Today's daily devotion

The Strength to Deal With It

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.—PSALM 55:22 (NIV)

Paranoia was the most frustrating aspect of dealing with my mother, who has Alzheimer’s. I was the only person she trusted. Her delusions exhausted me. I dreaded her calls—the phone rang 24/7. Family members were stealing her money. Next-door neighbors were sneaking into her house to take her clothes. The postman was giving her financial information to strangers. I tried to prove she was wrong through security cameras and bank statements. That didn’t help.

So then I tried validating her feelings instead. “I’m sorry, that must be so frustrating for you,” or “If that happened to me, I would be mad, too,” seemed to calm her down.

Eventually Mom’s memory loss progressed to the point that the paranoia disappeared. I felt guilty for how relieved I was when the phone calls stopped.

But now my mother-in-law has begun calling me instead. “You’re the only person I trust. The kids are taking my money. The man next door is spreading rumors about me. Strangers are making counterfeit money in my bedroom.”

After her first call, I prayed, “God, I’m not strong enough to do this again.” I felt his response: “They trust you. How much more should you trust me? I will give you the strength.”

So the next time my mother-in-law called, I settled on the couch to listen to her latest concerns. “I’m sorry,” I told her. “That must be so frustrating for you.”

Lord, thank you for the reminder that I can cast my cares on you and trust you to strengthen me.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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