Children Are a Gift From God

My daughter became my caregiverUntitledWe named her Mikaela, meaning a gift from God. And that she is.

Not only because we finally had a little girl after three boys, but also the joy that she has been to us every single day of her life. She has always been mamma’s little helper, but she amped it up big time when I fell ill four years ago.

Mikaela was about to turn 15 when I was suddenly struck with chronic pain. It happened one Sunday afternoon, as I lay down to rest. A severe pain shot through my back. I couldn’t finish lying down, nor could I raise myself back up. The slightest move would cause contracting pains across my lower back. I spent a month flat on my back.
From the start, Mikaela began to help out. She made and brought me protein shakes for my meals that first month since I was unable to rise up off of the bed. But even as I began to improve with medical help, she continued to serve the entire family. She took on preparing all the meals, doing the grocery shopping, doing the laundry, and virtually running the household.

This was, as you can imagine, a great help to not only me, but to my husband as well. Being a pastor, Michael had to continue serving the church along with caring for me… visiting the sick, dealing with church business, and preparing sermons and planning for three services a week. I had served as church secretary up to this point, so he took on a lot of my work as well. Without Mikaela’s assistance, he would not have been able to accomplish this for as long as he did.

My hat is off to all caregivers that are trying to care for a loved one and be the bread winner as well. I’m not really sure how anyone does it. We could not have done it without the love and support of friends and the understanding of the church board when I was first sick.

The most amazing thing about Mikaela is that she gave up her entire high school years to care for her momma (and really, her daddy too). While we did manage to get her to the DMV for her learner’s permit, it was 3 ½ years before we got her back there to actually take the road test. She had plenty of practice though. She became my chauffeur as I improved and needed someone to drive me to therapy at the YMCA and run errands. She became an excellent help in assisting me in and out of vehicles, up and down steps, or just extra support when walking distances. And she did all this without prompting or without complaining. She is always thinking of my care in every decision she made. Even for just a trip down stairs for a snack, she would pop her head into my room to see if I needed anything.

But the most amazing thing about this beautiful young lady is that she basically gave up her high school experience to serve her family. We were homeschoolers. In some ways, this was to our advantage because she didn’t have to leave home and go to school, but then she was at home and missing socializing that we would have had at the homeschool co-op. Mikaela was totally self-directed. She stayed right on top of her studies and finished remarkably well. And she did it all while cooking, cleaning, and planning for the family. This meant she spent most, if not all, of her time at home—caring for the family. There was precious little time out with friends, or going to games or movies, if not for her brothers who would take her out on the town.

Michael and Mikaela-the author's two gifts from God.

Michael and Mikaela-the author’s two gifts from God.

All this and more is why I want to share this with you. There are not many teenage girls today that would do all this without grumbling or whining. Mikaela has been so gracious and uncomplaining. I really don’t know how we could have made it this far without her.

She is truly a “Gift from God.”

[UNSET]GGMandy is a farmer’s kid turned pastor’s wife. Growing up she swore to never marry a farmer nor a pastor; however, in God’s irony, she married Pastor Farmer! Along with her husband she has served in the Church of the Nazarene for the past 26 years. She served many years in children’s ministry and recently in women’s ministry, especially mentoring young adult women. Her husband has just recently taken an early retirement. The GG is her name stands for many things. As a farmer’s daughter, she is Gene’s Girl, as a pastor’s wife, she is a Gracious Guide, as a grandmother, she prays she is a Godly Grandmother.
GGMandy has been struggling with chronic pain for the past four years. She is an encourager who now gives her time to encouraging others on two blogs, Leaving a Legacy and Raised in a Barn. Her daughter, Mikaela is a recent high school graduate and a blossoming musician. She taught herself the guitar and led her youth group in worship for four years and is now trying her hand at music and Vlogging. You can get a taste of her style at KaeZanne, leave her a word of encouragement while you are there.​​​

 

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Tara

    This is such an awesome story! This young lady truly is a gift of God!

  • Mandy, this is a lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing this.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 91 – AnthemsMy Profile

  • I love this testimony, Mandy! Thank you for blessing our hearts today.
    Blessings to you.
    Ifeoma Samuel recently posted…One Thing You can Give Today!My Profile

  • What a great inspiration! God does put children with the families they need, and isn’t it wonderful when we realize that he wisely matches parents and children to accomplish his purposes!
    Michele Morin recently posted…To the End of the EarthMy Profile

    • Amen to that. The story behind this story is that I really had to talk my husband into having one more child. He had lost his first wife and daughter in an automobile accident. He was left with two boys to raise alone. So it was a stretch to add one (another son). He was reluctant to have another.
      We have children ranging from 19 to 41!
      GGMandy recently posted…The Farmer’s are Retiring!My Profile

  • Donne

    It is obvious that you raised your daughter well, with a heart for service. Your sons, also, since they saw her need to get out on the town from time to time. God bless you all as you serve your family, your church, and your community.

  • Mandy,
    Tears nearly started to swell my eyes just reading about your daughter. You have no idea how much joy that brings me to hear of the good things. There’s so much negativity in the news/media. I have a tendency to feel for others easily, so it’s amazing to hear about your daughter. I used to work with teenagers a lot when I worked at a local high school as a teaching assistant and you’re right, most would whine or at least need prompting to be so helpful! I am; however, sad to hear about the back pain that you experience. I’ve had back pain myself and believe it or not, it started when I was in my earlier 20s and I still have know idea of the cause. Thankfully, it’s occurred much less since then, but when it has happened, I could hardly move without serious pain. It was in the lower back for me as well and just walking to the bathroom was a huge obstacle. Thank goodness for my husband! We are obviously blessed with wonderful husbands! Thanks for sharing!

    • Glad that my story can be an encouragement. I am always looking for the good in things. God has put me in this place so that I can minister to those in the same place. Out eyes have been opened wide to what those with invisible disease go through as well as there caretakers. It’s a rough road!

      Be blessed

      Mandy
      GGMandy recently posted…The Farmer’s are Retiring!My Profile