Learning Trust

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Mama said such an unusual thing to me last night. Maybe she didn’t even know what she was saying. But sometimes I think God is sending me lessons through her random words. And some things stand out crisp and sharp.

After our visit, right before I left, Mom was walking down the hall and I held my arms open wide and said, “Can I have a hug?”

And Mom said, “Sure!” and walked into my arms. And as she was giving me a sweet, long hug she said something I’ve never heard her say before. She quietly said, “I trust you.”

“You trust me?” I asked, checking to see I’d heard right.
“Yep,” Mom said. And then she walked over to her rocking chair and sat down.

I’ve been thinking about it, on and off, ever since. And it’s hitting me that people with dementia have no choice. They have to count on the people caring for them, whether they understand what trust means or not.

People with dementia are vulnerable. If they don’t like how a care giver is treating them, what can they do? They are totally dependent on those who love them to look out for their best interests and make wise choices for them.

People with dementia need someone to be sensitive to their needs as they become less and less able to express their needs themselves. Someone has to care about what they eat and what they wear and when they get bathed. Someone has to be counted on to notice medical concerns and get appropriate help.

Someone has to be trusted to do what is best for a person when they can’t figure that out for themselves anymore. Someone has to stand guard and make sure they are not neglected or abused. Or forgotten.

The person with dementia is dependent on the mercy and compassion of others. Someone has to be tuned in enough to notice what calms fears. And to care enough to show love and affection. And to bring moments of joy and laughter.

Someone has to be trusted. Someone has to be faithful. Someone has to keep loving through the storms and messes and tantrums.

What a challenging job it is to be that “someone”. I’m so thankful for the steadfastness of my dad in that role, and I’m honored to be on his support team.

And when things get overwhelming, I’m so grateful we have Jesus watching over us. What a privilege to know that we can take shelter under His wings, and bring Him all our problems and needs. And that we can say with confidence, “I trust You.” And know absolutely that He is worthy of that trust and that He is faithful always.

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