Follow our weekly news by email

Friday, June 17, 2011

Will I ever learn?

There are so many things that need to be in place before we can pack up and make our move to Swaziland.  Not just our children's education, selling our house, building a house, driving our cars back to Canada because legally we can't sell Canadian cars here in the US, but also the situation with my mom.

As some of you know, I was adopted as a baby by Bernice and Russ Willis.  As the story goes, they were hoping to adopt a boy, but when they saw my charming smile and strawberry blonde curls they couldn't leave me in the store window.  Well, some of that is true.  They were both wonderful parents, and like all of us, did the best they could with what they knew.  I believe in my heart that most if not all parents do the best with that they know and what they have.   Maybe I am alone in that.  I am thankful for their encouragement, love, support and for the countless hours/days/weeks my mom spent on her knees in prayer for me.  I have no doubt that it carried me through many dark days, and phases in life.

My father passed away in 2005 after a grueling 18 month stint in multiple hospitals across southern Ontario.  His passing was sad, but I was thankful that at last he was out of his pain.  My mom has been struggling with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) for almost 20 years and in 2009 had a heart attack and stroke that further limited her mobility.  She spent months in a local hospital and then we had to make the decision to move her in to long term care facility in Guelph where she would receive excellent 24 hour care.  She was not pleased (a GIANT understatement).

My mom is one of those brilliant, no, genius level people, being one of the first women to earn a degree in Pharmacy.  She has been a trail blazer  and was always ahead of her time in health, wellness and natural cures.  She also had determination like no one else I know and she fought to change things that needed changing.  Although I am adopted, I do believe that much of my tenacity and determination was "learned" from my adopted mom.  In the past year mom has been diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia, which among other things, removed the "filter" that we use to filter our thoughts, actions and language.  The woman who never used the word "darn" because it was a replacement for "d-m" is now using "alternative" language with her health care providers (I will admit - THAT makes me laugh and I will also admit that I am thankful she doesn't have access to the internet).  It is just a part of her aging process.

This is getting too long, so let me get to the point.  Now mom only has the very limited use of one arm and is in terrible pain due to the degeneration of her entire body (basically stated).  She is in and out of hospital and fiery mad because in her dementia she believes she can still walk, and plans to move home, buy a new van and get on with life at the age of 80.  Yesterday she was rushed to the emergency room and was refusing care as they tried to get her to sign a waiver to do a CT Scan.  My cousin Kim, who has been a true gift in caring for my mom as she also lives in Gueph, called me from the emergency room. I could hear my mom screaming at everyone in the background like a caged animal.  She was NOT going down without a fight and taking as many people with her as she could.

I was standing in the kitchen with my friend Annemarie who said, "Why don't they sedate her?"  I thought, what a GREAT idea, so immediately texted Kim to ask her to have them sedate her so they could do the tests without her fighting.  I was SO thankful for Annemarie's suggestion and wished I had been so thoughtful and clever.  Kim texted me back and said,  "No need, I prayed for her out loud and she settled right down."

Wow.  So I ask myself, will I ever learn?  Will I ever get to the place that I automatically think of Jesus instead of an alternative "human" solution?  This is not about false guilt or beating myself up, but rather about realizing that if I am going in to the mission field in Africa, I need to spend more time in spiritual preparation so that I am in a place of total dependence on Him.  That is where I want my heart to be, and it is not there yet.

Today I encourage us all to lean in to the truth and knowledge that He is our all in all.  He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and we need nothing other than Him.

Thanks for reading a most personal, and maybe unusual posting.


PS - I love you mom.


  1. Thank you for the personal yet gentle reminder to fully submit and only depend on Him. Thank you Jesus for giving Bernice your peace in the ER and imparting this lesson again for all of us.

  2. Trust in Him and give it all to Him. POWERFUL!

  3. I give Him all the Glory! I prayed loud and with fervour for the peace of Jesus to flood her (as you can imagine I was not the only one in the CT Scan room!) and there was an amazing transformation in her spirit...a calm came over her and she was very co-operative on how to hold her hands, when to hold her breath and release. This is not something that could have been done with her unwillingness. Thank you Jesus! Janine, you are my hero!! I am here in God's perfect timing so you can be in His service where you are. Hugs!!