Moving into an assisted living community can be the beginning of an exciting and vibrant chapter in life. The Gardens at Barry Road offers residents a wide variety of amenities and activities to choose from, making it easy to create a lifestyle and schedule that works for you.
But we also know that moving into an assisted living community can be a daunting task, in part because it's such a major change in life. Change sometimes holds an element of the unknown, and that can be scary.
But seniors who are making the move to an assisted living community — and those that have already been here for a while — can take their cues from a number of great role models in the Bible. These people from the Old and New Testaments remind us that getting up and doing things is sometimes important — even in the face of difficulty and fear.
The stories of Abraham and Sarah seem like nonstop "getting up and doing." God told Abraham to go (more than once) and each time, Abraham went. He left his home nation and wandered, along with his wife and all the people who were under his care, into a new nation because God told him to and made him a promise.
Later, God made good on his promise in a seemingly impossible way. Much after they thought it could or would happen, Sarah became pregnant.
This is a great story for people of all ages, but seniors can take special heart from it. God's promises do not expire, and it is never too late for him to work miracles. But we must also approach those promises like Abraham, believing in them and staying faithful to God — and realizing that we don't always understand how God will fulfill his promises and that it might not be done on this earth.
Here's someone else who was faithful to God's word. So faithful that he was likely the laughing stock of those around him for building a giant boat that would be of little practical use in daily life. And yet we know that God did as he said he would, and Noah was definitely not the foolish one in this story.
This is another illustration of God keeping his promises and the power of faith in his words. But for seniors in an assisted living community, it can provide another lesson: Sometimes what God is calling you to do seems foolish to the world. Those around you may not understand it or even fully support you.
From deciding to move into an assisted living community to making a decision to pick up a new hobby, any action you take can be misunderstood by the world. But if you're aligning yourself with God and seeking his will as you make those decisions, you can move boldly forward with less worry about what the world might think.
The story of Ruth gives us a great example of a woman taking bold action in faith. But it also gives us the story of one woman counseling another. Remember, Naomi is the one who suggests Ruth approach Boaz. She's also the one that puts him up as an appropriate husband for her daughter-in-law.
One lesson that can be learned from this story is that no one lives this life on their own. No matter how independent you are, it's important to have support and input from others. Yes, you don't want to listen to everything the world has to say, and you certainly don't want to let the world decide your actions for you.
But you do want to ensure that you really are understanding what God wants for you. Talking to people you trust spiritually and getting their advice can be a great step in this regard. If you're not sure who to talk to, consider talking to the on-site chaplain here at The Gardens at Barry Road.
The book of Esther tells of how one courageous Jewish woman stepped outside her fear to save an entire nation of people. Before she did so, though, she instructed the Jewish people to fast and pray — and she did so herself.
Sometimes, our getting up and doing is for other people. There are times that we might need to take action to help someone else, and sometimes you might leave your assisted living apartment at a time when you'd rather not because you want to do something nice for someone. At times when you think you just can't do the thing you wish you could do, consider praying and asking God for guidance and strength.
Saul was on the road to Damascus when he received word directly from Christ about what he was supposed to do. Struck temporarily blind, the Jewish leader who had been complicit and involved in the persecution of Christians obeyed, seeking out a disciple of Christ who led him to understand the truth of the gospel. From that point, Saul became Paul, and if you've read the New Testament, you know the rest of this story.
By following Jesus, Paul became a major figure in the early church and penned many of the books of the New Testament. A lesson to be learned from this story is that sometimes we think we're on the right path, but we have to be willing to let the Holy Spirit sway us and teach us new things.