Do You Know Where You’re At?  

“I don’t know where we’re at,” Phil’s dad used to say from the front seat of his handicapped van. In his later days my father-in-law, sweet and intelligent seemed to live in an anxious state of lost.

He leaned far forward against the taut seatbelt, and peered with squinted eyes at the road ahead. The road he’d traveled many times had not changed.   

Then he turned toward his son, my husband at the wheel. “I have no idea where we’re at. Do you know where we’re at? 

“I know where we are, Dad.”

“You know how to get home?”

“I know the road home.”

 I sat on the bench seat at the very back, a wide gap open between where my husband’s father sat in his power chair at the front. I watched the scene repeat and heard the question like a broken record. 

How sad, I thought, to be so disoriented. 

Dad lived a full life of ministry, living overseas much of the time, then teaching Spanish in an American classroom until MS crippled his body. But even then he knew where he was going and the reasons driving him. 

It seemed like who he’d been once upon a time leached out of him as he aged. 

I didn’t realize how much he could still teach me, mentor me, despite thickening fog of old age. Or maybe because. 

”And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. John 14:1-6 ESV

Thomas must have felt somewhat like my father-in-law. He squinted ahead but he didn’t recognize the road. He hadn’t yet fully comprehended who was at the wheel. The way home blurred. 

We squint too, don’t we in this life of joys, sorrows, fears and doubts? 

 Our eyes narrow and we try to look beyond those chaotic years when the squirming and shouting of little ones keep us awake.

In dark alone nights we squint for a light in the distance, companionship, a listening ear. 

When life and death teeters, we squint to see beyond doctor’s visits, test results and uncertainty. 

As children peel off to make their own lives, we squint to see how things will turn out and future cares nearly choke us.  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” John 14:5 ESV

Squinting grows tiresome. 

 “You know the way to where I am going.” Jesus assured his disciples. Only dear doubting Thomas had the blunt authenticity to admit he was still lost in fog. 

Mere moments passed before my father-in-law said again, “I have no idea where we’re at. Do you know where we’re at?”

“Yes, Dad. We’re nearly home.”

He leaned and peered through the darkness and asked again. 

“Where are we? I’m lost.”

I recognize that anxious voice inside that pleads with the Father. 

“Do you know where I’m at? Do see me? Do you hear me? I feel lost.”

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? John 14:1-2

And then as Jesus assured Thomas we can remind ourselves too. God is in the driver’s seat. We can trust Him to get us safely home even though the way ahead is murky. Not only does He know the way, He is the way. 

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.’” John 14:6 ESV

My husband glanced over at his dad, hands on the wheel, “You know me, don’t you?”  

My father-in-law turned to his son with surprise on his face. “Well of course I do.”

“I’m driving,” Phil said confidently. “I know the way. You are with me and I will get you home.”  

“Oh, you know where to go?”

“Let not your hearts be troubled,” Jesus told his followers. 

“You can trust the driver, Dad. I know where to go.”

“You’ve been on this road before?”


My latest article at  Bible Study Tools:

Our culture idolizes strength. You might wonder, why we have a hard time with ‘power made perfect in weakness’?



“Why Christians have such a hard time with “Power Made Perfect In Weakness”.


Recently Phil and I have become fans of Grand Monday Nights with Legacy Coalition. August 23 at 7:00 PM CST Phil and I have the opportunity to present a webinar highlighting 4 Imprints of a Grandparent. It would be such an honor to have you join. 

Go to this link to sign up to join the free webinar:

Here’s a video preview of what we’ll be presenting?

22 Replies

  1. Pat Morris Reply

    This hits home for me with the brother that I lost last year. At only 64, he would call me and ask me who I was. Fast progressing dementia was the diagnosis. Then he died suddenly. I believe God’s grace to him. Then at his funeral I heard something about my brother that I did not know. How he had shared Jesus with so many others. I sat there in awe with tears running down my cheeks as one after one told stories of how he shared Jesus with young boys in the boys club or with men in his archery club. He wanted everyone to know. Thank you for your sweet story once again, Sylvia.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Pat, thanks so much for sharing about your brother. What a sweet blessing. I remember when he passed and praying for you all. Grateful that you have these sweet memories and sure testimony! Thanks for reading and responding!

  2. J.D. Wininger Reply

    I remember my dad experiencing that same “fog.” Oh, how I loved those moments that God would restore his memories and he would recognize something (a landmark, a road sign), anything that would spur him into moments of lucidity. I was so grateful that God restored many of his memories so we could re-live them together during conversations. There was comfort found in that. God’s blessings ma’am.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      What blessings to be able to glimpse how gracious and faithful our Savior is even in that fog. Thanks for sharing about your dad. What a blessing to have that testimony of faith.

  3. Don Pahl Reply

    Thank you, Sylvia.
    So very appropriate, though troubling, of course, that we must walk this path with our loved ones. God knows the way … reassuring.
    Job 23:10

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Don. It’s always an encouragement to me to hear from you. Some of these memories are bittersweet but yet gifts from God.

      • Nancy Chandler Reply

        Hi Sylvia: We know Avant well from Mali days…Please look up our game, created by retired missionaries…and an MK
        Grandparents love it.!

  4. linda k williamson Reply

    Loved this for today ! love your family values as a gramma who has an 18 year old
    grandson living with me I ask in my prayers each night that I am instilling the right values to him and want only good things to be in his life!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Yes Linda. What a ministry you have! May God bring His Word which is unchanging through one generation to another to guide you and your grandson!

  5. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Sylvia, you connect everyday life so well to the truths of Scripture. Thank you for this sweet, yet powerful message.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Jeannie. I always love hearing from you. Grateful for friends with a deep connection to truth who are encouragers like you!

  6. Robalee Deike Reply

    Came across your blog/post through Tim Challies. Thanks for this sweet and beautiful story and reminder that squinting becomes tiresome. So thankful to know and trust The Driver. Great reminder for me to take my hand off the wheel and to lean into Him. Looking forward to hearing you and your husband this coming Monday night — we are thankful for Legacy Coaltion and know we will be blessed and encouraged by your sharing.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks so much Robalee. So glad we’ve connected. Appreciate your prayers as we look towards Monday night!!

  7. Bruce Mills Reply

    Thank you for this. We recently took my 90 year old dad into our home and I often experience similar situations with him as the fog of dementia slowly settles over him. So I needed this well-written reminder that our Lord still knows the way home and He will get us there safely. I appreciate it.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Bruce. Hard stuff but some precious moments too. Thanks for reading and yes, the Lord still knows the way home. I appreciate your comment!

  8. Katherine Pasour Reply

    If we haven’t been through this stage of caregiving with a parent, we are likely to someday. Your husband speaks so kindly to his dad, just as I imagine our loving Father reassuring us when we feel lost. And, Sylvia, you share such beautiful and poignant lessons from this experience. A reminder that God sends us numerous lessons every day of our lives–we just need to pay attention.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Katherine. I needed your comment today. It’s true, our loving Father does reassure us kindly. I needed to remember. Thank you.

  9. Kathy Reply

    Such a sweet story and important lesson for us all about Jesus showing us that He is the way home. Thank you, Sylvia.

  10. Rosemarie Fitzsimmons Reply

    Such a sweet simple love you’ve demonstrated here. I sometimes forget how sweetly and simply Jesus responds to our frantic questions. How childish and anxious we must sound to Him sometimes, yet he replies with patience and love. You awakened a memory of my grandfather in advanced stages of this ruthless disease, when he actually forgot where the floor was and sat with his feet up off the ground until my mom gently took each foot and replaced it firmly beneath him. I didn’t see it then, but you’ve enabled me to realize once again, the sweet, sweet love of our Father. Thank you for this.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Rosemarie. What a sweet sweet story of your grandfather and your mom. You need to write that one, it’s precious!