A Parenthetical and Personal Application....

God has used the occasion of my mom’s recent illness to reveal to me more areas in which I need to grow and change.

Being the youngest of the children in my family, I have spent more time with my parents on a continuum over my lifetime than my siblings. My mom and I have been very close throughout my adult life and for the first decade of my adulthood she and I did everything together being more like friends than mother and daughter. In their later years, I have been the one who has been there almost daily for my parents. I accompany them to the doctor, and help with what they need in many respects. I know how they think and what they want simply because I have been very involved in their lives and they in mine.

When my mom’s illness really asserted itself I was out of town for several days and my older sisters and brother (who are not Believers) were watching over my parents in my absence. They took care of getting her to the hospital and consulting with the doctors and assisting my dad in the midst of all this.

When I arrived back home I learned my mom’s illness was severe and it appeared that she was going to die. My sisters really inserted themselves into all the affairs of my mom’s condition. They were talking to the doctors, making decisions and handling things in my absence. When I came back I was surprised to see that I really wasn’t needed here, nor was anyone consulting me or asking my opinion on things. I confess to being out of joint over this, internally, from the beginning.

I know the things my parents are used to; the shortcuts, what they like and I suspect that although my mom loves us all the same, she prefers that I help her. It was making me nutty that they were doing things for her, and she was asking them for things. And, when they didn’t do it my way (the RIGHT way ha ha) she didn’t care! She was happy just the same! One night early on in the hospital stay she didn’t want my sister to leave, and she told her that she was the only one who knew how to take care of her! That really hit me hard…

By God’s grace, mom recovered and went to rehab for therapy. My “out-of-joint-ness” continued there as no one seemed to care about my way of doing things, or what I thought. They were not interested in my opinions on what they wanted to do or how well I know my mom.

When all this began, I was really sore about it. I thought others were moving in on my territory. I was miserable and angry and ugly inside. It took a while, but I realized in the end that it was my problem and no one else’s. It was my heart issue to deal with. I wanted to be indispensable! I wanted to be “the go-to girl” for them. And I wanted it because I was prideful and my flesh was deriving some sort of gratification from being that presence in their lives.

All of this has been very difficult for me (any everyone else!) and God has used it in my heart and mind. I have struggled to understand why I have been so out of sorts and not at all myself! Even as my mom has improved I have been wrecked emotionally. Spiritually I have the sensation of desert wandering, and physically the staying in the hospital every other night has run me ragged.

And God, my sweet wonderful God has used it all. He has used it all to humble me. He has used it to remind me that I am nothing more than a clay pot and that He has plenty of others besides me and can use any of them He chooses.

I had to give up the idols of my own heart in this and accept what He was doing in me through my unsaved sisters. It was not about me. It should not be about me. It cannot be about me. I am only the vessel, the servant; and He is the one who makes kings and deposes them so I am sure He is able to do that for daughters too.