"You start, Grandma. Don't hit the ball too hard though," hollered my oldest grandson as he waved his tennis racket around. I bounced the ball (green, not pink 😉 ) and then tapped it gently over the net. He ran up and whacked that ball HARD. Hard enough – it went over the fence into the adjoining playground. "Oops," he grinned. "I guess I'd better not hit it too hard either." In the deserted park on that lovely Saturday afternoon, you could hear our laughter ring out loud and clear.
The last couple of months have been sweet for this Sandwich Generation granny nanny. I was blessed to visit close friends and relatives, have had so much fun with various activities for grandparents and grandchildren, and have enjoyed fun and physical exercise and activities – from walks with my senior mom to this fun day of getting back to the tennis court with a grandson.
At the same time, the last couple of months have also been such a tough time for this very same Sandwich Generation granny nanny as I've helped one senior relative deal with total anterior hip surgery and recovery, learned of devastating health news that has hit two different and close friends, and prayed through and with another beloved during her own health crisis. It's definitely been one of those seasons Jeremy Camp wrote about in one of his praise and worship hymn songs, There Will Be A day – "the hurt that tries to grab – The many trials that seem to never end."
I thought of all that recently, on a particularly tough day, as I was driving along. I felt so down, almost to the point of tears, when that song came on. What a blessing to hear the rest of the it, after those sad words, including "There will be a day with no more tears, No more pain, and no more fears…We'll see Jesus face to face." I can't tell you what sweet encouragement those words brought, reminding me of the blessed and comforting Bible verses from Revelation 21:
God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He Who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son."
Those words are so uplifting to all, but I think they are especially meaningful to those of us who are multigenerational caregivers, caring for elderly parents AND young children or grandchildren – both of whom may have difficult health needs. So many of us aren't just helping and hurting for one – but several. And it's hard, isn't it! I know I couldn't do it apart from God and His wonderful grace and provision. Like Jeremy Camp, I cling to the promises of God in the Bible, that someday all suffering will be gone. And until then, I surround myself with the Word of God in words and music and it is such a blessing. Here's one of my Smilebox eCards Creations to bless you and encourage you with music and lovely autumn and fall pictures. 🙂 Just click on the arrow.
As we go about our days ministering to others – in OR out of the Sandwich Generation, let's cling to God and to His promises and comforting Bible verses and KNOW that there WILL indeed be "a day!" I can't wait! How about you?
P.S. When dealing with grief and loss, one of the books that has been a real blessing to me, full of comforting and encouraging Bible verses all about heaven, is by Randy Alcorn – Heaven, along with his shorter devotional about heaven – 50 Days of Heaven: Reflections that bring eternity to light.