Thursday, March 26, 2009

Be Still....


My life since well before Terry's home going has been filled with stress and the trials that come with caring for a terminally ill individual. For months now, I haven't known real rest or peace. Every waking moment has been full of the needs of my husband, my mother-in-law, my Dad and before her own home going, my Mom. Even when I slept, the sleep wasn't peaceful or restful. I could not sleep deeply, too afraid someone would need me during the night.


Momma's suffering finally ended and the Lord took her to her heavenly home on April 20, 2006. On August 12, 2006, my life was uprooted as we moved into my mother-in-law's home to take care of her after she fell and broke 6 vertebra in her back. Daddy was so emotionally and physically sick, he too almost died within that first year after Momma went home. In the middle of all that, we learned Terry had terminal liver disease.


Turmoil was my way of life. Everyone needed a piece of me and there was nothing left over for me. I struggled and begged the Lord to give me strength so I wouldn't fail my loved ones. He did. In ways I could have never imagined, the Lord met my needs and kept me on my feet, even when my own health was wavering.


After Terry went home, I couldn't understand why I wasn't rebounding as I thought I should. I fought the grief and determined that other women had lived through this tragedy and so would I! I plowed ahead in spite of warnings from my body that it had been neglected for far too long. I would not give in to this; I was stronger than that!


Then, it happened. My body failed me. I was angry with my failing body, with the Lord for allowing it to happen, with Momma and Terry for leaving me, with Daddy and my mother-in-law for still needing so much of my attention when I had nothing left to give. I still would not stop and rest and allow my body time to heal and give attention to it's needs. I was struck down with pneumonia in both lungs, yet I forced myself to plow forward.


Finally, my body said 'enough is enough' and cried out loudly enough to get my attention. When I could barely breathe for the pain in my chest, I listened and I listened well! An overnight in the hospital, along with yet another cardiac catherization and several blood tests finally got my attention. My body would no longer allow me to neglect it.


Then, in my daily devotional reading, the Lord brought these Scriptures to my attention. I knew this, have known it for many years, have counseled others in this very area. What was I thinking? Why did I fail to realize that these Scriptures applied to me too? The Lord let me go as long as He could without allowing me to cause irreparable damage to myself. Then, He drew me up short and stopped me in my tracks and made me see what I had been so diligently running from for so many months. My body needed rest and rejuvenation. My spirit needed healing and my heart needed solace from Him alone.


"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him...." Ps. 37: 7a NIV


"Be still and know that I am God...." Ps. 46: 10a NIV


"My soul finds rest in God alone...." Ps. 62:1a NIV


"Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt. 11: 28-30 NIV


After allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart, and after hearing the diagnoses from the doctors and the admonitions about rest, I FINALLY decided to listen to the Lord and do what He had been urging me to do all along. I rested, not just from busy-ness, but from anger and disappointment. I allowed the Lord to re-fill my heart with the love He had been longing to give me.


Now, I am so much better. I know grief will still present challenges and I will have my times of suffering and sadness. However, I pray I remember to rest in the Lord and allow my body time to recover from the stresses it has endured. What an awesome and loving God we serve!

10 comments:

Deb said...

I so appreciate this post, Diane. Especially when you stated that you rested not just from busy-ness but from anger and disappointment. So often we fail to realize that negative emotions and thoughts rob us of energy and peace. We plow through this life, with our poisoned minds fed by our negativity and wonder why we suffer physically. Thanks for the reminder that God commands us to 'be still' and 'come to Him'.

Sending a hug your way and praying that you'll remember to take time each day to rest in His arms!!

Real Mom, Real Life said...

Diane, This is so beautiful. So tenderly written. I am reminded of my favorite scripture in the New Testament,

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27 (KJV)

Love these thoughts. May God continue to bless you!

Raggedy Girl said...

Diane:

I am so glad to hear you say you will slow down and that you will give your body, mind and emotions some quiet breathing space.

Have a Thankful Thursday
from Roberta Anne

Terry said...

Dear Diane,
This has so moved my heart what you have been going through.
The Lord has had so much confidence in you.
He must, because if He doesn't why does He say that He will never give you trials more than you can bear.
He knew exactly who He could trust with this burden of caring for your husband, your momma and your dad and your mother-in law!
I remember almost two years ago going through a break down because of having almost a 24 hour job of caring for Mom and Dad Golden.
Then I wrote to Miss Patty about it and she was such a help to me.
Miss Patty had looked after her ill mother, and so she understood.
You have all kinds of friends here that you have met through Connie, and many other blog friends who love you and your own precious family and we feel that we have a friend in you Diane.
The Lord will give you more strength.

Penny said...

Diane,

You are a strong lady. I envy how you can put your heart into your writing.

Take care of yourself.

Penny

Pat said...

What you have written so loving and beautifully applies to a lot of women. We have this God given desire to nurture and serve. You are not alone in what you experienced. I went through something similar when my mother was so ill before her passing. When you give more of yourself then you should, you open the door for anger and resentment. Then of course that opens the door to guilt. Do what ever it takes to heal. God is waiting to restore your health.
Your an exceptional and loving person...rest in Gods love.

byhisgracealone said...

The last line says it all...what an awesome and loving God we serve!!! Blessings to you...and big hugs


donna

Diane said...

Thank you to all of my wonderful blogging buddies! Your love, encouragement and prayers have meant more to me than words could ever express! What a treasure each of of is to me.

Much love and warm hugs..........

Diane

Cyn said...

Diane, you are loved and prayed for. I am so glad the Lord brought you into my life. Rest at His feet and He will fill you up.

Joy's Pam said...

Wonderful words of wisdom in this post Diane!

Love,
Pamela