Tender Mercy #9: Specific guidance or direction

There are many experiences I could relate here. I see prayer as an ongoing conversation. When I have asked God a question, I have received an answer, in time. Sometimes I feel clearly guided right away; more often clarity “emerges” and I begin to feel more peace associated with one particular course of action. The chance for divine direction doesn’t erase life’s challenges, but does make them easier to navigate. ┬áIn motherhood and in all areas of life, we need this help!

Two years ago, after complications from an emergency surgery, my mom was on a ventilator. While on the ventilator, she had a massive stroke. The doctors were questioning whether we should continue in providing life support. They asked, “What will her quality of life be? Surely she would not want this!” My sister and I deliberated to know how our mom would define “quality of life” and prayed about the decision. At the time, we were in process of cleaning out her home so our family could move back there with her. That very day I visited the house and found a piece of paper in her handwriting. It said, “Happiness is:” and she had listed “Family” and “Music.” It was our answer. We decided that as long as there was the possibility for her to experience and enjoy these two things, quality of life for her would be achieved. We decided to pursue continued medical care and rehabilitation. She came off the ventilator and my sister and I were able to care for her at home.

Though my mom required a great deal of care during her last two years of life and my sister and I stretched ourselves nearly beyond capacity providing it, this was a sacred time. Though my mom’s communication was very limited, even to the last few days of her life she could sing songs with us. She demonstrated awareness of us and her grandchildren as they bustled around her. Sometimes several weeks went by without her being able to say a word, but then suddenly she would speak. A few weeks before she died, I asked her, “Are you doing okay, Mommy?” I didn’t necessarily expect a reply, but (despite enduring two years of requiring total care and tube feeding), she said, “I am doing okay. I’m doing just fine.” That confirmed to me that she did have a sense of well-being and that we had represented her wishes accurately when, two years before, we had prayed to know what to do.

When has God guided you? How can you be guided now, in your current situation?

 

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