Then in January I felt there were a few issues that God was putting on my heart to deal with. One of these was my Nan. So since January I have been visiting her in her home once a week. Practically this has been hard, simply because I have no free time as it is, so adding another few hours of things to do every week has been tough. But I have been so blessed in visiting her. We have talked about family history, stuff I had no idea about, like she told me about how she met my Grandad and how he proposed to her. Generally she has been lovely. Yes she moans a lot and I hear the same old gripes about the staff or the food every time I go in... But I think it helps her to get this off her chest and I don't think she gets much sympathy from my mum as she has heard it so many time before.
Sometimes the visits are hard. really hard. she is so unhappy and I have left in tears on occasion because I feel so helpless to help her.
When I started visiting her I really felt God had a purpose for me seeing her, and in fact quite early on we did talk about faith, but to be honest as the weeks have gone on I have felt like I have no idea what I am doing there. I feel so helpless. Every week before I go I pray for her, I ask God to give me the discernment I need to know what she needs, but the more I go the more I feel that she is just waiting to die. I was angry with God for letting her live like this for so long when she is so unhappy. I found myself praying for Gods mercy upon her, asking him to let her die, not to live in this misery any more. Which in itself is more upsetting.
Then about a month ago we were talking about faith again and she was saying how lucky I was to have been brought up in a Christian family and to have had that grounding. I said well, it has helped but actually I didn't really understand it until very recently. She said that she still doesn't. Revelation! Suddenly I felt like I had renewed purpose in seeing her. That maybe I need to help her to understand. I know she was introduced to Christianity at college (some years ago...!) and she has a prayer book that she reads from every day, but she is not living in faith, that is obvious. I had assumed from some of our chats that she was quite happy with her faith, but I was so wrong.She is pretty much where I was before my big renewal of faith, but she's been there years longer!
The funny thing is that in one of my very first visits to her, I felt that the sinners prayer was going to be important, but as early on we talked about faith and I thought from what she said that she had a strong faith, I thought I must have got that wrong. Now however I think I was right. I came away from that visit a few weeks back thinking what she needs is an alpha course! But obviously there's no way she's going to get to one and its highly unlikely she would read the book, so I felt a bit stuck. Talking is not easy as she is so deaf, so lengthy conversations on the basics of Christianity were going to be tough.
So I've been writing her, her own personalised, very basic, shaped for the over 90s, introduction to Christianity. Which I type up and leave with her when I go for my visits. The idea being that she can then read it in her own time and ask me any questions when I go in. We're on week 3 now (out of 7), and I think it's making a difference, although it's hard to tell. Thing is, I worry about what will happen when I've finished. What happens if we get to week 7 and she isn't 'saved'? What if I've got this wrong? Will I go back to praying for Gods mercy upon her? I so desperately want to her to be happy and I am hanging all my hopes on this, well on God actually. And I guess that's all I can do.