The only problem is my daughter didn't call earlier this morning. In fact I'm not sure they've talked on the phone before. I don't know if my grandmother knows any of our kids' names right now and I'm pretty sure she had forgotten I have a fourth child. My grandma has been struggling with dementia for several years. She always seems to know who I am when we talk on the phone, but I think that's because my mom prompts her memory of us almost daily. She knows we have a relationship. She knows I love her. But she's usually surprised at details about my life like where I live, what my husband does, and how many kids I have. I'm not sure why we were blessed with her phone call this morning, but I'm glad she thought of us and wanted to catch up!
Sometimes she calls my mom or aunt and uncles in a panic. One night a while ago she didn't know where my grandpa was or why he hadn't come home yet. My grandpa died when I was in the 6th grade. Saying its sad doesn't really capture the raw heartbreak involved in watching such a process. A few nights ago she called me at about 11:30pm. She said she was upset. Anxious. Worried. When I asked her why or if something had happened, she wasn't really sure. We talked a few minutes. I tried to encourage her. I prayed for her. Five minutes later she may not have remembered the conversation. But I hope she remembered the peace. I hope her heart remembered comfort instead of fear and love instead of loneliness.
Several times she's told me "I think I'm going crazy." Each time I tell her that I'm so sorry this is happening to her, but my prayer is that she will never forget how much God loves her and that He is always with her. "Grandma," I say. "I'm praying that every time you feel confused or scared or alone, God will remind you that He is there and you can talk to Him. I'm praying you will never forget the truth of the gospel."
And while that may be a helpful prayer for someone with dementia, its really a vital prayer for me as well. Because I have a tendency to forget. I forget that God is in control. I forget that He loves me and ultimately wants what's best for me. I forget that my life is about something bigger than my to-do lists. I forget that shaping my life into holiness matters more to God than my momentary happiness. I forget that suffering brings perseverance, character and hope.
Its easy to forget. To get distracted. To become overwhelmed. I'm thankful God uses other people and His Word to constantly remind me of the Truth! This morning I was reminded. God is bigger than any difficult circumstance and He will see us through. Let's pray that God reminds us of that every minute of every day!
"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in Him.'" (Lamentations 3:21-24)