Journey into the Unknown with Jesus

How could anyone travel this road alone? I mean alone without Jesus, Son of God, Savior, friend, companion, guide, Holy Spirit indwelling. I sometimes feel alone, but when I do, I speak the words, “I know You’re there.” And I do know it. So I go right on with the conversation.

“I’m not ready today, LORD. Please, let me keep my hubby another day.” I know He’ll answer that with prayer yes until the day He answers it with no.  Then I’ll crumble and shrink into depths of sorrow. Just as well I know that I’ll recover from it and wait for God to reveal the next season of my life. How do I know? I just know. God is faithful. He’s scooped me up in His love out of my grief before, and He will do it again.

But if not, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego once said to a pagan king when commanded to disobey God, “…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods….” I’ll keep believing and waiting for Jesus to lift me up. Big talk, right? A vow I cannot keep without God’s presence and provision, but He’ll be there. He was there for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in a big and showy way. He may be there for me in a quiet whisper, but He’ll be there.

So how’s it been going day by day, this journey? My hubby has endured two more seizures within a few days of one another. The Hospice doctor increased his seizure medication. The seizures have changed his sleep patterns and other significant features of his illness. Alzheimer’s continues to deprive him more and more of awareness of surroundings. I have less of my hubby’s former persona to cling to, but cling I shall.

I try to develop a routine around his sleeping habits, but this is not likely to happen. Routine seems out of grasp. Two, three, four days pass and something happens to change the circumstances. Unpredictable is the best description of my day-to-day life, based on my husband’s day-to-day needs. Yet there are constants, too, like Hospice staff faithfully standing by, directing, helping, and encouraging. And there is Jesus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Always Jesus. Powerful and present.

By Carol Ann Hoel © January 16, 2012


Matthew 6: 26-34 – The Bible (KJV) – Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

About Carol Ann Ritchey

Life is good because God is good.
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32 Responses to Journey into the Unknown with Jesus

  1. elizabeth says:

    I agree with you Carol Ann. How people who don’t know Jesus go through even one day in this hurting, heavy, world I’ll never know. I’d be terrified not to have Him with me. He is such a comforter in trying times. And such a help when nothing and no-one in this world can help. I’m so glad to see you post. I often wonder how you are doing. May the Lord bless and keep you both in His peace and strength as you continue on in this painful and sad time. Love and hugs, Elizabeth


    • Thank you, Elizabeth. Yes, Jesus makes all the difference. I am doing well, but as much as I want to, I don’t have time to post as I did before the stroke hastened the advance of my husband’s Alzheimer’s disease. Our distress is all too common. So many suffer these days with this hideous disease. I didn’t know much about it even after my husband was diagnosed. Not until recently did I learn of true ugliness of it. Life is hard; God is good. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, as the hymn says, the sweetest name I know…


  2. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” Knowing that God has our future in his hand should allow us to rest easy, but some days are harder than others. I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t want to know in advance some of the things that life brings, and yet worry about the future still dogs them. It’s good to be content in all things, letting God carry us during the hardest parts of our journey. Blessings to you, Carol Ann, and to your husband in these difficult days.


    • Thank you, Carol. I appreciate your stopping by with encouraging words and good advice. I don’t try to plan what should happen when this season ends. I trust that God will open the doors for me when the time comes. For now, my life is demanding on my time but still easy. All I have to do is care for my sweet husband, prepare food, wash dishes, do the laundry, and clean house. Yet, when something happens that threatens to hasten my husband’s departure from this world, I am very much alarmed. There is something inside me that hates death. I don’t want to let go of him. Blessings to you…


  3. JannatWrites says:

    It would be hard to make the journey alone, that’s for sure. It would be long, painful, lonely and hopeless. Although we still suffer pain and loss with God in our hearts, at least we have comfort in knowing that we can unload our burdens on Him and we are never alone – He is as close as a prayer.

    I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s seizures. Alzheimer’s is such a difficult disease to endure. I’m glad your faith has not wavered and you have stayed so strong. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


    • Thank you, Janna. I very much appreciate your prayers. We need prayer support. I am always touched and encouraged to know people are praying for us. I enjoy reading your posts. I don’t get time to read as much as I would like. When I sit down to rest, i pull my phone out of my pocket, open emails, and visit blogs. I do it. Blessings to you…


  4. flygurlual says:

    Thank you for sharing this personal time and experience with us. You’ve taken your most painful moments and poured them out for all of us to see, what the Lord can do, with a willing vessel.
    How beautiful is the suffering of the saints, and how blessed to have a faith borne of this suffering. I know how difficult it can be to remember this, but thanks for reminding me with your wonderful example! Many blessings to you!!!


    • Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. You walk a difficult path with many burdens to carry, and I know you rely on the Lord for strength. May you and your family be blessed always.


  5. Patricia says:

    In your suffering you are eloquent and encouraging. You remind us it is all for His glory. When you turn to Him with a humble hurting heart He answers with His presence. You (and your husband) bless me with the sharing of your heart. As you continue the journey with Him know that many are lifting up both of you in prayer of supplication, thanksgiving, and praise.


    • Thank you, Patricia. Your prayers for us are precious. Thank you again for stopping by. We are encouraged knowing that many of our blessings come from being remembered in your prayers and the prayers of others. Blessings to you…


  6. jacsprat says:

    Your faith-filled words are such an encouragement to me. You and your husband are in my prayers.


  7. Noel says:

    Carol, you remind me of what my mom has taught me about needing Jesus/God in difficult moments…thank you for the reminder. May God continue to give you strength in this moment with your husband.


  8. pattisj says:

    Loved your post, Carol Ann. And you wrapped it up with a favorite scripture, too. There are some that speak so clearly to our hearts. Sorry to hear of more seizures. Lifting your arms, in His Name, as you fight this battle. Your feet are on Solid Rock, and when you can do nothing else but stand, stand is what you’ll do. Love and blessings to you and Johannes.


  9. Bonnie says:

    Having Jesus by your side is the most precious of any blessings. I think about you and Johannes often, Carol Ann, and you both reside permanently in my prayers. Love and blessings to you, my friend.


  10. Carol Ann, I’m so sorry you and Johannes are going through such a difficult experience. May you both be filled with God’s peace as He leads you through this dark valley. Brighter days are ahead, so hold on tight to your faith. You are an inspiration to many of us going through tough times.


    • Thank you for your comforting words, Carol. Thank you for your blessing of peace. There is nothing sweeter than peace in the midst of trouble. I appreciate your taking time to stop by. Blessings to you…


  11. His staff is always available on which to learn for a while. Even a long while. Even a lifetime.


  12. Laura Best says:

    Seeing the strength you have tells me that whatever God has in store, you will certainly rise to the occasion. Where would we be during our troubling times were it not for faith? Your faith is so steadfast, Carol Ann. I so wish you and your husband did not have to go through this experience.


  13. Linda says:

    Aren’t you so thankful that Jesus is the keeper of your soul – all the time. I sure am! May the Lord look right at you and give you and your husband peace.


    • Thank you for stopping by, Linda. Yes, I am very thankful that Jesus is the keeper of my soul – all the time. Jesus is enough, as my blogger friend Paula T. would say.

      Peace is ours. We are blessed by the prayers of many friends. Thank you for being one of those that pray for our peace. Blessings to you, Linda.


  14. Sharmishtha says:

    it hurts so much to even think about the pain you are going through. i hope things will take a turn for better soon. your prayers will reach their rightful place.

    Let God be your companion in each and every step. I too cant imagine a life without God as my every second companion.

    lots of love.
    praying for you both, always.


    • Thank you, Trisha. My days are not all gloom and doom. When my heart is hurting, I post. I cannot explain why that happens. Today I’ll post something on the lighter side of my life. I still laugh and have fun. Thank you for your sweet compassion, my dear friend. I am blessed by your concern.


  15. fivecats says:

    Having Jesus to lead and guide us makes the journey much easier. I hate to think how lost we all would be without him.

    Many continued blessings and prayers for you both.


  16. I think you will LOVE this version of Matthew 6:26-34, from “The Message:” “26b Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

    27-29 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

    30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

    34” Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes

    I highlighted a couple of the phrases, because I love the way God, through the writer, speaks to us. Few time we are asked to be “careless,” but this is definitely one of them! You are being the woman God wants you to be – growing every day, loving all the way. God bless you and your sweet husband as you make this journey. The road is not easy, but there is Light on your path!.


    • the Message is a unique paraphrase of the Bible. Thank you for sharing. It’s always good to have more than one perspective. I always go back to KJV, it seems. Yet, I like reading other versions and paraphrases. They shed light and add texture to our thinking. Blessings to you, Paula…


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