This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

She is a Miracle, she just doesn't believe it.

>> Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Part of the struggle in the life of a Christian is the desire to pursue God's will for our lives, yet not always knowing what that is. When we add our own desires, the desires of those around us and what the world says our pursuits should be, staying on track can be difficult, to say the least. It is not in our human nature to be self-sacrificing and to glorify someone other than ourselves. Both of those things are necessary to be living as God has intended for us. As I grow in years, I want nothing more than to be able to look back at my life and see God's fingerprints all over what I have accomplished. There is a woman in my life that can do just that if she chooses, but I'm not always sure that this occurs to her.

I think when my Aunt Maureen looks back at her life so far, she sees a lot of things she wishes were different. Different choices on the part of herself and the ones she loves. I think she wishes that she had had children of her own, and that her family members had lived without the diseases they have faced and succumbed to. I think she wishes that a lot of the wounds she's received at the hands of people she trusted weren't there. I think she thinks that life would be so much better if these things had been different, and she may be right.

When I look back at her life so far, though, I see something very different. Her father, my Grandpa Lou, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at a very young age. He became unable to care for himself, and though he lived thousands of miles away, my Aunt brought him here and took care of him, eventually even building her house especially to accommodate him and his needs. She cleaned, cooked and cared for him, even when that became extraordinarily difficult. Even now, as he's in heaven, she cares for his memory. Not long after this, her mother-in-law had to have her leg amputated and needed to be cared for. My Aunt took on the responsibility, once again becoming housekeeper, laundress, cook, nurse and companion to an elderly family member. It would never have occurred to my Aunt not to.

Now my Grandma has cancer. She lives over a thousand miles away from us, and yet my Aunt travels to be with her on a very regular basis. Cooking for her, cleaning for her, taking her to doctor's appointments and keeping her company. You can hear the difference in my Grandma's voice on the phone when my Aunt is there. She is being nourished, both with food and with love. The chemo and the cancer have much less power over her when she is being cherished and cared for the way my Aunt does.

When I look at my Aunt's life, I see God's direction all over it. Had she children of her own, she would never have been available to care for these individuals who needed her so much. Had she worked in a traditional job, she would have not been able to do all the things necessary to provide. I don't think my Aunt Maureen knows what a special, giving person it takes to sacrifice the way she does. I don't think she knows what a miracle she is in the lives of these loved ones. I don't think she knows what a miracle she is to me, or my mom, or my brother. We can't do the things she does, but knowing that someone is caring for my Grandma makes all the difference in the world to us.

Aunt Maureen, I know it's not always easy to give the way you do. I know there are days when it's frustrating and you feel like you're all alone. Please know that you are not. You are cherished, you are prayed for, you are thought of and you are walking the steps God prepared in advance for you to take. You are a miracle and I could not love you more.


Anonymous,  October 16, 2007 at 11:05 AM  

Aunt Maureen has always been one of the most giving people I know. Self-sacrificing, patient, and unconditional love are all words that come to mind instantly when thinking about her. She truly is a miracle, a rarity in this day and age. Also, I pray for your Grandma often.


Rachel October 16, 2007 at 6:17 PM  

Wow, I don't know any of you at all, but I subscribe to your blog and this is a great post. It's great to know such people. Thanks for sharing about her. I'm blessed just hearing her story!

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