Hello. My name is Wendy and I am a child of Alzheimer’s. Yes, I am a daughter of parents who both suffered from cognitive decline. My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and my mom was diagnosed with dementia and they lost their battles with this memory thief. Quite frankly, cognitive decline scares me way more than the virus being dealt with these days.
I had a moment of confusion the other day, and it caused a little bit of a panic in me. I was in a new school building reading to PreK children. A friend had also joined me. When we finished with the PreK students, this friend wanted to head to the first grade classrooms we had read to a few weeks prior so she could share a gift with them. As we began to venture to those classrooms, my memory failed me as I thought those classrooms were on the next floor up. She reminded me they were on the same floor just over on the other side. While we were chatting and walking to the other side, I got a little discombobulated on which way to go.
When I returned home, I fretted about this confusion for a little while. I’m sure you can imagine the negative rabbit hole my thoughts jumped down. “What if I have early onset of cognitive decline? What if I end up in a nursing home like my parents did? What if, what if…”
I am not a fan of the words what if… As Matthew West sings in his song, “Is my story gonna have the same two words in every chapter? What if, what if? What I’m trying to say is I don’t wanna say these words again, What if, what if!”
I decided to call my daughter to talk it through with her. She is good at speaking words of reassurance to her mom.
She gently reminded me: “Mom, you know you get disoriented easily. That is not unusual for you. Don’t let satan do that to you! You are just fine. It’s a brand new building and you were in a different classroom!” After we hung up, I didn’t even try to fight the tears. I just let them fall because tears of relief have a cleansing effect.
I love Jesus and I believe in scripture! So, WHY on Earth do I allow these fears to become a stronghold in my mind and heart? I know I am to “fear not” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV), to “not worry about anything” (Philippians 4:6 NLT), and that “worry does not add any single hour to my life” (Matthew 6:27 NIV)! Yet, these fears sneak in and try shoving me into a deep dark hole. Grrr…
Well, after the encouraging words from my daughter and after my tears finally stopped flowing, I lifted up a prayer and boldly asked Jesus, again, to protect my mind and my heart and to help me replace the lies of the enemy with truths from God’s Word.
So, here is the truth…
Hello. My name is Wendy and I am a child of the one true king, daughter of my Savior and best friend, Jesus, who loves me unconditionally. I know “His goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6 ASV) no matter what life challenges come my way. Furthermore, as Priscilla Shirer has preached: “Jesus is our savior, our guide, our peace, our joy, our comfort, our Lord, and…He reigns to bring us peace.”
Those are the truths I want to focus on! Those are the truths I need to replace the lies!
Will I never fear again? Oh, heavens no. Every single day I need to intentionally capture my thoughts, and give my absolute best to change my mindset to thinking positive thoughts and quote the Truth instead of focusing on lies!
Here is our challenge…to think about such things such as “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8 NIV). To start speaking life over ourselves and others (like my daughter did with me when I called her) rather than speaking death. To delete all our “what ifs.” And finally, let us defeat all lies that torment us, and replace them with Truth! God’s Truth!