The most inspiring stories for me are normally the ones you rarely get to hear….the everyday heroes who are confronted, on a daily basis, with massive challenges, yet choose to deal with them with courage and strength, determination and resilience. Lorna Eaton is one of those people. There are many things to love about Lorna, including her love for colour and gorgeous quirky shoes. I first met Lorna when she was looking after my kids in the crèche at our church when we first took on the church as Senior Pastors and was astounded by her gift to connect so well with my children but there was so much more. There has never been a time when I have listened to Lorna speak without coming away inspired by her courage. I have written often this year about being a conduit of God’s Favour and Lorna has articulated this in a way that will inspire you to take another look at your own life and see things with a different view. What do you need strength for? This woman is daring to flourish… Lorna is a wife, a mother and a grandmother and one of our amazing Hills Church women
“God never gives me more than He knows I can handle”. My daughter told me this about 15 years ago. How wise she is and how well she knew the Lord. I did ask how she knew this and she gently responded, “You are still here!”.
Since this time I have carried this in my heart. There are days when I think it is too much and then I remember that God never promised happy days all the time. He said “come to me all that are weary and burdened and I shall give you rest”.
I need God in my life and as I said to a dear friend, ‘If I die and find out it is all a lie, I will at least have lived a good and noble life, as God would have wanted me to.’
My life seems to be in a constant state of turmoil. My husband whom I love dearly and committed to spend my life with 39 years and 10 months ago no longer lives with me….. This is not the life I planned and there are moments when I feel angry for what life has taken from us. Early Onset Dementia has taken my husband from me. He has lost the ability to speak, read or write, apart from “yes” and “no” but he has started getting even these mixed up. We never know if ‘yes’ means ‘yes’ or does it mean ‘no’. I have had to undertake tasks that a wife should never have to do, such as learn to shave and shower him and to just take a deep breathe and get the job done when he has had periods of incontinence. I do not tell you this so you will feel sorry for me but merely to show you that “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me”. This is my prayer as I get the bucket, cloths and warm water. Not only do I do it, I manage to smile while I am doing it.
I remember the smile on his face as I walked down the aisle towards him when we were married. I could see by his eyes and smile how much he loved me. I still see that smile some days and it warms my heart to know that even though he has many losses in his life, he still loves me.
I work for an organization that supports me with my choice to be with my husband each evening to change him into his pyjamas, settle him for the night and remind him that I love him. I am blessed with a family and extended family that support me and support my husband and care for me. I have a church family that remind me that I am worthy of God’s love even though some days I don’t think so, as I have been cross, wasteful or hardened my heart towards someone.
In all this I have experienced a breadth and depth of compassion for my husband that I truly never knew could exist. It sounds like one of the great romances in history. It’s not, it is just that yesterday, today and tomorrow I know God will not change, He is the same and all I need to do is reach out and say God please accept my life into your care for the day. This gives me the strength to do what needs to be done.
Ecclesiastic 3:4 says ‘there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”. Whatever the day brings I know that I am loved and I know that God will not forsake me and this is what gets me through life one day at a time. Today I dance and laugh and if tomorrow I mourn and shed tears I know it won’t go on forever as my Lord and Savior gives me a life far beyond my expectations.