The last couple days have been beautiful in my town. It has finally begun to feel like spring. The temperatures are suppose to drastically drop again later in this week, however. Even though it has been a cold spring this year and spring has been long in coming, spring reminds me of new life and hope. The appearance of robins several weeks back was an indication that spring was on its way. The promise of spring reminds me that just as winter is finally fleeing, so the heartaches of life are not forever.
Caregiving for a loved one with a prolonged disease can be very discouraging. Witnessing the gradual but ever increasing deterioration of one’s loved one’s health is extremely disheartening. It can feel like the winter of life with no end in sight and no sign of hope for the future.
As a caregiver for my husband with a serious neurological disease I often felt discouraged. As his mobility and a host of other issues continued to decline, I sometimes felt overwhelmed and stressed. This became especially true when transfers became more and more difficult. As a Christian caregiver and child of God, however, I knew that there was always hope. I knew that my hope was an eternal hope. As I was going through the caregiving journey hope and my relationship with my Lord was what kept me going and persevering.
So what is hope? While I was a caregiver I wrote the following words about hope: “Hope reminds me that I do not really have to be in a state of panic. Things will work out in the end, and I will be guided step by step. Hope tells me that caregiving will never be easy, but there is an eternal purpose to this all. God’s purpose will be fulfilled in me, and His love is with me. Hope tells me that what I do in caregiving is important, and it has eternal consequences. Hope tells me that the trials of caregiving are forming my character to become stronger. It reminds me to not focus on what I see but on what will be and on what is good in my life right now. Hope focuses on seeing the small miracles of each day and knowing and trusting they will continue.”
Hope is a great ally to have in facing caregivng challenges and in facing the challenges of life in general. Hope helps to promote wellness and joy and peace in the midst of the challenges. Dear caregiver, do not give up hope. Embrace hope in the same way as you embrace the hope and newness of spring.