To me, the word was a death sentence. My mom’s mom had suffered from dementia as well before dying of a stroke.
I simply didn’t want to think about what the end would look like for my mother.
So when a friend approached me and suggested I write a book about what it was like to be a caregiver for both my mom and my father-in-law who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, I gave serious thought to whacking her upside the head. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was write a book about how crazy my life had become.
Who’ld want to read about God-In-The-Mayhem? For instance, I was a caregiver with a recently diagnosed brain lesion. I was supposed to be resting and recuperating…
While caring for my father-in-law with mental illness and Parkinson’s and a heart condition.
And supporting our daughter who’d just returned from tsunami relief work with post-traumatic stress disorder.
And trying not to mouth-breathe over our recently-come-home prodigal son.
And did I mention that my husband and I had just moved across the country and started new jobs?
So I threw my head back and laughed in my friend’s face at the suggestion that I write a book for caregivers. No Christian publisher would print a book about mom trying to get naked in the Easter service or learning how to swear at the age of 81. But I went home and wrote out a list of what my real-life devotionals would be about–the things caregivers really struggle with.
And if I could have created a cover, it would have had a button to push that gave out a scream: “Aaaggghhh!! But God is Good.”
I thought it was a great title.
More than 100,000 copies and half a dozen years later, I’m glad my friend had the courage to ask me to be transparent about my caregiving experiences. I’m glad God gives the grace to use chaos for his glory. I’m grateful every day of my life that people find hope in the pages of Precious Lord, Take My Hand.
Life if tough. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, brain lesions, and other life-robbing diseases stink. In this life, we live in the tension where the qualities sin and grace co-exist. But God is good. All the time. And he did not come only to conquer sin and provide a solution. He came to take our hand and sit beside us in our suffering.