Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Honor Thy Mother
My mother-in-law has been fighting Stage 4 ovarian cancer for over 7 years now. I have to say, in my book, she has done an amazing job at fighting (and it has been a fight), and she continues to do so. This past month has been the most difficult for her as her chemotherapy has changed and her body absolutely hated it!! This weekend my husband and his sister had their Mom admitted to the hospital. She was in terrible condition. She had been terribly dehydrated and her blood pressure was something like 60/80. She was disoriented and her body had gone into renal failure.
I have known my mother-in-law for 20 years (I've been a daughter-in-law for almost 19 years). I went to hospital to see her on Sunday after church and this is where my story begins. I tiptoed into her room, hands full of cards written and drawn with much love from my boys. The faith of my boys ministers to me greatly (but that is another blog)! I go in and for the first time I see my mother-in-law with her bald head. She is careful to always have it hidden, at least in my presence. I know my husband and his sister have seen her this way, but not me. She was beautiful. She didn't expect me (I didn't call ahead of time), but she seemed pleasantly surprised. I came over and sat beside her and we talked through the pictures and cards from my boys. She laughed as she read each one, particularly amazed at Shane's penmanship and the "Z" on Kyle's picture of Jesus. Of course I had to explain that Kyle says "Jesus" like "Zesus" so hence the "Z" on the shirt of Jesus. I placed the cards on her table and sat down again. I asked her what I could do for her while I was there and she asked me to do a few things. My heart just leaped inside my chest, because like her son, it is hard to help them when they need it. I think in runs in that family - that whole independence thing.
I sat down next to her and said that I know that she generally doesn't like visitors (she hasn't in the past), but that I just wanted her to know how much we love her and that we are praying for her and my whole church is praying for her too. Then she reached out her hand to hold mine. My heart was so moved. I got a little choked up. She has never reached out to me like this before. She held my hand tightly and said, "I'm glad you are here, you are family!" Well, that just about did it for me. It took everything to hold back my emotion. I squeezed her hand back and told her that I have always loved as if she were my own. I wanted her to know that Mike and I will always be there for her and that she must know that there is no end to our love and we want her to know that it truly is our desire to honor her. Whatever she needs, she needs just to ask.
As we sat there hand in hand, we talk of a few other things and then I knew that my sister-in-law would be coming soon so I wanted to give her a chance to rest. I stood up and told my mother-in-law that I wanted to "lay hands on you and pray for you". I don't think she knew what I meant when I said "lay hands", but she soon found out. I place one hand gently on her beautiful bald head and one on her heart and I prayed something like this: "Father in Heaven, I love you so much! I am so glad that you are all that we ever need Lord, you are the Great I Am. Lord, I bring before You my "mother" and I ask Lord that you would reach down from Heaven and touch her body. Pour out Yourself for the healing of this woman's body and spirit. Lord, I pray that she would sense Your presence. I pray that You would send your Holy Spirit to comfort her soul and her body. Set a hedge of protection around her heart and mind. Line up her body with the Word of God. Father, you created her and even knew her before she was born, you have command over ever cell in her body, heal her Lord and may she give you all the Glory. In Jesus Name.....Amen".
As I prayed over her, I felt the peace of God all over her body. I could feel her heart under my hand and it beat so calmly. Her breathing was steady.....there was peace. I reach over and kissed that beautiful bald head and thanked her for letting me visit. She thanked me for coming, I told her I love her and I left.
Thank you Lord for allowing me to honor my mother-in-law. Please continue to do a work in her heart and in her body!