The Only One Who Can Save Our Souls and Make Sense of Our Lives in 2023 and Beyond Is God

Nasser Shiyoukhi

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)

This post is, I hope, the first of many that I will write about the topic of God and His role in my life in 2023 and beyond. Talking of my belief in God and what I’m learning and how much I rely upon Him is actually much easier than I thought it would ever be.

The part that is hard to discuss is why this has become a critical and essential part of my daily life.

Back around late 2015 or 2016, I started my journey as a full-time caregiver for my mom who was diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer’s. Both of my grandmothers suffered from the disease and one of my aunts had also so I had an idea of some of the complexities that go with this territory. Yet being an in-house caregiver is a totally different ballgame than what I would have ever imagined.

I am incredibly blessed that I can work from home and am able to oversee her on a daily basis and make sure that she is taken care of by somebody that is actually concerned about her daily well-being. As I’m sure that most family members who have a loved one in a care facility know that might not always be the case.

I’m sure most people reading this recall that the year  2020 was an odd one for the nation at large.

All of a sudden we had federal and state governments telling us that going outside without a mask somehow could be responsible for killing your neighbors. Just walking into a grocery store was worrisome and millions of people were told that they could not go and do their work or basic things for fear due to covid.

Already being isolated somewhat before the shutdown was not nearly as hard on means we approached the end of 2020 as it was on others but the interruption of my already limited schedule was even beginning to weigh down on me and I felt incredibly isolated.

I had a moment somewhat similar to my colleague Cameron Arcand who wrote this piece earlier today that inspired me to write this one. From his post…

While I was driving up to my friend’s house the second week of October during our fall break, I was mulling over attending a press conference the next morning. Doing so would cut into some time with my friends, but I knew I would be missing something much bigger if I didn’t go. During that car ride, I turned the radio off, spent some time in silence on the highway, and borderline shouted something along the lines of, “God, what am I doing this for?” Almost immediately I was overcome with a feeling of security and reassurance that He would take care of me. I was reminded of Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

Miraculously, things had begun to sort themselves out when it came to my schedule. My friends were extremely supportive, so I went to that press conference, and clearly many, many more that month. Although it was the hardest semester of my college experience yet, I managed to get through the homework and maintained good enough grades. Admittedly, I did have a couple of professors wondering where the heck I was some days, as the best I could explain was that I had a “work thing.”

My Moment of clarity came a little bit different than what Cameron experienced but I, like him, experienced a burden and worry being lifted off my shoulders.

While watching a news report about elderly folks being discharged from hospitals and rolled into rehab and care facilities while still somewhat covid positive and spreading the disease in that environment, I was distraught. I had become a bit jaded and bitter about my already shrunken world becoming smaller and I began to doubt my purpose and whether I should be doing this.

An incredibly simple thought popped into my head that if I were not doing what I was doing, Mom might be one of those people that was sitting in a nursing home while people who were not yet clear of Covid yet were wheeled into those homes. Only God truly knows if she would have survived in that environment.

I don’t believe even a brief moment had passed while I looked on at the story of these folks being sent into that environment and the answer popped into my head This is the reason you are here.

And just like Cameron, the stress and anxiety that I had about the whole situation that the whole country was going through melted away. Not because it still wasn’t a serious issue and there were still many months to go before the lockdowns began to end permanently. I was freed from the thoughts of doom and gloom individually and that has allowed me to continue doing what I’m doing in all aspects of my life.

I have grown much closer to my Creator since that moment, and I cannot tell you about the number of miracles, big and small, that I have experienced and that I am a living testimony to His grace and mercy, which I do not deserve.

We are blessed to still live in a country that freely allows the celebration of the birth of the Son of God who came in human form to live as one of us and who was persecuted crucified and rose from the grave to allow salvation for each and every one of us that is brave enough to embrace that truth.

Just imagine if we just took 5 to 10 percent of our time that is currently wasted scrolling on Facebook or Instagram and spent our time scrolling through the Bible, what an incredible change in this country we would have. This nation would be transformed before 2024 and it would undoubtedly be for the better.

I ask that you please follow my colleague Cameron’s lead and not only learn how to trust God in 2023 but take the time to talk with him and quiet your mind enough to listen to him to hear His voice.

Your Father in Heaven wants to hear from all of us and it will make such an incredible impact on your life.


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