Being in this sandwich generation is a tough spot. I often find myself having to choose between necessary and urgent. My plans are often disrupted due to an emergency phone call that brings me to their home to help. This leaves our older teenage son on his own more than I would like.
When he was a baby I had to work, and it was not until he was about 8 that I really got to know him. Because we home school we have spent many days together and as he has grown he has become more independent in his studies and in his life. God has wired him this way I believe, knowing in all His wisdom what was ahead for our family- these days of mom’s suffering.
Sometimes my being here for mom means does without his mom. He has to walk or bike to or from work, make his own lunches and care for himself in many ways that are not my preference. I cannot imagine having younger children who are unable to do these things for themselves and who require a much more attentive mother than I am able to be at this point. As I sit here in dad’s chair, I am thinking about the milk I never got to buy because of mom’s call early this morning. She could not see her pills, and needed pain medication. Dad is gone for a few hours today and really, she should no longer be alone. My son does not even know I am gone as he was asleep when I left…
There are times when all this causes a bitterness to rise up within me. I am not so holy that I go about this without anger or resentment all the time. I am angry that such a thing has befallen my mom. Like Job she was blameless, not sinless, but she sure hasn’t done anything to warrant such misery. (And yet I know we all suffer because sin entered the world) She has cared for her own parents in their final years, raised 4 good children, loved her grandchildren, and been one of the few truly decent people I know. One of the rare people in this world without guile or malice…
I also am angry at the intrusion on my life to some extent. Not angry at her but angry because these problems cause me to be away, and not engage in my own pursuits. Surely, these are not the thoughts of a Christian?! Aren’t we all supposed to be perfect and sinless? Ha, one day yes, but not in this life. Here, we struggle with the same issues and hardships and influence of sin as the unbelievers.
The difference I find and what I repeatedly come back to is this: God is in this. He is working in it, working through it. I know this and believe it with all my heart. For years my unbelieving family heard me talk about Jesus Christ. They saw me changing from someone who was very much of the world, drinking, smoking, swearing; and so on to someone they did not know. The talking about Jesus has turned to living His life through me. I no longer go to church on Sunday and Wednesday nights only, I live church every day. The message of One Anothering in the Bible has become a way of life.
Paul said “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me”. (Galatians 2:19-20)
My goal is to live this life by grace through faith in Christ and let it be His life flowing from within me outward to others in my life.