Two weeks ago my Dad was officially diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. He is only 62 and was fit, active, intelligent, caring, godly and wise. I hate to say "was" because he still is all those things. We were hoping against hope that it was something else. At times it did seem like we may have figured out what it was only to realize that something still wasn't quite right. After very extensive neurological testing it was concluded that he did in fact have this horrible disease. He is "only" in the moderate stages, but it still affects his ability to work and drive which you can imagine is a huge blow.
Although I thought I was ok and was managing to act strong on the outside my body was telling me a different story and it started shutting down. I know I am being totally vague here, but like I said, I don't know who is reading. We ended up cutting back some of the major things we were doing such as tutoring and CC and I tried to spend time listening to the Lord as to what he wanted us to do rather than running around like a crazy woman trying to be supermom. The cape was choking me anyway. I wouldn't recommend it.
God is so good to us though. A few months ago I started a new bible reading plan that had you reading (along with Old and New Testament readings) through the entire book of Psalms every couple of months. This has been absolutely my daily bread during this trial. During days when I didn't know if I could get out of bed I cried out to the Lord for mercy. When my heart would start racing I would pray that God would be my rock and refuge, a hiding place in time of trouble.
I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place. Psalms 31:7-8
Having the words of the Psalms on the fore front of my mind has been invaluable and I thank the Lord that he prepared me ahead of time in this way. I am also reading N.T. Wright's book The Case for the Psalms, which I also highly recommend for understanding and appreciating the Psalms better.
It's still hard. It's hard to see Dad have to sell his truck because he can't drive anymore. It is hard to see him step back from his pastoring job. He has such a large heart and is such a caring soul. It is hard to think of my Mom dealing with this and not being close enough to help more. But this is our path to walk and we know that the LORD's lovingkindness will never leave us. It is times like this that I am also thankful for the old hymns that I have memorized that pop into my head.... "Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer. In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD. Psalms 32:10