And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
Over the last few weeks (aka since school started), I’ve been ill. We didn’t make it through the first week of school without one of the kids catching something and sharing it with the rest of us.
Four weeks later, I’m still sick but with something else. When your immunity is down, it’s easy to get sick. I’ve had one or two decent days and one really good day in four weeks. This past Wednesday, I felt normal. Yet, as I went to bed that night, I knew my good day was over. After a night of very little sleep, I went back to the doctor.
Why am I telling you this? Because people don’t get what grandparenting (being a grandparent raising grandchildren) does to us. I wrote about this last week and heard from several grandparents in the same boat. They thanked me for saying what I did.
I’m guessing some readers, found my bluntness a bit uncomfortable. That’s ok. I’m not attacking or blaming people. I’m trying to create an understanding for the 2.5 million grandparents in my shoes. We are a growing population.
We do what we do for love. We trust in God to help us, but it’s terrifying to look at our retirement and realize we planned to support two adults, not to raise more children.
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Psalm 71:17-18
That is what He’s asked us to do, to proclaim Him to another generation of children. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why He chose us to do it in this way, but He did. But herein lies the problem: my sickness.
As my illness continues, I’ve become weak and exhausted. At a time when income becomes most important, the circumstances make it hard to maintain that income. I would love to retire and focus completely on my writing and the grandchildren (not just the two who live with us), but I’m not retirement age, and I’ll probably have to work longer than I originally planned in order to make sure we survive.
And we’re the lucky ones. Most grandparents who are raising grandchildren, live below the poverty line.
We do have the Bible verses like those in this post to encourage us, and for those of us whose faith already sustained us through many trials, our faith brings comfort. But we’re human and struggling. In the moment it’s hard to remember to turn to God. That’s probably why my last post came across strong to some people. I’m not apologizing for that. It’s important to help people understand the struggles other people experience. You can’t do that by sugar-coating the truth.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
This is the main purpose of this blog: helping people understand the struggles of others as well as revealing how my struggles built my faith in God.
Will you take a moment today to stop and pray for the grandparents and grandchildren in this situation? It’s not easy, and we need your support.
Are you a grandparent raising grandchildren? What’s your biggest struggle? I want to hear from you! If you’re a grandchild who was raised by a grandparent, I’d love to hear from you, too.