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Quieten The Room

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
October 13, 2022 3:30 am

Quieten The Room

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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October 13, 2022 3:30 am

"We've done everything possible to save this leg, all that's left is amputation – when you're ready, we'll have that conversation."

Those words came from Gracie's surgeon, following numerous operations to save her right leg - crushed and disfigured in her 1983 car accident. Everyone in Gracie's life, including me, had an opinion about this – and Gracie understandably struggled mightily during this time. At twenty-five, with a toddler, the decision weighed heavily on her young heart.

Setting an appointment with our pastor, Bob, she limped into his office on her mangled right foot. As she sat quietly in his study, he stated, "Gracie, this room is off-limits to every other voice telling you what to do. My job is to help quieten the noise so you can hear your heart – and God's leading.”

Gracie pondered for more than an hour while Pastor Bob sat at his desk – no words passed between them. Finally, Gracie looked up with tear-filled eyes and said, "I'm terrified of doing this," she whispered. Gaining strength, she continued, "But I can't live this way any longer – it's got to come off."

Nodding somberly, he assured Gracie he'd be with her through the ordeal – and he kept his word.

Sometimes the greatest gift we can give to others struggling with heartbreaking decisions is to clear the room, quieten the noise, and sit with them. Most know what needs to be done, but need a quiet place to process the fear and heartache – while assured that they’re not alone.

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side; bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

leave to your God to order and provide; in ev'ry change he faithful will remain.

Be still, my soul; your best, your heav’nly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. – Kathrina von Schlegel

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As caregivers, we have so many things that hit us all the time, and we can't always nail these things down by ourselves. Who helps you?

What does that look like? I'm Peter Rosenberg, and I want to tell you about a program I've been a part of now for almost 10 years, and that's Legal Shield. For less than $30 a month, I have access to a full law firm that can handle all kinds of things.

If I get a contract put in front of me, if I got a dispute with something, doesn't matter. I've got a full law firm that can help me navigate through all the sticky wickets that we as caregivers have to deal with. Power of attorney, medical power of attorney, I will.

Every bit of it. As a caregiver, we need someone who advocates for us, and that's why I use Legal Shield. So go to Look on the left-hand side where it says Legal Shield. Just select it.

It turns purple. It says, pick a plan. It'll give you some options.

If you don't need any of those, don't select them. Check out and be protected starting today. That's Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosberger. I'm glad that you're with us. I wanted to circle back to something I was recently discussing. It's about our decision-making as caregivers. A lot of times we're making decisions out of despair, out of desperation. Can we make those decisions out of strategic thinking in the middle of our stuff? And let's face it, a lot of us live with desperate circumstances.

And anything that promises even an iota of relief, we often grasp it. All right, I'm saying we. I do that. I don't know if you do that or not. You tell me. Is that something you struggle with?

I mean, because if I'm in the wrong ballpark, let me know. I'm just speaking for myself, but this has been the temptation for me. This has been the struggle for me. It's just like, okay, maybe if I do this, then okay, this will feel better. Or if I do this, then this will help. Or okay, yeah, all right, this guy's promising this and he's got this great product or service.

Or he's saying that these particular vitamin pills will help. And if I'm the only one, please let me know at Hope for the Just go out there, just send me a message. Hey, Peter, you're the only one. Shut up. But if I'm not the only one, indulge me for a moment because I think this is a problem for us as caregivers in that we are often finding ourselves making decisions out of desperation.

And that is no way to run a railroad. And in light of that, if you'll bear with me, I want to tell you a story. Well over 30 years ago, Gracie was struggling with the reality of what had happened to her lower limbs. Both of her legs took the brunt of this terrible wreck at 83. So here we are back in 1990 and 91, and she has tried so many different surgeries to save that right leg in particular, which for all intents and purposes was amputated at the time of the wreck, but they were able to graft it back on. And her surgeon said, we've done everything possible to save this leg and all that's left is amputation.

When you're ready, we'll have that conversation. Everybody in Gracie's life, including me, I'm embarrassed to say, had an opinion about this. And Gracie understandably was struggling mightily during this time. And she was trying to be respectful of everyone else that wanted a way in, which was very gracious of her, but unnecessary, because really it had only to do with her and I guess by extension me, but mostly just her. There was two ladies that came up to, we didn't really know them that well, but they did.

Know them that well, but they felt the need to jump into our lives. And they told Gracie that she was in rebellion. If she went ahead with this amputation and they prophesied, can you see the air quotes that I'm using on that prophesied in air quotes?

Can you see that? They prophesied that God would heal her leg in June, and this was in February. Okay, so they're taking this 25-year-old woman who's struggling with one of the hardest decisions anybody could have to make. And they're telling her that you are in rebellion to God if you do this, and he's going to heal you in June.

The surgery was going to be scheduled for March. This was in February. Well, imagine how that made her feel. At the time, I wasn't adept at dealing with that naming and claimant crowd. And bad theology creates confusion, and it can often lead to shame and guilt and no small amount of resentment. Appropriately responding to people who spiritually bludgeoned the suffering, because that's what they're doing.

Well, to appropriately respond to them, it takes a lot of practice, time, and quite frankly, it takes sound theology. But I was naive and inexperienced, and it left Gracie and me to flounder a bit while we were searching for solid footing, so to speak. And the clamor of all the opinions and the pronouncements from the prophesying folks, combined with our self-doubts and our fears, and it created a wall of noise. It felt like a stack of Marshall lamps at a Van Halen concert, if you could picture that.

Now, that doesn't sound very spiritual, but some of you are going to know what that means. And Gracie found herself, sadly, in a storm of speculation by family and friends. Again, she was 25 with a toddler, and her young heart was heavy under the awful dread of having to look her surgeon in the eye and instruct him to amputate her right leg. She set an appointment with our pastor at the time. His name was Bob, and she limped into his office on her mangled right foot. She had a cane that her dad made for us, a cedar cane. We still have that cane today. It's a little shorter.

That's, all right, let me explain. When she became a double amputee, she wanted to be taller, so she's taller than she was before then. So the cane was too short, but we kept it just for sentimental reasons. She also wanted to be taller. She also wanted a size seven foot, so she could get a better selection of shoes. That's a separate story, all right?

Just leave that alone. But she limped in his office, her left leg was carried the brunt of her damaged right leg, but she made it in there. She sat quietly there in his study, and he looked over at her and he said, all this later, I wasn't there. Gracie, he looked over and he said, Gracie, this room is off limits to every other voice telling you what to do.

He went on to say, my job is to help quieten the noise so that you can hear your heart and God's leading. And Gracie sat there for more than an hour, while Pastor Bob sat at his desk. No words passed between them.

They just sat there quietly for an hour. Finally, she looked up at him with tear-filled eyes and she said, I'm terrified of doing this, she whispered. Gaining strength, she continued, but I can't live this way any longer.

It's got to come off. Nodding very somberly, he assured Gracie he'd be with her through the ordeal, and he kept his word. In fact, just before she went into surgery, we were all praying in the room, and they were left to go down the hall. And the last person to speak to her before she went through those doors into surgery was Bob, and he rushed to her gurney. Sorry, I get a little choked up when I think about it. And I remember seeing this and he rushed and he whispered something in her ear, and she just nodded. Big tears went down her cheek. I never asked her what it was that he said. That's between the two of them.

And then she went into surgery. Sometimes the greatest gift that we can give to those who struggle with brutal decisions is to clear the room, quiet the noise, and just sit with them. Scripture affirms that while God's explanations are rare, he doesn't feel this compelling need to explain himself. He's God all by himself. His explanations may be rare, but his presence is constant. And I think about that with Pastor Bob. You know, he allowed Gracie the stillness and time to be alone with her thoughts. But God goes even further than that.

He assures us that even in our lonely thoughts, in our lonely hearts, he's always with us. More than a hundred years ago, a guy that you may have never heard of, his name was Pastor Cleland McAfee. And he was rocked by the death of both of his nieces, his brothers, little girls. They died within one week.

I mean the same week, same time, basically, of diphtheria. And he had to preach that Sunday. And this little community was absolutely rocked over this. And he struggled to come up with a sermon. And as he was doing this, he started writing out a lyric. And he wrote this hymn that has become one of the most beloved hymns in the world. And that Saturday evening, before the service, the next morning, they went over to his brother's house and the choir of the church gathered outside on the lawn. They sang this hymn, on my CD, Songs for the Caregiver. I put this song on there first because I love it so much.

I'm going to play it for just a little bit here. There is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God, a place where sin cannot be blessed, near to the heart of God. And then the church choir, you know, they sang this to this man and his family after losing both of their daughters.

And then Reverend McAfee got up and preached the next Sunday morning, thinking of his brother and his sister-in-law, the terrible loss that they had. And this hymn has gone on to become one of the most beloved hymns in the most beloved hymns in the entire world. And maybe it's important to you. Maybe you have special memories of this hymn. I know that I do. And I love this hymn.

And I love to play it when my heart is heavy. And sometimes we have to simply quieten the room so that we can think, so that we can just sit, so we can just be still. How many of you understand that?

How many of you understand that sin can molest? How many of you understand how deafening the noise can be from everyone else's opinion, from everyone else telling you what you should do or what you should buy or what you should think or how you should be being a caregiver, how you should be doing all these things? And it just forms a wall of noise.

And you can't even hear yourself think. That's why I love this hymn. And that's why I appreciate so much what that pastor did for Gracie. He helped clear the room. Maybe you and I together can help each other clear the room and just quiet the noise so that we can hear, not only our own thoughts, but hear God's leading and that assurance that He provides to us in the midst of these terrible things that we have to bear, calming our spirits down. I'm going to tell you the rest of the story when we come back. This is Peter Rosenberg and this is Hope for the Caregiver.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberg. That is Gracie and our friend Scatte Springs. Scatte passed away last year. Just an amazing singer. And I wrote that song with a friend of mine. His name is Hank Martin.

He's been on this program before. And Gracie and Scatte just did an amazing job on this. I'll never forget it. And Gracie, that's on her CD, Resilient. Go out to and look under our Music tab.

You see how to get that CD. It's a powerful performance that the two of them gave. And Scatte was just one of the best session singers in Nashville and had his own group. And his daughter is an amazing singer. He was just a wonderful, wonderful man. Love the Lord. And that song is Heaven's Not the Reason. Heaven's not the reason I fall down on my knees. Streets of gold cannot compare to what Jesus did for me. A million angels singing can outshine Calvary. Jesus is all the heaven I need. And I based that when I wrote that song, I based that on two things.

One of them is I got kind of tired of people always talking about winning people to Christ so they could go to heaven. And to me, that seemed a little bit like fire insurance. You know, it seemed a little bit disingenuous.

And I thought, is that it? And I go back to, scripturally, look at what Thomas did when Jesus revealed himself to Thomas. Now remember, Thomas was not there with the disciples when Jesus appeared after his resurrection to the disciples. You remember, Thomas was missing. And he said, I'm not going to believe this until I touch his side, touch his hands, with my own eyes.

I want to see this. And everybody, I think, unfairly calls him doubting Thomas. But I can't say that I wouldn't be just like him. So I think it's a little bit unfair to call him doubting Thomas. But regardless, what did Thomas say when Jesus did appear to him? And you go to John chapter 20, and that passage there is, I think it's 24 through 29. And when he did see the nail prints, when he did see the wound on his side, Thomas said, my Lord and my God, he didn't talk about heaven. He didn't talk about all the streets of gold and big mansion on the hilltop.

He just saw Jesus and said, my Lord and my God. And that's why I wrote that song, Heaven's Not the Reason I Fall Down on My Knees, because I was thinking, imagining, if you will, like Thomas must've felt and tried to imagine that. So anyway, that's, if you like the song, it's out there on Gracie's CD.

And you can, I think you may be able to download that at Amazon and some other places, but for sure, you can get the CD if you want it. Let me go back to what we were talking about in the last segment here. I kind of left you a little bit on a cliffhanger with Quiet in the Room. I mean, that's this, this concept I've been thinking about for some time.

And I wanted to tell you what happened after that. You know, our pastor, Bob modeled what that hymn affirms in there is a place of quiet rest, you know, that fear, that guilt and shame and confusion that just molest us. That's what sin does. Sin molest you.

And he modeled that there is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God where sin cannot molest regardless of the poor theology on display by those, those two women who said that Gracie was in rebellion if she went ahead with the surgery. Rebellion isn't scheduling surgery to remove a limb that's beyond repair. Rebellion demands that it plays out according to my wishes and rejects God's provision.

That's what rebellion is. It will happen my way. It's my way.

It's my way. And Gracie chose to go a different path. And she later stated, I didn't know what was on the other side of that operating room door, but I knew who was.

Where do you think that confidence came from? I believe that resolve, that confidence came in no small part to that time where she sat quietly near to the heart of God. And she repeated that same scenario four years later. Bob had already gone on, but Gracie went through this process four years later when she relinquished her remaining leg. And I watched the nurses push her from recovery to the ICU. They always put Gracie in ICU following any kind of major surgery, just simply because it's so difficult to manage her postoperatively.

She has just so many challenges. And so they send her straight to ICU. Nowadays after an amputation, they send you home that day. No, I'm just kidding.

It doesn't work that way. But I watched the nurses pushing her from recovery to the ICU. She woke up in recovery, then they made sure she was stable. Then they came through the doors and I was there when they brought her through those doors. And she's lying on the gurney, still somewhat anesthetized, but her hands were lifted up.

She's laying there flat on her back. One leg is healed. I mean, it's been amputated for four years.

The other one had a new fresh bandage and tubes and so forth on it. And her hands were lifted in the air and she was singing the doxology. You know, praise God from whom all blessings flow.

It's an extraordinary picture, isn't it? As believers, our responsibility and our privilege is to help quieten the room for others who bear terrible challenges and heartaches. It's in those quiet places near the heart of God that we gain the strength and the resolve to trust Him with the anguish while praising Him in the unimaginable. That picture of Gracie singing the doxology, praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Now, what do you suppose equipped Gracie to sing that after becoming a double amputee? What do you suppose could give her that presence of mind when she's halfway sedated? You see, our spirit recognizes these things. Our bodies may be undergoing terrible things. There's all kinds of stuff swirling around us in this world. There's a lot of noise and confusion, chaos and recovery. There's beeps and everything else going on and all kinds of machines and people talking and people moaning and screaming. They're bringing out the door. Those doors slam open in the hospital quarters. You can even kind of imagine that came out of the door.

And in all that confusion and all of that clamor and all of that going on with a freshly amputated limb, she raises her hands and sings the doxology. It's been one of the most remarkable things I've ever witnessed in my life. And it's a testament to what we're talking about. And I'm going to tell you a little bit about that.

It's one of the most remarkable things I've ever witnessed in my life. And it's a testament to what we're talking about here today on this program right now, that there is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God, a place where sin cannot molest, even if it's on a gurney with a freshly amputated leg. Do you hear me? As a caregiver, there is a place of quiet rest in me, no matter what is going on around us. Do you understand this? Can you receive this?

Can you hang on to this from one caregiver to another? I am 37 years into this now. And I'm telling you, there is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God, a place where sin cannot molest near to the heart of God. A pastor friend of mine once told me, he said, Peter, you need to take a Sabbath rest.

And I looked at him. I said, I don't know what that means. I don't get a day off. I get hours off. I can go out and ride a horse.

Sometimes I can get on a snowmobile, but I don't get a day off. I either am working on my business or taking care of Gracie, both of which are full-time jobs. Oh, by the way, I do music down at the church, and then I'm writing all the time, but I have discovered what rest looks like to me. You know, rest is not sleep, and I may have to do a whole program on this, but rest is not sleep.

I know a lot of people get a lot of sleep, but they're not at rest. You and I as caregivers must, in order to endure this, learn to rest. How do we do that while we are a flurry of activities? For me, I have found that the more I focus on these things that you and I were talking about today, it literally strengthens me. It equips me.

It animates me. It pushes me to an energy level that I didn't know I had. Yes, I get tired.

I get physically tired, and I have to stop, take a break, and just be quiet for a moment. But when I do that, if I can go and practice this principle, quieten the room, and allow my brain, and my spirit, and my heart, and my body all to reboot, if you will, thinking on these things of God, then what Gracie did on the gurney, singing his praises, is also available to me, and it's also available to you. This is why I do this program, because these things are what strengthen us and equip us. Yes, we'll talk about caregiving things on this program, tips and dealing with all this stuff. We'll do that, but that's not what keeps me talking with the ceiling fan looking tonight.

That's not what keeps me agitated. That's not what causes that fear and that dread, and in those moments, I have to quiet in the room and be still, knowing that there is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of Gullen. Thank you so much for your time today. This is Hope for the Caregiver.

Hope for the Caregiver is that conviction that we can live calmer, healthier, and dare I say it, even more joyful lives while serving as a caregiver. I'm Peter Rosenberger. Go out to Send me a note. I'd love to hear from you. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-06 23:32:15 / 2022-12-06 23:41:42 / 9

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