Alzheimers. It is not a joking matter, although we’ve probably all joked that we were succumbing to it on a particularly forgetful day.
We had the privilege of having my mom stay with us for a few years after my dad passed away. Shortly after she arrived to stay with us, I was hashing through some insurance details with her, and alluded to “what happened to dad.” She gave me a blank stare. She asked, “What happened to him?” Then she looked away, with a gesture which said she was done talking. She went to her room for the night. In the morning, with great relief in her voice, but not a smile, she stated that she had remembered what happened to him. Whether it was stress, weariness, just basic forgetfulness of old age, or something more, that event was a mere blip on the screen. I never saw anything so profound again…and I am grateful never to have seen the fear, the bewilderment, the despair that registered on her face that day. Ordinarily very sharp mentally, and proud of her crossword puzzle skills, she had had a moment of complete helplessness in which something had held her memory captive.
I understand a scrap of this now. Having dealt with chronic illness for almost all my married life, I know what it is to feel as if I am held captive. I am seeing, though, that even on those days when my body is at its lowest, my mind still screams to be useful. So I write.
I’ve had a bit of a revelation recently. I’ve enjoyed writing for a long time. At my husband’s encouragement, I sought to have a small piece published on the topic of our miscarriage…that event is what pressed me to seriously put thoughts down on paper. A Christian magazine published it, along with a couple other small pieces. Another publisher made some articles of mine into Sunday school bulletins for adults. I didn’t pursue anything after that, as I got busy with children, homeschooling, and increased health challenges.
In the past year I’ve had more people suggest that I write a book than ever before. I’ve joked in the past that my “muse” must be on vacation, because I truly had no clear leading in what to write, if I ever decided to. On a couple of occasions I thought I had an idea, but God never watered them or caused them to flourish. But my mind wanted to be useful.
At the end of last year, I was looking at the possibility of leading another online Bible study. I had done several, mainly via Facebook groups. But even after receiving the book, I uncharacteristically felt no drive to begin studying. None.
I did feel a divine nudge to begin a group online for ladies to read through the Bible in a year. Mainly for my own accountability, I expected this group to have perhaps a dozen members. Imagine my delight as it is blossoming over 100 ladies now! And there is another delight as well.
I have discovered my muse. In a small corner of cyberspace, there she was. This past week, we covered some chapters in Matthew’s gospel, including Chapter 6.
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Perhaps what I am to write is not intended for formal publication. Perhaps it is intended for this closet, which I share with 100 other ladies.
I love this, that I am doing now. It flows, without any hesitancy. It is a joy and edification to me. Others say it is a blessing. I was full of excuses, initially. Like Moses, I asked God, “Who am I?” Who am I to lead such a group? Who am I to offer insight on a study ALL the way through the Bible (and not just the passages I feel familiar with and in which I am confident)? Who am I…? I’m not someone prominent. I’m not a great theologian. I’m just a wife and mom. Then I came across a quote:
With God in my soul, and Heaven in my eye, I rejoice in being exactly what I am…a creature capable of loving God.
Rejoice. Love Him with all you are and have and can do.
You know what? It doesn’t matter who I am. God promised to be with Moses and give him the words to say, and he lost a blessing by continually throwing out more excuses. God can be with my little laptop, too, if I determine to shove my excuses into my pocket and get on with His program.
I came across this list in an article on spiritual gifts, regarding teaching (which I have done, via Bible studies, ladies banquets and retreats, on writing on this blog and elsewhere):
- Do you love the Body of Christ and desire that others know more about Scripture and how to apply it?
- Do you love studying the Word of God?
- Do you have a passion for sharing the insights and principles you have learned from the Word?
- Do you find it a challenge to make complicated truths simple and understandable?
You’ll hear me clicking along in my “closet”.
If you want to join us, there is still plenty of room. Knock on the door at the Facebook group, Daily in the Word.