Strength of Heart

Woman hiking, enjoying the fall weather

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord! —PSALM 31:24 (RSV)

“If things keep progressing the way they have been with your father, we’re looking at hospice,” the community liaison said.

There were care meetings to attend, social workers to track down, all while still working full-time. But the logistics were easy compared to the conversations with my dad.

“I don’t know why I’m here,” he said. “How did I get here?”

“You moved from the rehab place last week, Dad.”

“What did I do wrong, that they’d leave me in a room and never check on me?”

He’d cry and I’d comfort and assure him that I’d visit him later that day.

One afternoon, I cried with a friend who asked me, “What part of your load can you set down, even for a few minutes? Do something just for you.” The next day, I hiked and spent time and took time to connect with God. I watched leaves drift to the ground and a cicada shed its shell.

I returned to my dad and my job still anchored in that beautiful day. I tended to both with great care and love, and I took care with myself, too.

Six weeks later, I was promoted. My dad was accepted by Medicaid and his mind slowly returned. Little by little, everything moved forward.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, when I feel like I can’t carry it all, help me trust in you to lighten that load and move forward.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts