It was possibly 15 years ago at a PK event that I was impacted by a 10-minute video that played during the conference after the morning break. I decided after watching that video that this would be my choice in the future if I faced a similar situation.
Sometimes it is the effect of what seems peripheral at the time that has an enduring impact. Never underestimate what God can do if you are intentional in connecting with and learning from Him.
The video showed a condensed story of a retired man whose wife was suffering from dementia. He was looking after his wife and was experiencing loneliness and lack of affection. He is befriended by a widow who is a nearby neighbour. When the friendship starts to grow, the man is challenged in his walk with God that this friendship is not healthy, and he is breaking his marriage covenant to love his wife until death do they part. So he advises his new widow friend that his contact with her must cease, explaining he is reaffirming his love and commitment to his wife. The widow then makes the comment that this example of integrity is what attracted her to him in the first place.
This video deeply impacted me then and I resolved that should I face such a situation in my life I would choose to follow the example modelled in this clip.
I am now in my late 60’s and although my wife doesn’t have dementia, she has lost the right to drive. This event three years ago greatly reduced the freedom my wife has of doing many things easily. It created a new normal for us to navigate. For me to consider not having a driver’s license would be a huge change to my quality of life. I value the freedom of travelling when I choose on my timetable and to lose that would require a huge adjustment on how I live life in this later season.
It was in this time that the video clip from 15 years ago came to mind which I had chosen to lay hold of and apply should the need arrive. The application of that video in this new season of our lives has resulted in a decision to be my wife’s Uber driver as a first call responsibility of my time, to make her life as normal and fulfilling as possible.
I think the outworking of this change has been positive for us as a couple. Please don’t hear me compare loss of one’s driver’s license to dementia. But change does need us to re-evaluate how we live out our lives that is enriching and life giving to both parties in the marriage.
In my decision to act upon this prompting I was acknowledging that “God is always speaking” and the Gospel of John tells me that the sheep know the voice of the Shepherd (John 10:4). This situation was no different. Look expectantly to God whatever your present situation looks like. He can make the good better or the difficult manageable! God may be offering something new for you, but like me He may also bring to recollection knowledge from the past which is appropriate for right now. Whichever way it goes, my experience shows me that a prompt from the Holy Spirit and/or the Word of God usually brings meaningful change. My encouragement to you is when you get a nudge from the Holy Spirit and/or the Word of God follow it. Then you are allowing the supernatural to enter into your situation.