without interruption. And when I am spent, He tightens His grip around me and fills me with His amazing love, showering me with that peace that passes all understanding.
And He shows me His love through His Word; sometimes in unexpected places. Earlier this week, I found this verse in Deuteronomy, of all places!
“The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him, who shelters him all the day long; and he shall dwell between His shoulders.” (Deut 33:12, NKJV)
What do you visualize when you read this verse? I see God with me all day, every day. And if I am dwelling between His shoulders, then I see His arms around me. This sounds like a hug to me!!!! My head on His chest. His arms around me, holding me, crying with me, soothing my broken heart and spirit.
That, folks, is how we make it through the tough times in our lives. We can’t do it alone. We need the help of one another and the LORD. Are you trying to deal with difficulties on your own? You can’t. It will break you down physically, emotionally, mentally. If you don’t have the LORD in your life, why don’t you ask Him right now to be your Savior and your LORD. It won’t change your circumstances, but it will definitely change how you deal with those circumstances. Without Jesus, I would be a loss cause, unable to function at all. He is my strength. He is my strong tower. It is Him I run to and find mercy and grace in my time of need. I highly recommend Him!!!!
No, this isn’t a perfect world, but we have a perfect Father who wants to walk with us through these difficulties. And, if you have a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, then one day, you and I will spend eternity together in His perfect world.
We appreciate any prayers you may speak on our behalf, especially for Daddy. He is one tough cookie! And we love him with all our hearts.
Lots of love, Sharon (and Debbie!)