I found myself in the midst of a spiritual battle, caused by sin! This past week or so, God has revealed where it was that I went wrong. Without going into too much detail, I will just say that pride, lack of respect, and ungratefulness had led me astray.
Praise be to God for never leaving us where we are. He always puts divine opportunities in front of us in order to draw us back to Him. The following is one of those divine opportunities.
June 21, 2019
I am joyless! I can not figure out what is going on. Why do I feel empty? The spiritual high that I had been on has disappeared, leaving me lethargic, moody, restless, and needy. I have no desire to get out of bed. Let me just sleep until this slump has gone away!
I close the blinds and the curtains, place earplugs into my ears, silence my phone and pull the covers up tight around my neck.
I woke around 1:30 PM and felt instantly called to visit Alice. She had recently been moved from my assisted living community into a long term community which she did not like. I decided each Friday I would take time out to check in on her. It had actually been about three weeks since I’d seen her. On this particular afternoon, the pull to get there was super strong.
The motivation that I lacked was no longer an issue. I was extremely eager to get out of bed, dressed, and out the door.
When I arrived at her door, I peered in quietly and found her just as I always found her, in bed. I walked into her room and called her name and she immediately sat up. Her eyes were bright, her hair had just been cut, her smile was genuine, cute, and charming! Completely different from the last time I saw her. I could barely wake her up. How refreshing to see her how she once was!!
She yelled out a name which I did not recognize. I soon found out it was one of the nursing assistants who often helps her get dressed each morning.
“No, Alice, it’s Racinda!”
“What? Is that really you?”
She was surprised to see me. Guilt tries to invade!
“Yes, Alice, it’s me. I’ve been thinking about you and felt the need to see you.”
“You came just in time! I need to go to the bathroom and get dressed. I’m going to Happy Hour with my friend.”
Engaged in small-talk, we hear the door open. A nursing assistant came in and asked Alice what her need was. Apparently, her call bell had been on but I was unaware, otherwise, I would have shut it off and helped Alice myself without interrupting staff.
Alice quietly stated her needs and I immediately jumped in and said that I would take care of her personal requests. The nursing assistant was thankful and went on to help someone else. ‘
I gently pulled Alice from the bed and we gingerly walked to the bathroom. She held tightly to the handles of her walker and I lightly held on to her boney hips. Wow, she had really diminished into frailty since I saw her last.
Love filled my heart and instantly I was transported from my own emotional angst to the elderly woman standing before me.
How wonderful this feels!
Serving another just does something supernatural to the human heart!
I pulled some clothes from Alice’s crowded closet and brought them into the bathroom. I carefully removed her pajamas, and dressed her; we made our way back to her wheelchair beside the bed. I combed her hair tenderly:
“Where is the red bag that my son gave me?”
“It’s under your pillow, Alice.”
“Can you get it? I need some lipstick!”
I reached under her pillow, retrieved the bag, and she fumbled her way through her treasures and found her tube of lipstick.
I watched her apply it perfectly!
“How do I look?”
“O’ come on! You’re just saying that.”
“No way, I tell no lies!”
We are interrupted by a knock on the door. Reluctantly, I answer; I did not want to end our visit.
“Is she ready?”
We quickly said our goodbyes and she is whisked out the door and down the hall.
In the silence of her room, I make her bed just as I had done so many times in the past. As I walked towards the front door of the building, I turn around to see where the music is coming from and I see Alice. She’s smiling and looks fantastic!
As I got into my car to leave, I said to God:
“You intend to use this ten minutes for something. Your call was way too strong to be used for nothing!”
My sweet friend was incredibly grateful I was there to help and the timing could not have been more perfect! I came away from this visit feeling encouraged, lifted and relieved. Joy had returned! Hallelujah!!
But only for a moment, the spiritual battle that I spoke of at the start of this post, raged on for weeks! Thankfully, God gives us only what we can handle. When we begin to feel that we can’t make it another minute, He rescues us with blessings like the one I’m sharing with you now.
In this visit with Alice, I was in the belief that God was pointing me back to the nursing department.
I now know different! He called me for one reason only–to say goodbye to Alice!! To give me the chance to care for her one last time!
I received this series of texts on June 27, 2019, at 3:40 PM:
“I’m sorry to tell you that Alice is failing. I know you saw her last week. It all happened today. She is not conscious but is comfortable.”
5:48 PM of that same day:
Alice passed right around 5:00 PM. Her family member and hospice nurse were at her side.
If you’d like to read more about Alice, please see my post called, “He Speaks” and “Covered by His Blood.”