Day: May 17, 2018

When there is no encouragement and no “good”word

(I’m reposting this as this week has been all about anxiety, and my anxiety was at an all-time high during this particular time in my life which is why I’m reposting it during this series. I reread every word and haven’t changed a word because it was how I felt then and it was honest. My mother did die of dementia a few months after this, about one year ago.)

These are verses from Proverbs 12:25 taken from various Bibles.

New International Version

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

New Living Translation
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
New American Standard Bible
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
King James Bible
Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.
This is one of my favorite verses.
But guess what?
  • Sometimes there are no “good” words to say.
  • Sometimes there are no words of encouragement.
  • Sometimes there is nothing anyone can say that helps.
Have you ever been there? When there can be no “good” outcome?
If you’re struggling as I am with a similar situation, maybe this will help.
You all know my mom has been diagnosed with dementia. I’ve tried hard not to believe this. I’ve explained away all her symptoms as something else. But the confusion is increasing. My brother and I are pretty discouraged as we see the future and it doesn’t look good.
Is there any “good” word that anyone can say?
Nope. Not today anyway.
Before you judge my faith, this is truly a case of  “unless you’ve had this horrible disease impact your life”, you have no clue.
Where my faith does come in is not what “good” words anyone might say but only the promise that somehow, some way, God will keep his promise to me, “that he will never give me more than I can handle”. Right now I don’t see how that can be but I trust God because I know he sees the big picture.

God sees the big picture

 I only see this little microscopic and miserable part of my current situation. There is nothing “good” about dementia. There is no good “word” anyone can say. And everyone who’s experienced this with a loved one knows what I’m talking about.
There is no mention of dementia anywhere in scripture. I will be honest and say, “This really bothers me.” I mean at least if I had some specific story I could relate to, some “words” I could quote from scripture that says “Here’s what you do when someone is diagnosed with dementia”, that would help.
But there’s nothing.
So what are we to do?
  • I’d like to think my faith will be strengthened, but I think it’s likely to be challenged instead.
  • I’d like to think I’ll have an inspirational story to tell someday, but there’s nothing inspirational about dementia.
  • I’d like to think I’ll come out on the other side of all this a better person but I worry that I won’t. I could go on……
But what it really boils down to is one word that I’m clinging to:


Tomorrow grace might present itself in a book or a song. Grace has no limitations. God can use whatever vehicle he wants to send grace our way. The only thing we have to do is recognize it.

I am counting on God’s grace showering me time and again in God’s most creative ways.  I am thankful today that we do indeed serve a loving and gracious God who comforts us when we are tired, angry, confused, directionless, flailing about, etc.

I hope this helped and God bless you today.
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