"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you."
~ Psalm 39: 7
This week I sat with a woman who shared that she felt like her journey in hospice has become "stagnant." Laying in bed, waiting on her health to decline and death to overcome her body. I must admit, these are difficult conversations. The initial news that they are going to die, and the acceptance that we are mortal, has become a reality.
Waiting patiently in expectation does not necessarily become easier as we become older.
I will often talk about the "new normal," that the person is now experiencing as they await their death. One person told me a few months ago that she was "learning patience," while "learning to live within God's timing."
Often my conversation with folks at this point will be about the loss of personal control. They are no longer able to drive, do the laundry, go to the mail box, or even dress themselves. The term "one day at a time," takes on new meaning. There is no longer the expectation of something new is about to happen. I often hear people telling me that they are "bored."
The challenge of aging is waiting with an ever-greater patience and an ever-stronger expectation. It is living with an eager hope, even when we feel that our life has become stagnate. Stagnation, or the feeling of not moving forward with our lives, can happen at any moment. The challenge is to remain faithful that God is still working in our lives, even when we experience silence.
I am reminded that the Latin verb patior means "to suffer" We get our word patience from this word. Waiting patiently, as some might think, means suffering through the moment.
The feeling of being stagnate should actually be seen as active waiting in which we live in the present moment. Waiting patiently means paying attention to what is happening right before us, without passivity, knowing that God is waiting with us.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.