about writing and life and God

Down, but not out

on January 25, 2013


If this word threatens you or upsets you, walk away now.

Digital Image

It upsets me.

But it’s a fact of life. Not everything goes to plan.

The gremlins in your laptop decide to play their own games instead of help you pay your Tesco bill, and before you know it, you’re a shaking mass of helpless frustration. You might even lose your cool ever so slightly with the hapless bloke on the help phone at your bank because you can’t remember whatever stupid password you arranged with them last time you forgot your password.

Result: the world, the flesh and the devil 1: our side  -1

I’m always worse on a Friday. You may have noticed.

Last year, every Friday was Dementia Diary day because on Fridays I take my husband, who has dementia, out from his care home for lunch and an outing. The plan was to build up a nice cache of blogposts to use as the meat for my latest book of meditations for others in the same situation.

But I didn’t. When I reread them, I was horrified at what a complaining, whinging misery-guts I was!

But… well, I’m sorry, but that’s kind of how I really am about his dementia. I am defeated by it. I really find it hard to cope.

Am I allowed to say this? Isn’t this letting the side down? Aren’t we supposed to be ‘singing the songs of triumphant Zion’ instead of’sitting weeping by the rivers of Babylon?

Billy Graham’s daughter Ruth wrote a book called In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart. I wasn’t keen on the book but it’s a great title.

I do wonder though: where is the place for the hurting Christian, the feeling-defeated and overwhelmed Christian, the battered by another not-won battle?

We may sit in the pews but I think we hide our hurts, hide our defeats, for fear of judgment – that we’re not making the grade, that there must be something wrong with us, with our commitment to Christ, that we’re letting the side down.

But when we weep our tears of battered, beaten defeat, we are not alone. Oh yes, there are quite a few of us skulking around here. But more than that – this is where our Lord is. He knew grief and sorrow, the agony of Gethsemane, and then on the Cross he bore everything that we are going through. He knows. And He does not judge us. Instead He opens His arms to us.

‘Come,’ He says.’There is room – and understanding and love and support here. More than that,there is healing. And strength for next time. Come.’

And that’s all we have to do.

He’ll see to the rest.






6 responses to “Down, but not out

  1. Day says:

    You have no idea how this touched me! It meant so much. Thank you & God bless

  2. spabbygirl says:

    Gosh Dorothy you look just a young slip of a thing! Dementia is a draining condition to be with, it is hard work. I find it really hard to admit that sometimes I feel poorly (I have an MS type condition) because someone will dash around and do healing. I don’t want healing anymore because I feel that the Lord wants me to be like that or he’d have chosen to heal me. When I have had healing that doesn’t work I can’t help but feel disapointed.
    Ooops, I’ve gone on such a lot about me! I find your posts good though, I liked yesterdays too. Lynne

    • Hi Lynne. I confess it’s a slightly old photo! My husband is 12 years older than me but his dementia began with another condition in his 40s. Acceptance of whatever we’re struggling with is hard, but what you say rings real bells with me. Sometimes we need to just sit tight to give God the room to do what he wants.

  3. Fran says:

    The problem with pretence is that it puts barriers round everyone. Stay honest. It’s a hundred times more encouraging than the stiff upper lip.

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