As a caregiver have you ever asked the question “Why?” Why did my love one get this awful disease? Why are people older than him walking around seemingly healthy and carefree? Why does this disease have to rob us of the relationship we once enjoyed? Why was I as a caregiver assigned the often discouraging and always challenging task of caregiving?” I am sure as a caregiver I consciously or unconsciously asked these questions at one time or another. Seeing my husband deteriorate before my eyes during those caregiving years was very discouraging to me.
These are not easy questions to answer, however. We can give general answers to these questions, but the whys of the specifics of our lives sometimes is a mystery. We do know that we live in a broken world. The world was created perfect, but sin entered the world through Adam. Through Christ we as believers are forgiven and restored to a relationship with God. We still do temporarily live in a broken world, however. Hence, we are all called to do what we can do to bring compassion and healing to those who are hurting. Caregivers have a unique calling in this area, as they care for their loved ones who so desperately need their help.
So as said before we have some general answers to our “why?” questions, but we do not necessarily have specific answers to our set of circumstances. We do know God has a master plan, but we do not fully understand why He allows certain painful things in our lives. God never promised us a life free from heartache, however. To the contrary He said that there would be trouble, heartache, and challenges in this life. He also said that He will give us peace in the midst of it all. (John 16:33) We further know God uses the challenges to develop our characters and make us more like Himself.
Knowing these things helps, as we face the challenges and heartaches of caregiving. It does not answer all of our “why?” questions, however. Some of the answers to these questions will remain a mystery at least in this life. Some of these secret things we do not understand need to be left with God. (Deuteronomy 29:29) This is because God is so much above us that we do not have the capacity to understand God. He just wants us to trust Him.
Asking those “Why?” questions in our caregiving situations is normal. It also reminds us that we are human beings and that we are not ultimately in control. Sometimes caregivers have to fight so hard for the well-being of their loved ones that they may lose sight of the fact that they really are not in control of the situation. Everything ultimately belongs in the hands of God.
Perhaps a better question than the “Why?” question would be a question like “What can I learn through this, and how can I grow through this caregiving experience?” Another question might be “How can I bring glory to God through this whole caregiving experience?” Yet another question might be “How can I put one foot in front of the other and continue to persevere?”
Dear Caregiver, trust that God has the answers when you do not. He does not give us the answer to all of our questions. Instead He wants to give us Himself. We also need to trust that He has revealed enough of Himself, so we can live lives of purpose and obedience.