As I sat down at one of the round, white folding tables at the Wednesday evening ladies’ meeting, I began to question if I should have shown up at all. I had spent the day caring for my mother who, according to medical experts, only had days left in this world. While my Dad worked and my kids were in school, I would spend many days with mom in case she needed a calming presence. She suffered from pulmonary fibrosis and day by day her lungs hardened making it increasingly difficult to breathe. As one could imagine, this caused her great anxiety, and we never wanted her to go through that alone.
I had witnessed a moment earlier that day that shook me and brought the reality of my mom’s fleeting time to undeniable reality. Afterward, I was emotionally exhausted and spent the thirty-minute drive home crying out to God and then the next thirty minutes before picking up our foster girls from school, pacing in the backyard, pleading for God’s help. I asked Him to heal my mom. To stop the suffering. And to give me strength to endure. I asked tough questions which had no answers. And then I surrendered and felt His peace wash over me.
Whether I was ready or not, I had to get back to living and caring for others who depended on me. Checking out wasn’t an option. So, I had a good reason to stay home from church that night. My husband would have happily taken the girls to church and left me to rest in quiet. However, deep down I knew I needed something more than quiet, so I reluctantly joined them.