One minute I was going along spinning my plates and keeping everything in somewhat perfect balance and the next something happened and all of the sudden my plates toppled.
For the last 5 years I had cared for my grandmother and an uncle with cerebral palsy. I visited daily. Did all the dr. appointments and grocery shopping and took care of bill paying and looked in on them to be sure they took their medication.
I will admit as the responsibility increased it had become more difficult to keep all my plates spinning but I did my best and hoped that in the end my kids would be learning valuable lessons about caring for people even if they weren't learning reading, writing, and arithmetic.
In the beginning of January as I stopped by for a daily visit and I noticed my uncle was not feeling well. Without going into a lot of detail he was very stubborn and did not want to go to the doctors. The next day he was worse and I brought in reinforcements, a.k.a. my brother, who convinced him to go to the doctors the next day. That night in the middle of the night my grandmother called me and told me he had fallen. We rushed in and called an ambulance and it was at the hospital emergency room that we learned he had the flu.
I will spare all the details but what ensued was overwhelming. He went to the hospital and was discharged into a nursing home. After filling out all the paperwork we cleaned out his apartment. My grandma then decided to move to the home also to be close to him. He never fully recovered and passed away about three weeks after getting the flu. This devastated my grandma and we moved her back to her apartment. We planned a funeral and between all the signing papers in and out of the home and all the planning and now worrying about my grandmas emotional state I went into survival mode.
Sometimes things happen that we fully expect will happen we just don't know when and we don't know the depth of what it will take to carry us through and sometimes things happen so unexpectedly we don't have a second to think about how we will survive.
The last month has been a little bit of both for me.
So what do we do when we hit these bumps in life and we just aren't sure what to do and how to keep our head above the waves?
Here are three things that have helped me tremendously.
1. Don't keep trying to do everything. Do what has to be done and let go of the rest. I took care of everything that needed done and I did school on a scaled down schedule. I stopped writing and sending out my weekly newsletter. I said no to extra things and I stayed focused on what was in front of me. Just do the urgent and let others help you. I had a tremendous amount of help and support and I am so grateful for those that were there for me. The world won't fall apart if we let some things go for a time. Why do we think everyone needs us to be everything anyway?
2. Dig into God's word. If there is ever a time you need to know His precious promises it is in times of crisis. It is also in this time that you will be tempted the most to put time with God aside. The enemy loves for us to be distracted by the urgent. It is in that place that he can whisper in our ear that God doesn't care about what we are going through. He does care and now is the time to show some resolve and cling to His promises. Don't wait until the crisis has taken over to open your Bible and if your just too tired and overwhelmed then cling to just one verse. Keep it in front of you. Listen to a good sermon or audio version of the Bible. Do something proactive. Don't let crisis paralyze your walk with God.
3. Determine to keep going. Listen girls, life is hard. Really, really hard. We have to keep going. Some seasons will present more challenges than others but we have to keep going. There were times when all the responsibility and paperwork threatened to swallow me. I wanted to give up. I wanted to go to pieces. It doesn't mean I didn't have some good ugly cries because I did but when I was finished I got back up and did what needed to be done. We need to persevere friends. In amidst the most difficult trial we need to determine that we will lean on the promises of God and we will keep going never losing sight that our troubles are only temporary. There will be a day when we will not have any ugly cries but until that day comes….Just. Keep. Going.
I hope this helped you out if you are in the middle of a difficult season. If I can pray for you in any way please email me! It is an honor to serve you.