My Refining Fire

Last week I posted Refiner’s Fire, this week I’m going to delve a little deeper because my friend Deena is going through a similar situation.

I was distraught and fed up – something had to change. However, when I cried out to the Lord, He revealed an amazing truth. My MIL is here for me. This is my refining fire. He was not going to change her. The change had to come from me.

When she moved in, we didn’t know about her dementia – we thought her lack of memory was grief related. We moved her in because she couldn’t afford to live on her own after Dad died and we were happy to have her live with us. I envisioned watching Oprah and drinking coffee together or sewing drapes for our new home. Reality is very different. We still have some wonderful chats, but she can’t sew any longer and she has bouts of paranoia. Last January, she began accusing me all sorts of crazy things. It hurt me deeply. I didn’t know if I could live with someone in her condition.

However, God gave me a measure of abundant grace to get through it. Amazingly, as my attitude began to change, she became calmer. We still have our rough days but I am holding to Him and praying that God will make me a blessing to my MIL. I never anticipated that when my nest was empty – it would be filled with care giving, but I have a peace about it.

My friend Tonya has been praying for my MIL’s mind with me. (Ton has such a beautiful, giving heart.) All my friends in the fav-five have been a blessing, just letting me talk. I’ve tried not to vent too much with my own kids as I don’t want their last memories of their Grammy to be about dementia and paranoia. I want them to appreciate the good times we have and I pray that I am able to appreciate them too.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)


6 thoughts on “My Refining Fire

  1. I sometimes feel the “Refiner’s Fire” is meant for me on a continuous basis. There are very few days without their challenges in my life and that song, whenever I hear it or sing it, it brings tears to my eyes. It is similar to saying, “Life is a constant education.”I will pray for your friend and her MIL. I will also pray for you, Jan. I know we all need a little prayer in our lives regardless of the circumstances and I have come to aprreciate you very much.Jennie

  2. Oh Jan..Thank you for posting this for me.. I have prayed so hard for so long..asking God what He is asking from me and the message hasn’t come. Perhaps i need to get others to pray about my FIL too. I need some peace with it eats at my well being…and I feel guilty ~~ as this is NOT the sort of person I am.Somedays I feel THIS is what has made the cancer so resentment and hurt are a cancer to my SOUL.Thanks for sharing YOUR story. fondly, Deena

  3. My prayers go out to you and your MIL. It doesn’t seem fair sometimes the way life ends up, especially when the things you were looking forward to were noble and good things (spending time sewing and drinking coffee). But what you are doing is amazing and far better in God’s eyes, you are showing compassion and love for this woman when her mind is not clear. I commend you for what you are doing. I think it is wise to not complain in front of the children, you never know how you will end up either and right now you are showing them such a great example of God’s selfless love. My MIL was not very tolerant of her MIL and would make mean comments here and there in front of me, and now 20 years later, her memory is slipping and we just discovered she has had a series of small strokes that have damaged her brain. I want to show her love and compassion, but she is nowhere near the state your MIL is. One blessing about Alzheimer’s is the patient is not in pain and once they get to a certain stage, they don’t even know it anymore, so they are not suffering. I will pray for you to have strength through this rough time.Bless you, Sharon

  4. Jan,I am always so honored to be one with whom you share your heart. I do understand where you are. My dad passed away over 4 1/2 years ago after a difficult illness that lasted for years. You are wise not to mention this to your children. Good for you, though, to talk and have a safe haven.Yes, it is a refining fire, and it hurts. However, the desert you are in is the desert you will lead others safely through. It is a hard way to learn, but it is effective, and you are going to be a glorious leader, precious lady.My love and heart is with you.

  5. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. It really is amazing what prayer can do. There is so much more peace in our home now.

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. - Psalm 34:19

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