I’ve just finished a long season in life caring for my Dad. When he passed away in December I realized I don’t have to pay his bills, check his clothes and advocate for his care. Someone has already taken his bed at the nursing home and I don’t belong there anymore. I no longer will bring him a Dunkin and a muffin. I guess part of what I feel is grief in saying goodbye but also a loss of my position as daughter and caretaker.
My children are grown and are trying to establish their own lives in this world. Jeremy – our special needs son – lives at home and will always need supervision and support to manage life but he too has a job and daily routine that doesn’t include my direct care.
Not quite 60 I have retired from my career as an operating room nurse due to health concerns. Although I mostly worked part-time it has been a challenging, highly skilled and exciting part of my life and meaningful part of my person-hood.
I am a person that likes “to do”, be busy and be involved. But at this juncture in my life when I should feel free and relaxed, I started hearing an old voice of insecurity! “You are too young to retire, you are lazy, nobody cares, what are you going to DO with your life?” A friend hit the nail on the head when she commented , “I think you are under spiritual attack .You’ve got to give yourself grace. You have been through a lot the past few years!”
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Eph 2:8-10 (ESV)
I’ve always been told Grace means “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. Jesus paid it all for my salvation and I don’t do anything to earn it. So what does grace look or feel like? What are some of God’s riches for me at this point in my life?
It is FREEDOM –
- no regrets in how we cared for my Dad or my Mother-in law – no guilt.
- to rest – I don’t have to work a very physically and mentally demanding job .
- to choose – I don’t have to beat myself up for not going to the gym or whatever lie the inner voice says
My IDENTITY is not defined by what I do! It is WHO I AM.
- In Christ, I am a daughter of the King! His Princess! His beloved Child
- In My relationships – I am a wife, mother, sister, cousin, friend and neighbor- I can focus on, enjoy and pray for them all!
37 And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ” Matt 22:37-39
My RESPONSIBILITY in this new season
- is to love God first and foremost with heart, soul and mind. I cannot do that without daily spending time reading His word and in prayer.
- right now is to just BE and to WAIT for Him to show me what the next step is. He isn’t finished with me yet!
“Be still, and know that I am God”. Psalms 46:10 (ESV)
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:16 (ESV)
- Dear God, help me to stop striving and just hold onto GRACE.