I’m posting two days early this week. We leave early tomorrow morning to take my dad home to Florida. It’s bittersweet as I’m happy his health has improved so much in the past year. We found causes for some of his longtime medical problems, many of which we’ve addressed. My sadness comes from feeling I’ve failed in my goal to honor and care for him. In my mind, his leaving early means I did not live up to the verse I’ve hidden in my heart since his arrival. “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8, NKJV)
When my dad could no longer live independently, my siblings and I discussed numerous options. We determined that with his unsteadiness, needing help to perform almost any task, claustrophobia, and failing health, our ranch-style home in Texas was the best place. What I remember most about the drive back home was how my dad would ask repeatedly “Why are you bringing a dead man to Texas?”
Well, the trip home was a success; and with lots of help from doctors, nurses, and friends, Dad has made a remarkable recovery. He now wears oxygen whenever he does anything, like walking down the hall. Dad wears a CPAP at night, and he’s learned to watch for those triggers that can cause his panic attacks. He’s also come to accept and welcome the home nurses who come each week to check on him. Importantly, he’s accepted that maybe a little help is a good thing.
The “plan” was that Dad would stay with my wife and me until my oldest brother finished remodeling the family home in central Florida. It’s expected to happen sometime near the middle of 2019. God, in His infinite wisdom, has other plans. After three years, the VA healthcare system performed an MRI on my shoulders. They discovered I have a full tear of my left rotator cuff and a ninety percent tear in my right shoulder.
With the first surgery scheduled for the end of this month, my lengthy recovery will make doing chores around the ranch more difficult. It will make helping my dad to stand, shower, etc. next to impossible. While my brother’s home isn’t ready yet, my LBS (little big sister, what I call my older sister Sue, who is part Oompa Loompa) stepped up. She’s agreed to move down to Florida for a few months. Sue will stay with and help dad until work is complete and our brother moves to his retirement home.
I know this is the right decision. We all understand how much dad wants to go back to Florida. Other siblings live there, and so does his beloved, restored Model T Ford. I couldn’t help feeling I was abandoning my dad and not fulfilling my commitment to honor and care for him. I wasn’t “completing the mission”, which is something from the Ranger Creed I’ve held dear for many years now.
In praying through these feelings, the words of Jeremiah 29:11 and Isaiah 55:8-9 came to mind. God reminded me that while I may not understand His plan, my faith requires me to accept them—believing God has something better in store for me. Yes. Getting my shoulders fixed and hopefully getting my lingering cardiac issue resolved, is good. I am convinced God has greater plans for me and Dad.How open are you to accepting God's plans for your life when they seem contrary to your plans? Click To Tweet
As Christians, we must remind ourselves we are subject to God’s rule and His plans for our lives, and not our own. In submitting ourselves to Him, life becomes so much easier to accept. I pray you also learn this important lesson in faith.