It is almost one a.m., and I finally had one of those moments of truth with myself. I realized that I have been avoiding my blog, because I was avoiding writing this blog post. I haven’t even posted on my Facebook page about this. The reason? I have been avoiding facing the harsh reality of the truth. For me, writing something is more than putting words down, it is putting a bit of my heart and soul onto the page. Writing about something makes it more real to me.
You see, we finally found out what was wrong with my Dad, and it was hard. He has Mild Cognitive Impairment. Okay, after writing those words down, it took me a moment to start writing again. When I wrote an email about this to someone a couple of days after the diagnosis, those words didn’t mean much, now, they mean a lot. They mean my family’s life is changed and will continue to change.
Right now, those words mean he doesn’t drive (which he hasn’t’ in almost six months), he is struggling to do his job, and conversations are somewhat hard to follow for him. Sixty percent of the people who get Mild Cognitive Impairment go on to have dementia. The other forty stay about the same or take slow steps downward.
I am going to be very honest here – I am scared. I am looking into an uncertain future for my dad, one that could change my whole family. I know in my heart of hearts that God will be there for me, like he has been every time I have needed Him. However, even though I just turned twenty-four, I still feel a strong need for my daddy.
One of the hardest things I am facing right now is people that “just want to help.” I cannot tell you how many diets have been suggested, doctors recommended, and spiritual instructions that have been sent to me and my family members. All of the people who are sending them are well-meaning people, and in their own way they are trying to show they care. However, it is hard to deal with lots of people thinking they each have the magic pill/diet/prayer that will cure my dad.
“Just speak words of healing and tell the devil to leave,” on friend said.
“This diet cures everything,” says another.
“This doctor isn’t like the doctors you are going to,” says yet another, even though they have never met the awesome team of doctors that has been helping my dad.
“It is never in God’s plan for his children to be sick.” This statement shocked and made me think more than any of the others. It made me realize why I hate the advice I have been getting. It isn’t the advice itself; it is really what I am hearing between the lines.
One of my favorite verses is the one that reads: “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” We live in a broken world, corrupted by sin and because of that, we will all face trouble. God never promised us an easy life. In fact, he said it would have troubles. Despite this, many Christians act as if God has lost control over their lives when something goes wrong, as if disease, heartache, and pain could not be used by and for God.
This make me think of a movie I really like (though I highly recommend a filtered version, which is the only kind I have seen). Apollo 13 is a movie that is based on the events surrounding the mission of the same name. Apollo 13 was meant to be another moon landing, but something went horribly wrong. There was an explosion and it didn’t look like astronauts were going to make it home.
One of my favorite lines in the whole movie comes when a reporter says something along the lines of this being NASA’s biggest disaster. The director of Mission Control looks the reporter in the eye and says: “I believe that this will be our finest hour.”
My parents have often told me that the light shines brightest in the darkness, and I have the strong conviction that this will be my family’s finest hour. I don’t know what the future holds for my dad, and like I said, that scares me, but I do know that God has a plan for this. This diagnosis didn’t surprise God. This wasn’t a mistake or something the devil did while God’s back was turned. God already has a plan to use this for his good.
I ask for your prayers in the weeks, months, and years ahead. It is going to be a challenge for my family; it already is. We are having to adjust our way of life, and let go of some dreams. God might choose to heal my dad, and I ask for your prayers for that. Even more, I ask for your prayers that no matter what happens, God is glorified.