Thankful for friendship, by Meredith Dobson

But God directs my steps

Psalm 37:23-24 The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.

I was taken to the hospital during the first year of Covid. I had fainted at home and fallen. It frightened me and I called 911. I am 83 years old. The hospital was overwhelmed and I ended up in a room for six days lost in the confusion. During that time, for the first time in my life, I had an unmistakable Vision of God. He appeared on the wall in front of me quite clearly. He surprised me until I saw He had a message for me. He offered me His hand. I took it and listened to his directions as we went for a walk and He pointed out several things we encountered along the way. He never let go of my hand.

For several years I have been looking after a friend of mine who is 94 years old. She is a successful artist, a widow with no children and not one family member living. I had worked for her husband for 15 years and knew him to be an exceptional person of intellect and compassion. It was a privilege to work for him and I understood how they had such a successful marriage. Both were born and raised in foreign countries and came to America together in their youth.

Looking after her is a challenge. It has been a lesson to me that I am not in charge of anything. When I want to be helpful, I find I need to stand back and wait for her to tell me what she wants or what part “I” will have in anything. She is in charge even though she has trouble walking, breathing, remembering, and does not have a realistic notion of her limitations.

When I tell my friends and family about my times with her, they say things to me like “You shouldn’t do that,” or “She should be in a home,” or “You should get someone else to take care of her, you shouldn’t let her call you like that” and they are very critical. I sometimes wonder if they are right or maybe I shouldn’t tell them what it’s like. Then I thought about my time with God and I felt myself holding my own hand like God held my hand. I nod my head and know that God is with me. I know God will guide me.

Psalm 37 tells me that so long as I continue to believe, God will protect me, hold my hand and, “Yes” I belong there, helping my friend. It doesn’t matter that others might not understand. It doesn’t matter that others think I should do differently. Being with her is a privilege. I feel peace and joy when I am with her. She is grateful and so am I. I fulfill a need of hers and she fulfills a need of mine to serve one of God’s children. I don’t need for anyone but God to understand, and He does.

“Our Lord, we know that all is well. We trust Thee for all. We love Thee increasingly. We bow to Thy Will.” God Calling October 28, Glad Surprises.

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