Following Christ in Pain

Linda WLiving as Anabaptists

Where do we turn when everything goes wrong and will never be right again? Where can we find continued meaning in life? What might be “God’s plan” in the midst of suffering?

Lots of questions arise with a traumatic near-terminal event. This (abbreviated) update about my sister-in-law’s condition gives a glimpse of how my niece finds strength.

“Mom continues to experience severe pain, mostly related to the stroke, resulting car crash injuries, and now lift transfers. Not much can be done beyond medication, and pain is the new daily reality, so your prayers in this regard are deeply appreciated. I can’t even imagine what Mom must be going through, especially since she now has a growing sense of her physical limitations.

“Staying in the apartment is not a sustainable option, and we have applied for long-term care. This could take a long time given the snail’s pace at which Social Services works. I’m not sure whose heart is more broken, ours or Mom’s, not that it’s a competition. But we ask you to pray for us all, that we would be at peace with this turn of events, and especially for Mom, that she could still find joy amidst all the pain and disappointment for everything she has lost.

“We also face pushback from Social Services staff in home choices and Mom’s place on the wait list, so from our end, prayers are also needed for the strength to continue fighting the system and advocating for the best care for Mom, since the biggest health care decisions seem to be made by people who have never seen, and know little about, the patient.

“Thank you all so much for your prayers, words of encouragement, and especially visits with Mom. We hope we can soon enjoy some outings, even if it’s just outside at the gazebo, or going for a short wheelchair walk for a change of environment.

“Our (young) children have yet to be introduced to this situation. Mom loves spending time with them, and it will be important in future but very different for everyone. Please pray that we find the grace and skill to handle this well, too.”


Photo credit: Cherry Laithang