Blog written by Taylor Hobson
How do you deal with a young child, a mother with Alzheimer’s disease, an aging father, and all the craziness life throws? Do you throw a pity party, curl up in the corner and never look up, or do you face the challenges at hand with grace and strength knowing God is guiding you through it all?
This is the situation my parents faced while I was growing up. I am an only child and was privileged to grow up nearby my grandparents, but as my grandma’s Alzheimer’s disease worsened my parents found themselves in a situation of having to move in with my grandparents while navigating raising a child and working full time. The following years were filled with many hardships including; the passing of my grandma, facing years of health issues myself, and the digression of my grandpa’s health. Through all of it, my parents have been a staple in our family. Having to take care of me through years of health problems, involving being handicapped and multiple doctor appointments a week, and caring for my grandpa day in and day out and through the long hospitalizations took a toll on them physically, mentally, and relationally but I never saw them waver in their faith in God.
My mom is the embodiment of legacy, in my mind. She has raised the bar for what it means to live out a life of honor and strength, constantly putting others before herself. The quiet strength within her doesn’t cease to surprises me, no matter what the obstacle is or the impact it will have on her she takes it with a smile. Leaving a legacy is looking beyond yourself to future generations, not just leaving behind a physical legacy, but characteristics that will better future generations and create an example of faith and strength for them to reflect on.
Having strength and aiming to leave a legacy does not mean you don’t have rough days. You are allowed to feel, you are allowed to cry, it is okay. Strength does not mean you don’t feel the weight of the situation, it means you feel it but know it is in God’s hands. When I spoke to my mom about everything she has persevered through and legacy through her eyes she said, “Looking at my dad, knowing he sacrificed everything for us, he’s the best earthly father. It’s an honor to look after him, it’s not easy, but there is a reward far greater in it.” Hearing my mother’s point of view about taking care of my grandfather for most of my life broadened my perspective and helped me see the reward in the midst of this tough season.
I asked my mom what she would say to someone going through a hard situation that is overwhelming and beyond his or her control. She emphasized having friends around you to support you and constantly direct you back to God and His word. In the midst of those tough times in life, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and take a step back from your relationship with God. Having trustworthy friends around you to walk through the journey alongside you can be a lifesaver.
If you are reading this and find yourself in a situation similar please remember God has never left you. He wants to carry you through the hard times but that requires you giving up control and allowing him to do the heavy lifting. Surround yourself with friends- get in a community group! You need an army around you, fighting with and for you. Setting yourself up for success through a relationship with God and a good community will be life changing! It will allow you to focus on what is important and leave a legacy full of strength and compassion. You are capable and equipped- now stand strong with the army God has surrounded you with.