It was one of my grandmother’s biggest fears.
My grandpa passed away in his mid 70’s – which seems young these days. With his passing, my grandmother live by herself in their home for a number of years until she ended up in the hospital and then a senior’s residence.
That story is pretty common. Men passing away first and widows continuing to live after them on their own. But there is something about my grandma’s story for us today.
My grandma was always prepared for a challenge. She was willing to try things she had never done before. I got my driver’s license the same year she did. My grandfather was not able to drive anymore and she knew someone needed to be able to get them around so she got her driver’s license for the first time in her 70’s.
But after my grandpa passed away, she was about to face a new challenge.
Even though there were children and grandchildren around who would visit her often and make sure she was doing okay, she was still living on her own in their old memory filled house.
I would often stop over just to see how she was doing and invariably would have to have a meal with her. She was extremely hospitable and loved to cook for family. One time we were talking, just catching up on what was happening, and we had a conversation which I will never forget.
She told me about a recent episode she had. She had been home and suddenly was not feeling well. We found out later she was likely having a small stroke. She remembered how she was in the living room when she didn’t “feel quite right”. The next thing she remembers was one of her family members calling out to her and she woke up not sure what had happened but was in her bedroom lying on the bed.
She later recalls being in the living room when this feeling came over her, but she has no recollection of how she got into her bed where she was found.
She recovered from that episode.
As she was telling me about it over lunch, I was aware of the event which had occurred, all of us as family were. But it was the rest of the story which was significant and stuck with me all these years later.
She revealed to me what went beyond the surface of the mystery of how she got into bed that day. She revealed her greatest fear.
After my grandpa had passed away she told me how she had always felt anxious about being on her own. Not because of doing the normal things she had always done, or having to do a little more being by herself. But she was anxious about what she would do if something significant happened to her and she didn’t have anyone else around to help her out. What would happen then? It was the greatest fear in her life. Until…
Until she found herself in her bed that day.
Everything changed after that moment. She was no longer afraid of being alone.
In her understanding of what happened she never did know how she got into her bed, but she realized God had allowed her to go through something quite uncomfortable only to show her how much He cared for the details of her life. When she found herself in her bed, the only thing she could think of was how God had protected her from her greatest fear and enabled her to be safe.
She didn’t fall and hurt herself. She didn’t lay on the floor unable to get to the phone and call for help (a very different era from today). She was kept in His care.
Every so often I will think of the experience of my grandma and the lesson it taught her and continues to teach me.
God sees the details of our lives.
He knows our coming and goings. He understands what we face and He helps us through them. Difficulties come and we may struggle under the weight of them, but He is always there with us. He walks with us through the challenges of life. He watches over us and is concerned about every part we face – even our greatest fears.
We are never alone – for He is present with us. It is a good reminder today.