Serenity During Pain & Suffering

Serenity Prayer

 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18 (NKJV)

Dear One,

The Serenity Prayer has always been one of my mom’s favorite prayers. I am clinging to it now and ask for your prayers of support. My whole family needs wisdom, comfort, and guidance.

After a lovely but trying visit with my parents this Thanksgiving, it has become very clear that my mom’s health is quickly slipping as her memory fails. My dad has a big job caring for her needs. They are soul mates and their love has been a testimony to many people over half a decade. They met on a blind date at the University of Michigan and were engaged within three months after their first meeting. Within a year they were married. Together, with God in the center of their relationship, they have faced many trials and joys in their 55 years together.

Now is a time when our hearts are breaking and decisions must be made. How do I watch the mother I adore, suffer the physical and emotional anguish God has permitted, with serenity? How do I remain calm and tranquil…. peaceful in the midst of this heartache? Is it even possible?

YES, it is POSSIBLE…. just not very easy. 

If you deeply care for a loved one who is suffering, you want God to stop their pain. You don’t want to see them suffer. But dear one, it is not our place to tell God how to refine His children. My mother is HIS child. HE loves her more than my dad or I can even imagine. God loves your precious one much more than you can imagine as well. God knit us together. He knows what it takes to transform us into the beings He imagined before time existed and man walked the earth.

Do I understand why my sweet mother must suffer such pain, humblings, and loss? No. Do I believe God has a GOOD reason for her suffering ….. a loving reason? YES! Why and how can I possibly believe there is profit coming out of such angst, misery, and sorrow? It is because I believe in the faithfulness of my Creator, Her Creator, YOUR Creator.

I believe God treasures my mom, and in faith I trust that this short time of suffering will not compare to the glory soon to be revealed in her. Heaven and salvation, eternal life with no more pain, tears, or suffering will soon be her reward. There are just a few more impurities He must bring to the surface in order to complete her refinement.

It is my job to encourage her to finish the race laid before her in life. We can do all things through Him who gives us strength. She will not be given anything beyond her ability to bear. My dad will not be handed anything beyond his ability to bear, nor I. Will my family help her carry the cross on her back and cheer her on to heaven’s gate? You must know we will. 

My mom will be sorely missed when He finally takes her home, there is no question about that! She has touched many lives with her love, charity, and hospitality. However, with assurance in my heart, I know l’ll see her again.

Letting go of those we love is never easy. But when I think of my mom in her new body, free of pain, confusion, and sorrow…. I am able to loosen my grip and agree to let the angels guide her home. I still have some precious memories yet to build. Thankfully, there is a season He gives to some of His children in order to prepare their hearts for what lies ahead. I am thankful for this season and will hold each moment He supplies with a thankful heart. 

Father God,                                                                                                                                        I lift up all who are worried and concerned over the pain a loved one must endure and suffer. Help them to trust YOU with their care. Give them wisdom on how best to help their precious one, and guide their steps. Meet their needs as they try to support the one who is enduring such hardships. Wipe away the fallen tears of this reader and strengthen them with Your mighty power. Wrap your arms around them with the assurance that You are in control and will never damage the one they love beyond repair. Grant them peace and serenity in the midst of this storm. Place them in the eye of the hurricane and hold their hand.

May all of us find rest at the feet of Christ. Amen.

Comments

  1. I pray your prayer back over you and your parents Cheryl. Lots of love and hugs. Thank you for reaching out in the midst of your own pain to comfort and wncourage others in theirs. You are a great blessing!

    • Cheryl Zelenka says:

      Thank you Janey. You are the first to read this post and to write a comment. I cherish your prayers. Please keep my dad in prayer. My heart is aching for him just as much as it aches for my mom, if not more. It is so hard for the ones left behind when true love is written all over the heart.

  2. Dear Cheryl,
    I am reading this post until now. You have been in my prayers before, and now I will pray for your family too.

    • Cheryl Zelenka says:

      Sandra,
      Thank you for your prayers. My parents are also Catholic, like you! Things are still up in the air about mother’s care. I will visit them the first week of January. Hopefully, I can be a sounding board and encouragement to my dad and a comfort to my mom. God bless you! Cheryl