A Journey with God
By Leah DiPascal
She Speaks Conference Graduate

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22 (NKJ)

I was not looking forward to the trip. As terrible as it sounds, I would have done anything to send someone else in my place so that I didn’t have to face my mom. You see, many years ago my mother was diagnosed with an incurable disease that has affected her physically, mentally, and emotionally. It has been so painful to watch someone I love deeply waste away to nothingness and know there’s nothing I can do but pray and trust God.

The first three days of my stay were the toughest. Mom didn’t recognize me, which was extremely difficult. I kept asking her several times a day “Do you know my name?” or “Who am I?” but she would just look at me with a blank empty stare as if I wasn’t there.

I cried out to God. Please Lord, not yet! I still have so much I want to tell her. My heart was breaking. I asked Him, “How much longer are You going to let this go on? Just take her to heaven where she can be whole again. This load is much too heavy and we are all so tired and weary from the journey.”

On the fourth night after bathing my mom, brushing her teeth, and helping her get into her nightgown, I reluctantly wheeled her over to the bed. Bedtime is difficult for her due to restless sleep and bad dreams. Bedtime is always accompanied with tears. As I tucked the sheets ever so tightly around her and kissed her forehead, I was reminded of when I was a little girl and how she would do the exact same thing for me as part of my bedtime ritual. We said prayers and then ever so hesitantly I asked her once again “Mom, do you know my name?”

Slowly she looked up at me with her beautiful brown eyes and said “Of course, Leah. I know your name.” In that very moment, I was filled with indescribable joy and peace. Nothing else mattered. I didn’t care that we couldn’t go shopping anymore or that we weren’t able to have lunch with friends. It didn’t matter that she couldn’t read me those beautiful poems she had written so long ago or sit on the floor and play with my boys. She knew who I was, and that was good enough for me.

During my stay, I was challenged in countless ways, but God was so faithful and continued to assure me that everything was going to be all right. He even answered several prayers I had been requesting for months. I was also reminded of today’s verse. He wants me to cast my burdens on Him and allow Him to sustain me. He wants me to trust in Him and not to lean on my own understanding.

This is certainly not the plan I would have chosen for my mother yet through this experience I have come to realize that trials and challenges are inevitable. I must learn to expect them, submit to them and learn from them. All the while, realizing that behind each challenge I find a God who longs to pour out His love on me and to carry my burdens if I let Him.

Do you have a parent who is aging and needs your help, or a loved one who is suffering from an incurable disease? Or, are you carrying burdens that are much too heavy to bear? Perhaps you have been asking God tough questions and waiting for your prayers to be answered.

One thing I am learning is that when we ask our Heavenly Father for something, the journey He takes us on while we wait on Him is often times greater than the answered prayer itself. I hope you will let Him carry your burdens today and trust that He knows what is best for you and those you love.

Remember, you were not designed to walk this path alone. He is right by your side to strengthen and sustain you each step of the way.

Dear Lord, help me to trust in You when life doesn’t make any sense. To know that You love me unconditionally and are always there to carry my burdens. Remind me to seek you first when trials and challenges come my way and to recognize Your faithfulness and goodness throughout my journey in life.

Related Resources:
P31 She Speaks Conference

A Love Worth Giving, by Max Lucado

Do You Know Him?

Application Steps:
Take time to reflect on some challenges in your past and write down the ways God has shown His faithfulness to you and how your prayers were answered.

Reflections:
Do I really expect God to carry my burdens or am I more comfortable carrying them myself?

When challenges come my way, who do I run to for help and advice?

In what areas of my life do I trust God the least?

Power Verses:
Psalm 68:19, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” (NIV)

Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (NIV)

Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (NIV)


11 Comments:

Blogger The Light Family said...

Thank you for sharing this post! While reading it a friend came to mind. Her daughter has been diagnosed with Absence Seizures and she's at a loss on what to do. I hope this morning's post will help her remember God is there for her and she's not going through this alone.

Blogger emily88 said...

This post was really meaningful to me. I'm only 19 years old and the past couple of years I've been really struggling to figure out who I am and find that connection with God. Instead of putting my faith in God, I look for fulfillment in things that are empty, and I even know it at the time. Sometimes, I just shut down from people and try to carry my burdens all by myself. Among my friends, I am the counselor, and I guess they think I have it all together because I never say a word about what I'm dealing with. I guess its fear that they won't understand. But I need to switch that way of thinking and place my burdens upon God, and trust that he will lead my in the right direction! Thanks so much for being an inspiration in my life! Proverbs 3:5-6

Blogger Amy Carroll said...

Leah,
What a blessing to read your devotion today. Your mother is so blessed to have you, her beautiful-inside-and-out daughter,taking care of her. I rejoice with you that the Lord gave her that moment of recognition. It is a precious thing to get that kind of "hug" from Jesus. I love your heart and know that your words will minister to many that are caring for sick parents.

Amy

Blogger Shine! said...

Spent my morning with my aging mom and dad - noticing the signs now more in my dad has his memory is not the same, his movements faulty, his energy level very minimal. We went for coffee together, dad more or less just taking us all in ,.... sometimes sensing that he is not always right with us. It is tough ... and his lack of activity and poor health is only accentuated by my mom's great zest!!! Came home and had the devotion up on my screen for almost two hours before reading it, so busy with other activities. When I settled with a cup of tea and read, my heart so felt a kindred spirit, and how precious not to feel alone, and to be reminded afresh of God's hand through the journey!! That was the best part for me!!! Thank you for helping me focus on today with God, and the little things I can still do to assist and bring joy to my parents!!! The blessing of godly parents is my heritage, and their journey is not over yet! May God keep my heart set on Him! Thank you so much from my heart to yours! Praying for your mom and you today!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a sweet reminder today of how faithful God is in times of trouble. I lost my mother seven years ago after caring for her the last six months of her life. A stroke left her bedridden. Caring for her was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I would not trade one precious moment that I was able to spend with her. There were times when I didn't have the strength physically or mentally to carry on, but God's grace was sufficient enought to get me through each day. We glory in those special moments when there is clarity of mind and the conversations that we had are priceless. I will treasure them always. God is good all the time and his grace is suficient for the hour! The journey is hard, but the destination is worth it! God Bless.

Blogger Lori said...

I have been reading your devotions for some time now, and I always find that they are right on time. Today, was no exception. The Lord has had me on quite a journey recently. He has been dealing with this very issue, quite "in your face", I might add. Long story short, I was really trying to apply this devotion today, and once again, making myself really focus on His strength, not my own. Trust me, this does not come natural for me! This afternoon, I received a call, that my father was at the emergency room, again. You see, the Lord has seen him through, Small Cell Carcinoma, and Brain tumors, over the last 2 years. Praise God, with the help of treatments, and God's healing power, he has been cleared of both. However, the enemy struck again today. They have found another mass. This time on his Adrenal Gland. I don't know when my father's time will come, and I do know that "for those who love the Lord, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Knowing all of that, I still tend to fall into the immediate response of worry. With all of that said, I want to say thank you, for being obedient to the Lord, and allowing Him to use you to remind us of how much He loves us, and He cares when we hurt, are scared, are sad and are happy. He always hears our prayers. I didn't always have a good relationship with my dad. I haven't always known, that he would leave this world and go to heaven. I use to pray for God not to let him leave this earth unsaved. This daily reminder, helped me to remain peaceful, and know that the Lord is always in control, and no matter what......He knows, He feels, and He cares! Just remember, to trust. Tonight, I thank him for giving me that peace, that when I close my eyes, I KNOW that my dad will be in heaven, whether it is today, tomorrow, or years from now, and that our relationship is better than it has ever been.....no regrets!

Anonymous busymom369 said...

Thank you so much for this devotion I was asking for prayer for my 16 year old son who has Asperger and is becoming very depressed I just don't know what to do. It hurts me to see him this way. This was so very helpful for me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your situation with your mom. It is similar to mine. My mom is happy to see me but she never says my name. I can talk to her about my life but she cannot hear well and doesn't seem to understand or remember. She does remember some things when we look at pictures. It is extremely difficult but I am glad I have her and can still show her that I love her. She can and does still pray but only God knows what she is saying as her verbal ability has been very affected. Sometimes I feel sure she doesn't know me but lately and most of the time, she does. So this devotional really resonates with me. Thank you for the encouragement.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am realy struggling with loving my mom. She had a terrible car accident several years ago which left her the brain injury. Sicne, that time I have had 3 children. It is hard to see this women in my mom's body but she not is not the same woman I knew for so many years. Today's devotion reminds me that I need to ask God's help in loving her and appreciating her.
Thank you

Anonymous alainasmom said...

First, I forgot to read this on Monday and went to pull up today's post, which wasn't there. Doubt I would have taken the time to scroll down so I feel like this was meant to be there. It actually made me cry because my mom is very physically ill due to some spine/bone issues and is almost bed ridden. I look at what she isn't able to dow with your 3 year-old granddaughter or me, or anyone else in our family and I just am angry and don't know why ... that's all I keep asking is why ... thanks for reminding us that's he's with us, even if we don't know they whys yet. Not sure I'll ever understand it but still keep hoping and praying.
Thank you.
Diane

Blogger Hazel said...

There are times when I'm glad to be an orphan. Not many but ...

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