Taking Parents into Your Home

Just about this time last year the Lord began speaking to our hearts about bringing my parents into our home to live with us. They had been living on their own over 30 miles from us and we were becoming increasingly concerned about their safety. At 95 and 99 years of age, they were still in relatively good health, but needed assistance with many tasks. Over time it had become necessary to make almost daily visits to make sure they were okay, and so as we prayed, we knew it was time to invite them to live with us.

It was not an easy decision for them or for us. They had lived alone for years and enjoyed the freedom and convenience of their own place. We knew it was going to change our lifestyle (although we did not know how much) and so we all had to pray and hear what God was saying. Just as we had come to peace with the Lord's direction to us, they soon decided that was best for them as well. And, after a time of remodeling part of our home for them and packing boxes and moving furniture, they came to live with us in March of 2013.

To say we had no idea what we were doing would be a gross understatement. We all were in agreement it was God's desire for them and while we knew there would be adjustments, we had no idea of the journey on which we were all embarking. Over the past year we have all been through a process of divine design and are just now beginning to discover God's full purpose and plan in all of this.

We realize that not everyone can take elderly parents into their home and that each case may be different. Our goal is not to lay a guilt trip on anyone, but rather to share some of what we have learned on our journey. We have no doubt that this is God's heart for family and we are privileged that He asked us to enter into this precious school of His. There is much written on eldercare by people far more experienced than either of us. Our desire is to share with you the process that God has led us through and what we have discovered along the way.

There have been good times together and there have been days in which we all wished we had other options. We have laughed together and cried together. And we have cried alone many times. By no means are we saying this is an easy journey, but it is one filled with the wonder of God's unconditional love and His mercies that are new every morning.

God has a plan for family. It began with marriage and continues on from one generation to the next. It is not only about our own marriage and our own family, but also about the generations that came before us and the ones that follow after us. If we have a heart for marriage and family we must learn how this all flows together in His divine plan.

When my parents came to live with us we all knew it was the final chapter. What we didn't know, though, was that God wants the final chapter of life to be as filled with awe and discovery as the first chapter was. My folks are walking their final miles on this earth and preparing to enter into the home He has prepared for them. What a privilege He has given us to walk these miles with them.