What do I share in my Blog next? What’s next Papa? A favorite question I have asked the Lord over and over.
People asked what I would do when Corey passed away in 2000. Jackie had passed in 1991 so I had 9 more years with Corey. Care giving was my life.
I asked what am I going to do when I grow up? My husband Mike said “relax you don’t have to do anything”. The most important thing we did was renewed our wedding vows -believing that the Lord knew what our marriage needed relieving us of the years of care giving. Through our trials we shared the same perspective on things that matter; Life, Family, Unconditional Love, and Commitment. There is a very high rate of divorce with parents of special needs children -our commitment miraculously brought us through 46 years of marriage.
“What’s next, Papa?” I came across the wording of the following paraphrased scripture in The Message;
15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!
This became my daily prayer, What’s next Papa? It was an adventurous year as I could leave the house early in the morning no longer having to wait for a nurse to come on duty.
My daughter, Becky and I joked about going back to school together. Some of my adventures were; planting lawn early in the morning for my sister in law, spending time with my parents and my father in law. Also, I sewed bags to put in Bibles to go to Venezuela. I tutored a home schooled girl in sewing and cooking. People wondered would I return to being a care giving at Special Touch Summer Get Away without my children – I did for a group of women. I did visitation in nursing homes and lead services in their chapel. I wrote free-lance articles and devotionals for a local paper. I attended AL anon – trying to be a solution to my husband’s drinking problem. I gained great understanding and drew strength through my prayer time in my garden and relationship with the Lord.
How does a mother and father deal with having 2 special needs children and then the loss of them? The story “Welcome to Holland” tells of some of the emotions parents go through.
The story is good but there is a terrible grief of lost dreams for that child. There is;
- Fear of the future
- Watching your child suffer
- Early death
- Strain on marriage
- Strain on finances
- Loss of friends because of their fear or lack of understanding
This was the painful part of the memories I read looking back at the journals I filled over the years. God’s ways are higher than mine! Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God certainly had my next! It was going on a year since Corey had gone to be with the Lord and I received a phone call from Marge asking if I would be interested in care giving her special needs son. My next! – it made sense the lady who scheduled help for me hired me on the phone. Isn’t this what the Lord trained me for through my children? Not only did I know care giving but I believed I was a valuable support for the parents. In the next 20 years I went into many homes to do respite, hospice, housework, shopping, tutoring – whatever the need. The Lord led me on many adventures – meeting and making a lot of long lasting friends.
I would like to say that today I automatically put my trust in the Lord for His plans in my life. Reading through my own journals encourages me to trust Him more as He has brought me through my darkest hours.
Stay tuned to What’s Nexr Papa?
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