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Glimpses of Grace

'Driving back the beasts'

In Glimpses of Grace

By Dorothy Horne
Aug. 31, 2015 at 4:36 p.m.
Updated Aug. 31, 2015 at 4:36 p.m.

During the summer’s relentless heat and lack of rain, every morning became an exercise in futility as I watered the lawn, hoping to revive the dry grass before it lost all its greenness. However, it continued to turn brown and brittle and die a little more each day. It is hard to watch something dying and be powerless to stop it.

Like the heat and drought, Alzheimer’s is also a relentless killer. It will never see jail time until a cure is found, and the family and friends of a person with the disease have no choice but to sit by helplessly and watch it slowly engulf their loved one. The grief cycle begins at diagnosis and continues throughout the course of the disease. Daniel Kuhn, MSW, (Alzheimer’s Early Stages) wrote, “Grief is resolved gradually….There are too many small, successive changes and losses inherent in Alzheimer’s for you to be able to reach acceptance once and for all. Whenever you attain a measure of acceptance, another incident may occur that may set off another wave of grief.”

This is true. There are days I wake up feeling at peace. But as changes and losses occur, I sometimes wake up with a grieving heart and anxious spirit. I worry about how I am going to meet Byron’s needs and spend quality time with him as well as get done what needs to be done for the day. Always in the background the Alzheimer’s clock is ticking.

C. S. Lewis addressed this in Mere Christianity:  “…the real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists of simply shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.”

The one thing that will drive the beasts back before they capture the joy and peace of the new day is to meet God in the morning. Through spiritual disciplines such as reading Scripture and devotionals, prayer, meditation and journaling we open ourselves to God’s presence and to receiving His strength, peace and guidance for the day.

Through these disciplines we renew our hearts and minds by listening to that other voice.

We reframe our circumstances by taking that other point of view.

We refocus and set our sights on things above  by letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.

We rejoice and stand back from all our natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind and celebrating God’s love, grace and provision in our lives.

As we rejoice, we can now press on in Jesus’ name.

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
Psalm 112:7 (NIV)

“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.”
Psalm 63:7 (NIV)

NOTE: 2015 East Texas Walk to End Alzheimer's is Sat., Sept. 19 in Longview. Find out details and donate or register to walk for Team Byron Horne (or any of the teams and people listed) through this link:
Thank you so much for your support.

My book, "Glimpses of Grace: Walking in Hope through Alzheimer's and Ordinary Days" may be purchased through



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