Someone, in conversation last week, remarked that people of my age are often the “sandwich generation” and I understood what they meant.
To put things into context……………. as I write this Alison and I are anxiously and excitedly awaiting the arrival of our second Grandchild, a boy to be named Emett William. Any day now……………
At the other end of the age spectrum I have been helping my brother, Andrew, with our Dad who is currently in a temporary secure care home and who (just before his 90th birthday) will need to be rehoused in a permanent care home.
So whilst we are awaiting a joyful event with our children we have become the parent to our Father and we seek the best for his needs. We aren’t the children in the relationship any more.
And we feel torn at times. Yesterday and today especially have been very emotional, tears shed, laughter at memories, anxiety over the future and still trying to fulfil Ministry in the present.
I know I’m not the first to go through this experience and nor will I be the last, and I know I’ve got a magnificent brother in Andrew with whom this experience is shared, BUT even with that knowledge it’s still hard and painful, set alongside the imminent arrival of Emett who will make our family even more complete than it already is.
What to do ? Yes, I’m miserable right now but I’m also excited, holding that strange mix of guilt and expectation. I feel a sense of grief even though Dad is still with us but also thankfulness that we can still care for him, albeit in a different way. I feel grief over the probable loss of the home I grew up in, BUT on the other hand I feel hope and joy over Emett
In this crazy, mixed up, rollercoaster I’m still trying to fulfil my Ministry amongst some great, wonderful, caring folk and I’m still trying to lead this Circuit forward in its mission to this area. I have ideas, vision, but it’s still difficult to find the time to share. At times I feel that these good folk deserve a better Minister but at other times I remind myself that I’m here because God wants me here.
What to do ? All I can do is keep returning to what I see as the three-fold nature of Christian Discipleship 1) Prayer 2) Scripture 3) Trust and follow
Prayer underpins it all for it’s about relationship; I take my cares and concerns to the one who I know loves me, but as I pour out my heart and should I also need to listen to his “still, small voice’ for guidance.
Scripture. is the ‘go to’ place for guidance alongside prayer. Whilst Scripture doesn’t give specific answers to specific situations throughout its pages it speaks of love, care, attitude, priorities and so on. In so doing we can discern Gods will for our lives.
Trust and follow is never easy to do. It speaks of giving oneself over to another. One of the most moving things I have ever heard and I think it’ll stick with me for the rest of my life, came yesterday when Dad holding my hand and speaking of both Andrew and I said “I trust you both”, in the context of making decisions on his life. Its the same on our Christian journey, we who have placed our hands into the hands of Jesus simply say to him “I trust you with my life.”
Right now that’s exactly whats going to pull me through this time, the knowledge of Christs love gained through prayer and Scripture, and my trust in him as my Lord and Saviour.
When I opened the Bible app on my phone this morning these were the words which greeted me from Hebrews 13:8
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
I rather think that this verse sums it up for me and I pray it will be a blessing in whatever season you are currently passing through.