I chose my word for 2015 – empower – just a few weeks ago.
While we are still in the first month of the year, I found myself in a situation where I had no power at all.
My mother was on hospice care, and I had joined my siblings and my aunt in her end-of-life care giving.
It was a sacred time – simultaneously a sweet privilege and a suffocating responsibility to accompany her on her journey.
We wanted to beg her to stay, while at the same time we pled with God to mercifully take her quickly because she was so very ready to finish living.
We laughed with her sense of humor, we debated the best choices for her care, and we wept as we watched her suffer.
Her lucid moments provided us precious memories; her confused thoughts and agitated actions forced us to struggle for understanding and responses of grace.
Both her body and her mind were failing, but her faith, her gratitude, and her fighting spirit continued strong.
We imperfectly attempted to give her peace, encouragement, and comfort. We told her we would miss her, but that we would be ok when she chose to go.
There was nothing else I could do. I could not control the process. I could not choose the final moment.
I could only remain present, serve, pray, and love.
Those days there was One with great power in charge of the time… and it was not me.
(My amazing mom left us to live eternally with her Heavenly Father on January 19, 2015.)
There are times when power is a gift, and we are accountable for our strength and our influence. There are times when our greatest power is in submitting to another.
It may be that one of the most important elements of empowering others is helping them to discern the difference.
What has been your experience with power or empowering others?