How are you? I’m well.
I wrote in my previous blog, “Victory” that I got to know that the Lord would not cast out the evil spirits in my mom, but He would bring her to Himself in peace in His time. At that time, I didn’t ask Him why, but trusted that His ways and thoughts are higher than mine. Being a sole caregiver to my old mom over the last three years, now I think I know why He allowed this time and what He wanted to do through it.
In all honesty, looking after mom with dementia symptoms under the influence of demonic spirits was not always easy. I love feeding mom and I take it a privilege and honor to take good care of her. But sometimes I felt that I was stuck, not being able to go anywhere; neither able to do something I want. The other times, her weird behavior made me lose my patience.
In the last three years, I often had difficulties with guilt and condemnation, after I was not able to contain my anger anymore, and exploded. Sometimes, I was not kind to mom. But whenever I knelt down to repent at night, He just blew me away. He spoke to me, “My daughter, I love you. I don’t condemn you. I know what you’re going through now.” He never condemned me, but I realized it was the voice of the enemy that gave me guilt and condemnation. At the end of year 2018, I heard Him saying, “I will set you free!”, and I kept hearing the message on freedom from many servants of the Lord in early 2019. I felt it was His confirmation. Now, looking back at those years, I think He indeed set me free from the guilt and condemnation.
In addition to the freedom, I found myself changed a little bit year after year. I found myself more patient and kinder to mom than yesterday, though things didn’t change much. I could sympathize with her more than before.
Last year, I read an Os Hillman’s book, “The Upside of Adversity”. He wrote about the three responses to Adversity: Anger, Suck It Up, and Acceptance with Joy. I realized that my response in the past was more like “Suck It Up”. I didn’t really take the time to stay with mom most of the time as a pleasure. But now, I realize that He changed my heart and I am different from what I was. I do not mean that I am on cloud nine every day, but I think I found out His goodness to confine me over the last three years and to teach me. I feel like I took three years of discipleship training. I’m not saying I’m now perfect, but I’m still in the middle of being transformed to be more like our Father. In addition, I realized that He has granted my mom the best season ever. Though she has dementia symptoms and she is not smart or independent as she used to be, she often said to me, “Babe, I’m so grateful to the Lord. It’s my best season in my life. I have delicious foods every day. And I have your company every day. I didn’t even want to think of the days of being alone here, when you were abroad.” And I got to realize that she would never have had nice foods she likes, as she always wanted to give them to her children. She always sacrificed everything good for her children. And I think the Lord indeed gives her the best season, giving her rest and my company.
In January 2020, I also realized that God actually sheltered me into a safe place, and where I also discovered my calling. Just like Joseph needed to be imprisoned with the false accusation for many years to become a prime minister in Egypt, and to save His family in Israel, I think He sheltered me next to my mom at home. If I were not in a position to look after mom at home, I might have jumped around here and there, not finding out the true calling from Him. While spending most of the time with mom at home, I found out the calling to write His story in my life, and it also afforded me the time to write.
I once bought a book on Bible study, written by a Korean pastor who used to be a Korean ambassador in many nations before he was called to full time ministry in a church in Japan. The book was actually written when he was the ambassador, while serving my church as one of the elders. In that book, I read an interesting finding on the reason of Joseph’s being imprisoned two more years after he interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker. He might have felt forgotten by the Lord, but actually he was not. The author wrote that one of the conditions to be a prime minister in the Ancient Egypt at that time was the age of thirty or above. He was called to Pharaoh, king of Egypt two years after the interpretation of the prisoners’ dreams. And it was when he was thirty years old. (Genesis 41:46) The Lord had everything in His plan and orchestrated all of the events.
King David was anointed in secret many years before he became a king. He had to spend many years like a fugitive, knowing he would be a king in the future. And Moses was sheltered and trained for forty years before he led the Israelites out of captivity.
I believe it was all His discipleship training. Through the training, they learned faithfulness, hope, patience, and so on. Now, I’m more grateful to the Lord than before, for granting me the season of confinement and the season of being sheltered. I trust that He has been putting all pieces together, to make one of His great masterpieces.
Does my story speak to you? Do you feel you’ve been stuck like Joseph so many years? I encourage you not to suck it up, but to accept it with joy. Easier said than done, right? But our faithful Lord will end your discipleship training when He sees you as pure gold. Imagine you will be glowing like the pure gold!
Have a bliss!
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (2 Peter 1:5~9)