Life Awry – By MVC Guest Author, Karen Barstow
My life story is proof that God, in His sovereignty, His Grace, His love always cares for his children.
When life turns suddenly awry-when what we know is gone,
Where do we turn to find the way, when now we must move on?
How do we shut the door and simply not look back with tears?
Where do we find the hope and strength to face the coming years?
The answers lie in just one place: God’s love will see us through.
His Hand will lead us through the storm, our hope HE will renew.
He’ll wash away the tears that flow; He’ll take away the pain.
When walking with your hand in His, the sun will shine again!
So close this door I must yet treasure memories so dear
For I can face what EVER comes, My Lord walks with me here.
My husband Jim and I were blessed with three kids, ten grandkids and soon to be seven great grandkids. We worked together to build a successful family business in addition to the wonderful way of life which accompanies being farmers. As a family we were a great activist team in our community, our school districts, and in Boy and Girl Scouts. It was a blessed life!!
In 2005 Jim was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. His 24/7 care fell to me: care partner to care giver to care taker those last two years as he became bedbound at home. Jim died Sept 2, 2019 and with God’s Grace I am doing the work of grieving and adjusting to a new normal. I am a nurse—that has been my life role. Jim was the tenth person for whom I was the primary care partner, the fifth to die in our home with the help of Hospice, our kids, and my friend Jesus who sustained me daily. The caretaker role has many challenges, as many of you caring for parents and spouses are well aware. Little by little your roles reverse and the goodbyes add up one by one. Jim and I were blessed to have time to share memories and to say goodbye-so many lose their spouses suddenly.
Today, my life at 77 is far different from what we had expected in retirement. Our 50 year old family business failed; the assets, the privileged way of life, the financial ease, all are gone. As is so often the sad case in Family Business, the very fabric of our family is torn so that we no longer sit at the same table. In the midst of trial and loss, the Lord has continued to hold me in the palm of His hand. I sit beside a window looking out at the beauty of the world he has created: the birds, the trees, the blue sky and know that He Lives.
I have spent my life putting my thoughts and feelings into prose so I share these with you in the hope that you know and feel God’s presence in this challenging time with Covid19. I am blessed to call you friends, my fellow sisters and brothers at MVC.
I know not what tomorrow brings, the future is unknown.
But this I know, without a doubt, I face it not alone.
My Lord and Savior walks with me, each minute of the day,
For I have placed my hand in His, and HE, HE knows the way!