The Story of a Prodigal Caregiver

Thank you for letting me be a caregiver!

WAIT.  Did I really just say that?  Absolutely, and from a grateful heart overflowing with God’s grace and forgiveness.

I grew up with a  mother who made sure I was baptized and attended Sunday School and church every Sunday, and vacation Bible school every summer.  My sibling and I even had to listen to her read the Bible almost daily.  As the years passed though, I began to think, This is not for me?  Why do I need this?

When it came time for the teen youth group, I was at the age when I thought I knew everything.  I left home; I wanted to travel far away.  Enough of this Jesus stuff.  I headed for  a greener pastures.  But that old Cliche – the grass is always greener on the other side of the road – just isn’t true.  I got in with the wrong group of kids, did things I never should have done, and ended up living under a bridge with other homeless people.

There was a kind lady who came to us with hot chocolate early in the mornings.  She reminded me so much of my mother, and I longed to return home.  I hadn’t kept in contact with her directly, but I knew what was happening there.  I heard she’d had a stroke and wasn’t doing too well.  I wanted to go back, but could I apologize and ask for forgiveness after all the heartbreak I had caused her?  The more I thought about it, what did I have to lose?

Today as I sit by her bedside, I am praising God that He put all the pieces in place for me to re-enter the lives of my family.  As I look at my mother, she can only make a lopsided smile and gently squeeze my hand, but that’s enough for me.

I am grateful for this care-giving time.  It gives me a chance to show her how sorry I am for hurting her.  But more important, I want God to know how grateful I am for His grace and forgiveness.  It’s amazing how much of what I listened to when I was younger comes back to me.  I have learned that to forgive is not excusing or forgetting the wrong.  The benefit of remembering is that it encourages gratitude, extinguishes pride, and exhibits grace.  “A man’s wisdom give him patience; it is His glory to overlook an offense.  (Proverbs 19:11)  (Matthew 6:12)

By the grace of God, Jesus’ suffering for our sins become a passport to our wholeness and everlasting joy.  Through His death and resurrection, our hurting hearts are healed.  My Mother taught me that if I believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again, I never have doubt my eternal life.

Forgiveness – real joy!

 

Author ~ Unknown