I laughed along with the rest of the class when the teacher said, "There has never been a time when God has said, 'Wow, I never saw that coming!'" We laughed because we understood the impossibility of such a moment: God alone is all-knowing (omniscient). Nothing has ever escaped His notice. Nothing ever will. He alone "sees it coming"—down to the smallest detail. Nothing ever catches Him by surprise.
Unlike God, we cannot see what lies ahead. As the years of our lives unfold, we encounter one surprise after another. Sometimes the surprises are pleasant: the realization that the winning raffle ticket is the one in your hand, or the first glimpse of snowflakes falling on Christmas morning. Other times, the surprises are extraordinarily painful, stabbing at our hearts and making us cry. Though perplexing and inexplicable from our human perspective, God writes both kinds of surprises into the story of every life.
A loved one's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or another dementia is always the unwelcomed, heart-rending kind of surprise. No one ever sees it coming. The news is always a shock, not only for the person with the disease, but also for the loved ones unwittingly thrust into a role they never planned to fill: caregiver.
Allow yourself to marvel at this, caregiving child of God: your heavenly Father has always known this time in your life would arrive. Before you were even born, He foresaw your days as a caregiver. You are part of His plan for your loved one; your loved one is part of His plan for you. Take His hand and let Him quell your fears as you walk each new day on the shepherding path before you.