by Beth Moll, City Church Elder
We were asked in a recent City Church sermon: What is God calling you to and how will you respond? I have had many calls from the Lord over the years, some of which I responded to eagerly and others with trepidation. I definitely felt called to parenting after God changed my heart eight years into our marriage. Years spent caring for children were challenging but also very rewarding. God grew me in my faith when He called me to parent full-time. My thirty wonderful and challenging years of parenting seemed to finally be reaching a new stage. We launched our youngest child this year and also celebrated my husband’s early retirement. We felt gifted with the time for new callings. During our grand celebration RV adventure late this summer, we received word from my sister that she was again needing some relief from caring for our mother, who has moderate to severe dementia. I must admit that it felt like we crash-landed when we got home and needed to put future planning on hold again. My selfishness was revealed as I realized how much I had been looking forward to a time of freedom from caring for anyone else. I had received another call from the Lord, and unfortunately, it elicited more trepidation than eager embracing.
We have had the joy and challenge of caring for my mom for half of the past several years since my dad died, as her condition worsened and she needed more personal care. No one prepares you for the day when the tables are turned and the parent becomes like a child needing daily care. Yet God clearly calls us to honor our parents and care for the widows. Caring for Mom when she is unable to care for herself is one way to honor her. Days can seem long and repetitious – preparing her meals, coaxing her to take her medication, playing the same card game that she remembers how to play less and less. Being a caretaker to a parent requires a level of humility that I find difficult.
God is growing my faith in new ways in this calling as He is growing my patience, humility, and compassion. I am someone who moves quickly, enjoys multitasking, and loves taking on challenges. This current call requires me to slow down, focus on one thing at a time, and simplify my life. God is teaching me in this quieter pace of life to be still, listen more, and put someone else’s needs above my own again. God is faithful in meeting me in the places He has called me. He is more than able to provide me with all that I need to follow Him in this current call. I realize that He is changing and molding me as I follow Him in humility and in caring for Mom. Perhaps I need this spiritual growth more than my mom needs my caretaking. God is the perfect Father and knows exactly what each of His children needs.