Parkinson’s and God’s Grace

My mom has Parkinson’s Disease.  She was diagnosed with early-onset PD at the age of 49. For several years prior, though, she had been battling health issues, so she has dealt with the effects of her condition for quite some time now.  The tremor that had started in her hands has now progressed to her legs, and we joke that her grandchildren will have a very exciting ride when sitting on her lap someday.  Her walk and speech are different now than what they once were.  She can no longer work outside the home and is very limited in what she can accomplish within it.   And the pain.  I don’t even know the extent to which she feels the muscle pain each day, for she is so quiet about it generally.  But I know that she suffers.  Not as much as some people with disabilities, and much more than what she leads on.

I’m thankful for her sense of humor about this debilitating condition; otherwise, we might cave in to a sort of depression about everything she is losing in the process.  We laugh together as she rides her electric chair up the stairs at her home; but often in the back of mind, I think with sadness about my mother who is not able to walk up and down stairs with ease anymore.  I think about the days when Tim and I will have a gaggle of children in tow, and my mother will never be able to baby-sit them or teach them many of the things she taught me over the years.  They will never hear her voice as the way I heard it: strong but soft, gentle and smooth.  She’s not able to talk like that anymore, and I didn’t realize how much I would miss her sweet voice.  I didn’t realize how much loss would be involved in a condition like early-onset Parkinson’s, so I’m incredibly grateful for my mom’s humor that reminds me: she’s still here, and for that I can be extremely thankful!

Parkinson's and God's grace | Journey of Faith

And when I came across Kara Tippett’s blog a few months ago, I didn’t realize what an impact her life would have on {me} as I think about practical ways to support my mom right now and in the future.  As I wrestle with the losses, and press on to see the joy – and the gift! – of knowing my mom as she is right now and as she will be as her condition increasingly worsens.

Kara is a woman who is dying of cancer, and through her blog, she has shared about the evidences of God’s grace in her story and encouraged others to see His grace in theirs.  And guess what?  I’m seeing His grace in the midst of my hard, which is so different than Kara’s and not as serious in a number of ways; but still difficult.

I’m seeing His grace in allowing me to have {right now} with my mom.  I can enjoy her today – in this moment!  No, she doesn’t walk or talk like she used to, and she’s not able to do a lot of what she could prior to having Parkinson’s.  But she’s here right now.  And today?  Today, she can still talk with me.  She can hang onto my arm as she walks with me.  We can laugh together.  I can enjoy her for who she is {right now}, and I would be wise to do so.  It won’t always be like this.

Parkinson's and God's Grace | Journey of Faith | disability and God's grace

I’m also seeing His grace in the reminder that, while we are all losing out on this side of heaven, it doesn’t even compare to what’s coming on the other side.  Glory awaits us.  Eternity with Jesus.  Perfection forever.  I imagine that on the first night in heaven, my mother will leap for joy as she runs down the streets of gold.  No more suffering, no more pain.  Just Jesus forever and ever.  I can’t wait to be there with her, unbound from all limitations and sitting in the presence of our Savior for the rest of time.

These are the graces I’m aware of today. I’m so glad my mom is here, and  I’m so glad that our hope for heaven is sure because of Jesus.  I can enjoy her today, and together we can look forward to future glory!

Parkinson's and God's Grace | Journey of Faith | disability and God's grace
just me and my mom 🙂

How do you see God’s grace in the midst of your hard?  Is there someone in your life going through struggles; how can you show God’s grace to them today?

 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. -Romans 8:18

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5 thoughts on “Parkinson’s and God’s Grace

  1. Your mom is simply amazing and such a vessel of God’s love! I worked with her at TCPL and what a privilege. Her heart is golden and her total focus is her God and her family!! She is an extraordinary example of grace and courage – I have never known anyone like her. Peace and love to Patricia Hoon!!!

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