Those are the words I heard Friday afternoon from my mom’s mouth. Now admittedly this time she stumbled a bit on the final words but those are the words I have heard come from her mouth many times in the last few years. I first noticed it neatly written on an index card and tacked to the bulletin board above her kitchen sink a long time ago. No frills, no big deal. It was just there in the center with the appointment reminder cards and missionary prayer cards all around it. I noticed but I didn’t think too much about it. Now I’m thinking that I am so glad Mom took the time to memorize that verse. She needs to really know that truth deep down in her heart and I believe she does. Like most all of us she has seen her share of “trouble” in this world. Her mom died when she was 11 and Grandpa didn’t remarry until she was an adult. She married young the first time and that marriage did not last. The pain of adultery and “shame” (her word, not mine) of being the first divorced person in her immediate family was hard. But Mom has known for most of her life that God is with her each day, walking her through whatever comes her way. She needs that now more than ever.
Friday afternoon when I heard those words Mom was lying in a hospital bed. To our knowledge nothing “life threatening” was going on but she collapsed twice in the previous two days. The second time she was definitely unconscious for a bit so the ambulance came and took her to the local hospital to get checked out. The biggest problem is my mom has Alzheimer’s Disease. She is not completely “gone.” She has moments of lucid thinking. She still recognizes all of us in the immediate family and remembers her siblings etc. The thing about people with Alzheimer’s (and many other forms of dementia) is that when they are taken out of their normal surroundings they typically become very confused and/or frightened. I witnessed both as I sat with Mom at the hospital more vividly than I ever have. She knew me when we got there a few hours after they had arrived at the hospital. She was pleased I was there which allowed my husband to go with my Dad to get him something to eat and pick up Mom’s medicine. In amongst the time alone with her she asked me repeatedly where she was and told me she was sure she could go home. When I would explain that she had collapsed not once, but twice and we were trying to figure out why she would just shake her head or shrug her shoulders with a very puzzled look on her face. She would then resign herself to what I told her for a few minutes and then we would start all over. Out of the blue in the middle of the afternoon she quote Nahum 1:7. I believe that even though physically she is at a state that most of what she knows is just trapped somewhere in her brain her spirit knows God. I believe her spirit connects with The Holy Spirit of God. That’s important because Scripture promises us that He will help us in our time of need. Mom needs the security of God caring for her when she doesn’t understand what is going on around her. Besides that, it was also comforting for me to know that she had that piece of truth embedded deep in her heart.
I had never seen my Mom quite so frightened/panicked. She depends on my father for everything and he has risen to the challenge of caring for the woman he loves even as he watches her disappear before his eyes. I am witnessing love “in sickness and in health.” He continues to very respectfully speak to her and about her. He does not want to “worry” her about anything. This time both he and I had to speak calmly but very firmly that she needed“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,” Nahum 1:7
My Dad is living with this truth in his heart as well. Again, I was comforted knowing he is trusting in our Lord to get us through this season of life.
This weekend has taught me alot and reminded me of the importance of memorizing scripture. We need God’s word in our heart and mind to guide us when nothing else can. I have a friend who started a blog to encourage her friends to memorize scripture. We all share what verse(s) we are working on twice a month. I think it’s time I take this a bit more seriously. What about you? Have you ever witnessed someone knowing just the right passage of scripture when they needed it?