Alzheimer’s is No Match for the Spirit of God

by Kathy Howard @KathyHHoward

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.                                                                                                                               Psalm 139:11-12, ESV

It’s been a long goodbye. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s more than a decade ago. And although physically she is still with us, we have been losing her by bits and pieces for years. According to her doctor, Mom is now in the final stages of this cruel disease, in her last weeks. She is on a hospice wing of a nursing home in Knoxville, Tennessee where my brother lives. I live in Texas. I wish I could simply sit by her until she goes to meet Jesus, but the nearly one thousand-mile trip makes that difficult.

But recently, my daughters and I spent several days with her. They wanted to see their grandmother one last time. Their visit was hard but good. She never “recognized” them, but she did focus on them, hold their hands, and interact. It seemed as though she knew she should know them and was cheered by their presence.

After they flew home, I stayed a while longer. One afternoon, I sat beside Mom’s bed, holding her hand, and my sweet sister-in-law sat holding her other. Up to that point, Mom’s conversation hadn’t made much sense. She put words together into sentences that had no meaning. But that afternoon was different. Something very precious and amazing happened.

I asked Mom to tell us about Jesus. And that’s when it happened.

She closed her eyes and a serene look came over her face. When she spoke, her voice was filled with awe and wonder. And her words made so much sense. I wish I had recorded it. She said things like “He is so good… He is so powerful… He helps me… He helps me be good. He is so wonderful.”

Mom went on for several minutes without any prompting or encouragement. Then when she finished talking about Jesus, she opened her eyes and her communication reverted to what it had been before.

God allowed me to witness answered prayer that day. One of my regular petitions for Mom is that God will continue to give her awareness of His presence with her in these final days. Oh yes, in this dark valley of circumstances, God is with my mother.

Psalm 139 teaches us incredible truths about the presence of God. He is omni-present. We could not escape His presence if we tried. We do not encounter any hard thing alone. We do not walk into any dark place without Him lighting the way before us.

Not even Alzheimer’s is a match for our powerful, ever-present God. He is able to penetrate even that and touch my mother’s soul in a way nothing else can.

That afternoon at my mother’s bedside, I saw the Holy Spirit override the deficiencies in her brain. Alzheimer’s could not contain Mom’s praise for Jesus. Oh yes, He is good and He is powerful!

Alzheimer’s is No Match for the Spirit of God – encouragement from @KathyHHoward on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Kathy HowardAbout the author: A former “cultural Christian,” Bible teacher and speaker Kathy Howard now lives an unshakable faith for life and encourages women to stand firm on our rock-solid God. The author of eight books, Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education. She and her retired husband live outside the Dallas/Ft Worth area with their miscellaneous assortment of dogs. Find free discipleship resources on her website, and connect with Kathy on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest.

In 30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents, author and fellow caregiver Kathy Howard offers encouragement and wisdom on giving your parents the kind of care that pleases God, providing the honor and respect that will allow them to maintain their dignity.

Join the conversation: Has God answered a prayer of yours lately? Please share!



10 thoughts on “Alzheimer’s is No Match for the Spirit of God

  1. Kathy, I experienced something similar with my mother. Most days she screamed for help, but if you asked her a question about a Bible character, she answered correctly, and if you started a verse of scripture she could finish it.

    Thank you for sharing. Prayers for your mom and your family.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve also been in the place and challenge of helping. My mother-in-law suffered from LewyBodies Dementia and lived in our home for the 2 1/2 years before she joined Jesus in heaven. I’m so glad the Lord strengthened us. Thank you for sharing, Kathy.

    Liked by 3 people

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