Today my job ended. The woman I’ve been caring for the past five and half years died this morning. I had the privilege of being there.
I was still a little numb when I got home. When I lost my job in 2008, I hadn’t gone looking for a job as a care giver. It was quite hard for me at the beginning. God and I had some long talks because I felt so useless. At the beginning my lady was still “with it” enough to resent the heck out of my presence. I likened it to babysitting a teenager: they don’t think they need a babysitter, yet it brings comfort to the parents. I was comfort for the family.
More recently, as she became bed fast, my lady accepted my help–most of the time…but like a child: she didn’t like bath time.
It seems to me that life is held together by bookends. We start sleeping a lot, eating orange fruits and veggies, and wearing diapers. The end looks that way too.
The family I worked for cared about me. Not long ago they made me a huge basket with fresh produce, a loaf of zucchini bread (which my husband enjoyed) and several other things. It was so heavy I could barely lift it into my car. Today they included me in their grieving and their remembering. It was such a precious gift to me.
Back to feeling numb…I sat here at home for a bit and half wondered, half prayed. I heard the mail truck go by…actually I heard the dogs barking out in their pen, like they do when the mail arrives. My body responded by going out to the box, even though my mind wasn’t really in the task.
As I pulled the stack of bills out of the box, I noticed one that had a hint of green in the window. A check. I wondered what my husband overpaid this time. I glanced at the return address, Judson Press, and realized the check was for me. They had accepted another devotion. Instantly I could see nothing else as my eyes filled with tears.
The $20 check didn’t make me rich, but I still felt lavishly loved in that moment. Last week two publishers mentioned my submitting articles. I was encouraged by that and began immediately to work on articles for them. On the weekend, a friend whose opinion I highly respect, spoke to me about my blog and her words encouraged me deeply. Then this. I’m dense at times, but God got all the way through my fog and numbness.
So until something else should come along, I will be writing. I have so many things started and now I have time to finish them. Submit them. Edit others. Work on two books I have in process. Seek out contests.
I don’t feel as numb. Actually, I’m feeling excited. And ready to get to the next phase of this journey.
A final thought:
As I read back through this another thought occurred to me–another window into God’s hand upon my life.
I used to function in an extroverted manner that was off the scale. It was so bad that I used to think I needed others around me just to breathe. Then God gave me the job as caregiver. It was one on one. It was quiet. And except for my lady, I was alone. I didn’t like it at first. I chaffed. I squirmed under God’s hand. But I stayed, and I came to love it. The quiet has become so much a part of me that I can’t imagine going back to the world of noise.
As I have immersed myself into the world of writing, I have read many articles about the solitary lifestyle required for writing. I questioned whether I would be able to survive in that lifestyle. This morning the voice of hindsight whispered in my heart, “You’re ready.”
Now isn’t that just like God?