A New Season of Life
By Diane Mayfield –
I hoped, foolishly, by the time I raised three children and had been married for thirty-five years I’d have this life down pat. Well, I don’t. Once again, I’ve entered a new season of life. It’s one I don’t know. I often feel powerless, helpless, and invisible.
Here’s the scenario. I have three adult children. My oldest two are married and my youngest is not. I also care for my widowed mother who is in the moderate stages of Alzheimer’s and lives in an assisted living community. I am the primary caretaker for her needs. Now you might say, “What’s the problem with all that?”
With my adult children, all I can do is listen. My role is to support and, of course, pray. I am second in line, which is as it should be. Except that I was their mother for eighteen years and had a huge voice in their lives. The bottom line is that I want to tell them what to do, which is not my place any longer. I must decrease so they can increase.
Emily, the middle child, married a great guy last May. They now live in Houston and I’m in Fort Worth. I raised her to fly away, be her own person, and create her own life. She is doing that and doing it beautifully. I miss sharing daily life together. We can’t have lunch once a week. I didn’t get to help her move in to her new house on moving day. I didn’t get to put the shelf paper in her new cabinets. I know these are petty things, but they are the experiences that I cherish. Get over it, the Zac Brown song says.
A friend brought this home to me when she told me her son was moving to Somalia as a missionary, permanently. Boy, did I stop my whining.
Sarah, my youngest is quite an accomplished young woman. She owns her own house, is a CPA, and has a group of friends that she enjoys and they adore her. She longs to find the right man to build a life with, but she has not met him yet. I want God to move on this and He has not done so yet. I feel powerless.
My mom doesn’t think she has memory issues. After all, she plays duplicate bridge and, in her words, you have to have a good memory to do that. Forget the fact that she’s played bridge for sixty years. Alzheimer’s disease attacks the short -term memory, not the long-term. She doesn’t count the fact that she can’t remember her grandchildren’s names or what I said to her five minutes ago. Parenting someone without her acknowledging her need exhausts me.
I must keep my mouth shut and I’m used to opening it. My power is in prayer and serving. That’s not the position I’ve operated in most of my life. Obviously that’s exactly where God wants me. I’m grateful the Holy Spirit showed me that this is part of God’s plan in this season of life.
His word for me is, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).