Meeting God In North Dakota-3344111

Religion If you are ever in doubt about God’s existence or whether God’s love is at work in this world, spend a few days in the .pany of people who care for the aged, disabled, and chronically ill. Follow in the footsteps of a middle-aged woman who works a full-time job and manages the care of aging parents or a disabled child. Spend the afternoon with a man as he tries to convince his 43 year-old wife that she is still beautiful even though she’s had both of her breasts removed and has lost all of her hair from chemotherapy. Go into the home of an elderly couple and observe the effort it takes for one lifelong partner to feed, bathe, diaper, and dress the other. When you look into the eyes of these caregivers, you will often see extreme sadness and fatigue. And if you look closely, you will also see a well of strength so deep and so profound that instead of be.ing depleted, it be.es stronger and more resilient every time they draw from it. The kind of determination and courage it requires to get up every morning and do what needs to be done to meet the needs of those who can no longer care for themselves must .e from God. What other source could give Thelma, an 88 year-old legally blind woman with a damaged spine and crippled knees the strength she needs to care for her 90 year-old incontinent husband who is suffering with Alzheimer’s. I met Thelma when I spoke at a caregiver event in North Dakota. I assumed incorrectly that the young woman ac.panying her was Thelma’s daughter, and as I observed the two of them together, I thought to myself, "She’s really got her hands full taking care of her mother." Turns out the young woman was a niece, and she had brought Thelma to the presentation in hopes of convincing her that it was time to put her husband into a memory care facility. When I asked if Thelma could afford to pay for long-term care, they both nodded and then her niece said, "Yes, but her step-son doesn’t want her to spend his inheritance on his father’s care." That .ment hit me like a ball bat. The niece and I said everything we could think of to convince Thelma that her husband would get better care in a memory care facility. We talked about the importance of proper hygiene, good nutrition, and socialization. We told her that she was not abandoning him, and that getting help to take care of him so she could take care of her own physical and emotional health was not a selfish act. Thelma has been heavy on my heart for the last several days, and although she seemed convinced that getting help to care for her husband would be the best thing for both of them, I’m not sure she’ll do it. I can only hope that she will find the strength to stand up for herself. I’ve prayed that her step-son’s heart will soften, that the grandchildren will visit, that the niece will not grow so weary of trying to help Thelma that she’ll eventually give up. And I’ve prayed that poor, old sick man whose mind is gone can get the attention he needs so that he won’t have to suffer from malnutrition, urinary tract infections, and bedsores. I suppose it would be normal to doubt God when there is so much illness, suffering, greed, and cruelty in the world. There is plenty of evidence that evil exists; but I believe God is real because I meet angels every day who care for the weak, the sick, the old, and the needy. I believe that the strength Thelma has needed to care for her husband over the past several years has .e from a source beyond herself. I see God’s love in CNA’s and nurses, in administrators, activity directors, and in people like Debbie Molbert, the executive director of Dakota Prairie Helping Hands who organizes education and support programs for caregivers. Debbie drives hundreds of miles each week through the wind swept prairies of Northwest South Dakota and Southwest North Dakota. She recruits volunteers to drive patients to doctor’s appointments – often a three-hour drive one way! She’ll find someone to sit with a patient so a caregiver can get to the grocery store or maybe even steal away for lunch with a friend; and she makes sure that families have support from a Hospice volunteer when a loved one’s life is ending. In this sparsely populated harsh climate, Debbie Molbert is the hub in a wheel of .passion that brings relief to people who are bearing unbearable burdens. And I am deeply humbled and profoundly grateful to Debbie and hundreds of people just like her who organize and promote the events, cart in the refreshments, set up the tables and chairs, and then sit unobtrusively in the back while they invite others to stand in the limelight. Yes, I believe God lives in North Dakota. I also believe God is alive and well in Kansas and Colorado, in New York and Mississippi. I am confident that God is at work in the hearts of the 48 million Americans who are currently providing unpaid care for aged, chronically ill, and disabled loved ones. And when a caregiver has exhausted all physical, mental, and emotional reserves, and even when that caregiver has doubts or has .pletely given up on God, I trust that God will be ever-present and will never, ever give up loving or believing in that caregiver. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: