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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grab Hold of the Lifeline

My mom suffered an exceptionally awful day when we moved her from independent to assisted living. Like many people with dementia experiencing a change, she defiantly cussed, yelled, and got physically aggressive. Her pupils grew constricted, and the sparkle that once graced her soft brown eyes turned rabid and cold.

I led her to her favorite chair and sat closely in front of her. My husband sat and prayed from across the room. I gently held her face in my hands and told her to keep looking at me, even as she kept looking away in her frustrated rage. I felt like I was looking into the eyes of the devil while the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear. There was so much tension.

Where do we turn when life is heavy? How do we find strength in impossible trials?

I thought about the standard flight attendant’s instruction, in case of an emergency, to put the oxygen mask on myself first and then assist others. We can only be as strong for others as we are for ourselves. The greatest source of spiritual oxygen is when we allow the Holy Spirit to minister in all circumstances through God’s grace.

So I put on my spiritual oxygen mask first and prayed. I couldn’t assist my mom if I wasn’t connected to my own lifeline first.

Peace consoled me. I slowly and softly spoke to my mom, reminded her who I was, that she always trusted me to do the right thing, and that I loved her dearly. Her body relaxed. She no longer tried to look away from me, and she told me how much she loved me.

Losing both parents through Alzheimer’s allowed me to grow stronger in my faith. It taught me how to ask God the right questions to position myself to be blown away by His grace-filled answers. If you serve others, especially as a caregiver, you are demonstrating a courageous act of love. Others are watching. I promise that you inspire others as they witness how God is using you.

But where is my strength? 

The Holy Spirit is the actual presence of God in you.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? ...” (1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV)

He provides truth.

“And I will send you the Divine Encourager from the very presence of my Father. He will come to you, the Spirit of Truth, emanating from the Father, and He will speak to you about me.” (John 15:26 TPT)

He provides strength.

“He gives strength to the weak. And He gives power to him who has little strength.” (Isaiah 40:29 NLV)

He encourages you in every step of tough assignments, like caregiving. Some days I could only shake my head and wonder how I could possibly make such monumental decisions. However, choosing to stand firm in my faith and calling on God’s divine truth gave me the strength to keep moving forward one day at a time, step by step.

Be encouraged! Find your strength in the Holy Spirit and crave to become more like Christ. In His strength, you are divinely protected from negative distractions and equipped to be His faithful servant. God has this all figured out and has appointed and anointed you personally for the role He has you in.

When you wonder where God is, it’s okay to pray that He abundantly reveals Himself to you in ways you can’t miss. He’s the lifeline that promises to breathe encouragement back into your soul.

Copyright © Cheryl Crofoot Knapp, used with permission.

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