Like some of you, I have experienced anxiety and feelings of isolation for the last several months. The pandemic, the political unrest, and other issues facing our world have caused an uneasiness and angst that I wasn’t expecting. It’s been especially bad since I’ve been locked in my long-term care facility. Not only can I not have visitors in, I cannot leave the premises or even leave my room. I know that the rest of the world shares this discomfort with me and that I am not alone.
Besides the stress that I am feeling about the pandemic, I am also anticipating the departure of my full-time aide as she gets ready to go to nursing school. This may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but as a quadriplegic my lifeline is the person that takes care of me.
One of the difficulties of being paralyzed from the shoulders down is having very little control over my body. For example, I don’t want just anyone handling my personal care. I can tell my aides how I want to be bathed or how I want my hair brushed, but I have very little control over how they actually do it. Some learn to do things very well or just have a knack for it. Others just don’t have a knack at all.
Thankfully, I do have a say so into whom my aide will be, but it may take time to find the right one. It can be stressful sifting through different people from day to day, having them see me unclothed and taking care of my personal hygiene.
Psalm 4: 8 Now, because of you, Lord, I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once, for no matter what happens, I will live unafraid! (TBT)
I do not need to be afraid of the future because God will give me exactly what I need. I can make a list of exactly what I want and pray over it every night, begging God to give me my heart’s desires, but God knows what is going to help me. Based on past experience, the most unsettling times in my life have caused me to grow in character, persevere, and keep me faithful for the long haul. This uncertain time in my life is no exception.
Psalm 103: 1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
God knows me better than I know myself! There is something very comforting in that thought. It’s tempting at times to want to get mad when I don’t get “my way”, and yet what I want could be to my greatest detriment, or I could miss out on a wonderful blessing.
Psalm 42: 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.
When I am downcast, when I feel steeped in doubt, when I question God, these are the times to praise Him. I can’t say I’m perfect at it, but when I do it, it turns my faithlessness right side up.
During this pandemic, I am grateful for the friendships that were forged via Zoom meetings. We were forced to meet in smaller groups for church fellowship and it turned out to be a more intimate setting which allowed all of us to be more vulnerable and grow close to each other.
I am grateful I had the opportunity to work with my dear aide for almost 5 years! She has been a godsend and a close confidant, almost like a daughter or a younger sister. I can’t wait to see the doors that are opened for her as she returns to school and allows God to direct her future.
And lastly, I praise God for this rocky patch in my life as it is making me more desperate to dig into His Word, learn about His character, remember how much He loves me, and how He always wants the best for me.