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Questions & advice for those of you believe in God.
Last Dance
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 1:30 PM
Joined: 5/2/2013
Posts: 262


 Questions & advice for those of you believe in God. We are having a clergy breakfast for all the clergy in our town, this month; we will have one priest speaking, and one pastor that has dementia speaking.  I will be the keynote speaker talking about the caregiver’s life and the caregiver’s faith, and how it sustains him or her  through this terrible thing called Alzheimer’s.  

 Just so you know the reasons for my questions I will give you a short synopsis of our religious life. We went to church regularly throughout the years we both work in the church ushering and helping out with communion. I served on the board of trustees for 16 years and Linda was a member of the ladies aid, and alter guild.
We raised our children in church and our grandchildren in church we always sat in the fourth or fifth pew from the front on the pulpit side.

In 1981 Linda came down with rheumatoid arthritis it affected her legs more than anything but it also affected her whole body we were told that she would have to be on medication for the rest of her life and it would never go away. Linda and I prayed on it we prayed for God to heal her she read lots different medical articles about it, she took more vitamins and exercised  along with her prescribe medications as time went on she got better and better in 1989 on her last visit to her rheumatologist he said I’m taking you off all medication I don’t understand why you’re getting better, but I’m glad you are. We both agreed that because of her strong faith she was healed of her arthritis. Linda never knew that she had Alzheimer’s & Dementia. I often wondered if she would have known, and if she would’ve prayed on it like she did her arthritis if she would’ve been healed? I often wonder if her faith that healed her arthritis was stronger than my faith and that’s why my faith wasn’t strong enough to heal her. So I questioned God, there were many times when I would ask God if he could see Linda suffering.  If he could see my suffering?  If he could see my heart ache? If he knew how lonely I was, and, how bad I missed the wife I had, There were a few times I even said that I wanted it just to be over with, one way or the other, either for her or for me.  There were times when I wondered if he even cared or he even saw us, and our suffering. even though God didn’t heal her or take away my broken heart, I do believe he did work in both of our lives, I was blessed taking care of Linda. Why we had so many struggles she never got mean, she never wondered, and she always loved me.  When I had to start taking care of Linda’s personal messes and keeping her clean I don’t think I would have been able to do that without Gods help, I just said God, I need you to help me do this, I can’t do it on my own and I do believe that he did intervene in my life and help me take care of her
So my question to you, did you ever have the feelings of doubt? Were there  times when you wondered if he even cared or he even saw you, and your  suffering? Were you ever angry at God did you ever wonder if he was really watching out for you, and your love ones? Do you believe that your faith helped pull you through this terrible thing called all Alzheimer or dementia? I would appreciate any response you can give me as I feel it will help me in my speech. Thank you for your response                                                                                     Richard  

 


Victoria2020
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 2:36 PM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 862


"I often wonder if her faith that healed her arthritis was stronger than my faith and that’s why my faith wasn’t strong enough to heal her."

I believe as do/does the PWDs in my life. I view the body and faith separate. Arthritis does go into remission periods and lifestyle helps as does  a positive attitude. Can't make  dementia stop.

I believe faith helps one  get through the failures of our mortal shells but in no way are we responsible for  disease(s) presenting or failing to go because of our quality  of faith or prayer skills. That is just too Salem for me. 

I take comfort in faith, no blame. Grateful for when I plug into it.

 

 

 


Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 3:00 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16092


Often we do not know the reason for pain and suffering.  God did not relieve Paul's afflictions.  We have to go on, just as Paul did.  One day there will be no more pain.

Iris L.


toni2
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 3:22 PM
Joined: 10/19/2017
Posts: 314


Richard, There were times that I asked why us but there was never a time that I didn't feel God present with us. It was the hardest thing that I had to go through but I was grateful for every minute. We never know what the answer God has for us. We might be that blessing for some one else. Never stop praying. Remember God can hear what our heart is crying even when we don't have words, only tears.

Toni


zauberflote
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 3:59 PM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 371


I'm not here for spouse, rather for mom, but thank you for soliciting thoughts!

Mom and I and other family members, most importantly to this particular situation we are in, my brother, are all committed Christ followers. For myself, I don't have the energy to ask "why Mom?"

  Today, for the first time ever, Mom, late stages, failed to be comforted when I assured her, in answer to yet another question referring to "I don't know where I am and I don't know where I'm supposed to go", that God always is with her, wherever she is, that she is a child of God, etc. She didn't know who He is, it looked like on her face. As though I'd just told her her Daddy wasn't her Mama's husband, or something equally strange for her. 

Always before, although her spontaneous turning to Him in prayer was/is gone, telling her Whose she was would bring tears of joy to her eyes. There was no joy today. There was utter disorientation. 

What's next??? Every night I pray that sleeping allows her to visit heaven for those few hours. She is so very very miserable and not at home. Today when she spoke of going home, I asked, what does "home" look like, or sound like, or smell like (my sister's BRILLIANT idea). She said, like us, but not here (translating from the PWD...) I told her, wherever you go, I'll come find you, I'll know where to find you. That at least still gives comfort. 

I hope your keynkte goes very well!


abc123
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 5:20 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 484


Dear Richard, certainly our Heaven Father saw your suffering and he was grieved for you both. His Holy Spirit was grieving for you both. He was with you and Linda every step of the way. I also believe that Linda’s faith and her relationship with Him healed her arthritis. Could her faith have healed the Alzheimer’s? We will never know in this world. 

It’s my understanding that pain and suffering and death are the result of the original sin. That’s why terrible things happen to good people. I believe with all my heart that he never ever leaves us to get through our journeys without Him. I could never have taken care of my husband without my faith. At times it was stretched very thin and I was very angry. My husband died from cancer. When he was first diagnosed he cried and asked me, Why me? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? I told him that he didn’t do anything, it wasn’t his fault. I told him that the cancer was a result of original the original sin. He seemed to get comfort. He never asked Why me again. I am by no means a bible scholar BUT I believe in God with all my might. I wish you peace and comfort. I am sorry you and Linda had this experience. You were a blessing to your beautiful wife. 


piozam13
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 6:01 PM
Joined: 7/26/2019
Posts: 29


Doubt - always.  
HE always knows.  But I do not question HIS plans.
Angry?  Yes.  Often. But I believe HE does not mind.  
Faith is what you want to believe in.  Alz is real.  Do miracles still happen?

 

 

 


Laura57
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 8:38 PM
Joined: 3/25/2018
Posts: 138


I think faith is what holds us up and keeps us going. Many days all I have is prayer. I skirt depression and try to do what I have to do in each day. I try to be aware, take cues and not “fight against the machine”, I try to go with the flow.

Yesterday I was driving to see my husband, an hour trip through state park lands ending with a ferry trip across a river. It started raining so hard I couldn't see the road. I pulled into one of the state park parking lots to wait for the rain to lighten up. When I turned the car back on I had two warning lights on, one was for low tire pressure and the other I couldn’t even find in the manual. So instead of going on to the ferry I turned back and went to Ford, another hour in the other direction. They looked at the car and found that the warning lights were malfunctioning, there was nothing wrong with the car or the tires. So what does all this mean? I took it to mean that I was being directed not to continue the trip to the ferry for whatever reason. I like to think someone is looking out for me, or maybe I’m just crazy, .

So faith and prayer don’t fix what’s wrong, but supports us through. I have no expectations, I just get through day by day with a lot of prayer and faith.


Mimi2
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 9:09 PM
Joined: 5/8/2018
Posts: 51


Last Dance, 

As a born-again Christian I will admit this disease has stretched my faith.  But I know and believe HE has promised HE will never leave us or forsake us. HE hears my cries and my prayers. I pray daily for wisdom, strength, the stamina and the ability to exercise patience while caring for my DH. Is it any easier...sometimes but not always.  I’m encouraged that I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. I need HIM every second of the day.  I can honestly say my DH and I never became angry with our LORD, nor doubted HIM or felt HE did this to us.  That isn’t what our faith teaches us.  I truly believe there will be good that will come out of this.  HE is my shield and HE will sustain me.


Mike&BrendaTX
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 10:12 PM
Joined: 7/10/2017
Posts: 603


Last Dance and everyone,

God is always a comfort to me.  When I'm really in a quandry about something (like why does such a horrible disease happen to such a wonderful strong believer?), He gives me things to think about.  Not out loud, but he guides me.

For instance, He let me know that my life's "mission" was to take care of my wife. I had always wondered if He was ever going to give me an assignment, and he did. It's been 15 years with this disease now, and we're still going.  In line with this, I relate to Acts 20:24 "if only I may finish the task the Lord Jesus has given me."  Paul talks in Hebrews 12:1 about finishing the race. I want to be able to say as Paul does in 2 Timothy 4:7:  “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”.

I was looking up the passage in 2 Timothy a few months ago in my concordance when I noticed that Ecclesiastes also had a passage about a race.  This got me into a study of the Book of Ecclesiastes, a book I hadn't read for some time. Solomon tells it like it is.  Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. Everyone ends up in the same place: the grave. The only thing that really matters is our relationship with God.  I took this as an answer to my question about why my wonderful wife got such a horrible disease. I never thought it was because of something we had done, it's just one of those things that happens when you live on Earth.

That's not to say God doesn't intervene in our lives.  Quite a few things in my life are essentially impossible but for His hand.  I have a book of letters my wife and I wrote to each other before we were married (our next anniversary is our 25th).  The book is 352 pages long, and that only covers four months.  It's our story. On the cover page, it says,

What if you knew there was someone out there who would be absolutely
perfect for you, but they lived 2000 miles away in a place you’d never
been? And you only had a window of a few hours in your lifetime to come
across the person, or you would never meet? In this world, your chances
of meeting would be about exactly zero.

But with God, anything is possible...

I feel like we're nearing the end of the race. Brenda has declined remarkably in the past two weeks. She's gone from sleeping 12 hours a day to 16+.  She's very weak. As for myself, I'm kind of wearing out, too.  I always tell Brenda when she talks about going home, "If you go home, be sure to take me with you."

Mike


SSHarkey
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 7:22 AM
Joined: 3/15/2018
Posts: 150


Richard, so many good words being spoken on this post. I’ll add my thoughts. Faith is our response to God, our heart cry to Him to step out on His Word and to trust Him. But the Lord is the author of life and death. I keep hearing the words of Micah “I have told you, oh man, what the Lord requires of thee. To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” You are doing all you you can within the framework of your understanding. The Lord is the one Who is control. His love for you both is beyond measure. And He has your days in His hands. Rest in that. He will decide her days, and He will walk through this with you. You will be stronger in His presence and come out of this knowing Him in a deeper way. Faithful is He who called you, and He will complete what He has begun in you. I have never believed sickness comes from the Lord. But I strongly believe He walks through it with us and healing will comes in whatever form He chooses. We do all we can. He completes the rest. Healing the mortal body or healing through immortality. To live is Christ, to die is gain. This has been the motto for us as we’re walking it out also. We loose track of the vision Paul so eloquently spoke. Be at peace in the Lord. He has you both in His hands. Suzi
JoseyWales
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 7:50 AM
Joined: 5/22/2016
Posts: 172


I haven't carefully read through all the other responses, so please forgive me if I repeat what others might have said.

For several years we went to a charismatic church. Lots of believe in healing prayer at that church. At the time I was dealing with infertility. We had tons of people there who told about their problems with infertility and how they became pregnant through prayer. I even have a sister in law who says that she became pregnant through prayer. Our church was teaching that if you didn't get healed, there was a problem with your faith. And I wasn't becoming pregnant. It really made me dive deeply into how prayer heals.

Through my journey, I've decided that the belief that God only heals through our faith is wrong. In the bible, Jesus healed many people who had no faith. There were others who weren't healed, regardless of their faith. Think of Lazarus - he died. Yes, he was later raised, but all of us will be raised at a later time.

I came to the decision that we live in a fallen world. Until the final days of life on earth, God allows life to happen as it spins out. Adam and Eve allowed in sin, and now we will all suffer. 

To end on a happier note - I never became pregnant. But we did adopt the most wonderful child in the entire world. Sorry to you other parents, but he's the best one ever. We also left the charismatic church that made me feel less worthy than everyone else. Healing from that took time, but I believe it helped me not have the crisis of faith in prayer that you are dealing with now.

Blessings to you and your wife.


SSHarkey
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 9:04 AM
Joined: 3/15/2018
Posts: 150


JoseyW- Well said! Same thing here. I believe the movement became legalistic in its demands, taking God’s work and putting the responsibility onto the believers back. God is the healer, and it’s His decision how that will occur and the life lessons we learn.
LizzieC
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 10:32 AM
Joined: 3/28/2018
Posts: 221


And I try to remember that the suffering I experience in this earthly life is temporary.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV)

 16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.


zauberflote
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 6:27 PM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 371


A huge thank you to all who have posted! I am in a situation which requires encouragement, and here I find it! The peace of God be with you every one.
Keep It 100
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 6:57 PM
Joined: 2/26/2017
Posts: 387


To your question regarding having doubt:

No, never. I never doubt. But maybe it’s because I keep my faith and prayers wide and general. I have no idea what our ultimate purpose is here, so I simply pray for wisdom to see and recognize opportunities, and that I then have the strength and courage to act on them and do what’s needed, what’s best and what’s right. With absolute faith I believe that everything happens with some purpose, and it will all be for good, even when in the moment it’s impossible to see what that good can be.