Monday, April 14, 2014

GOD is totally devoted

Mercy Mornings

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself,
'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.'"
 (Lamentations 3:22-23)

God is totally devoted to the love and care of His people. "Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men." (Lamentations 3:32-33). 

I can testify to His faithfulness. In 2007 my precious husband, Don, had a stroke during the night. We were shocked because there were no health issues and he exercised regularly and ate well. I  didn't know it was a stroke, it was the EMT guys  who efficiently showed up in our bedroom who said, "He's having a stroke!" We rode in the EMT truck straight to the hospital and Don ended up in ICU. Relief temporarily showed up for us the next morning when Don was able to sit up and feed himself breakfast. A few hours later he shocked the hospital staff in ICU with another stroke. It took away his ability to speak, to remember his own family at his bedside, and couldn't feed himself. At the same time my beloved mother was in hospice in Coral Gables, FL --and we live in Atlanta, GA.

Don was in ICU for a week. When we brought him home he had to learn to walk, talk, and feed himself through going to the hospital three times a week for 8 weeks of physical therapy. But while Don was still in ICU my mother was  rapidly slipping away as I was keeping in touch with my siblings in Florida. I knew I wasn't to leave Don's side even after we brought him home because he could barely function. 

A few days later, when he was able to walk again we took our adorable, four-legged family member, Puah, a black lab, to the vet because we suspected something was terribly wrong. We were correct in our assumption. She was in severe pain and full of disease. Don and I sat on the examining room floor with her while the doctor injected a shot to put her out of her misery. Tears ran down our faces and into our laps. As our grief grew so did God's grace and it was enough to keep us going.

When we got home God impressed an urgency upon my heart to make a call my brother, Jeff,  -- where my mother was being cared for  -- and ask him to put the phone to my mother's ea. I sensed I was supposed to read a couple of pages from my journal to her. I had described my sweet memories of her and my love and gratitude for her.  The funny thing is, I wrote those pages months earlier and had saved them. When Jeff put the phone to Mom's ear, she was slipping into a coma but I read to her anyway. I had a sense she would know I was speaking to her. I had written about her love of family, her love of life, the legacy of golf and her joyful, party-like attitude. I started to sob before I finished reading but kept on until I finished pouring out my heart. I kept thinking, "She hears you."

My brother was crying on the phone when I finished. He said, "Polly! Polly! She heard you! She heard you! And you described her perfectly! That's Mother!" I believed him. I believed God wanted to show me His compassion and let me speak to Mom because I could not be there in her last days on earth. God helped me in my pain.

All my siblings had gathered at Jeff's.He asked me if I would send him a copy of my journal pages. Then he said, "I think we should have this read at her funeral." I was deeply touched. They agreed it should be included. They told me the pastor read my journal pages to everyone at Mom's funeral. So I got to be there and give her honor as my mom. God knew my heart was broken and as His child He was continuing to show me His faithfulness and care.

As for my sweet hubby, he has remarkably and miraculously recovered in such a way that he is back to working full time... and enjoying an active lifestyle again!

All glory to God. His mercies are new every morning. "Great is Your faithfulness." 

psalm 34:3

Copyright 2014 Totally Devoted 4, Devotion #1
Copyright 2014 Photos Polly Balint