What do you do, dear Christian caregiver when your caregiving responsibilities become increasingly overwhelming, and you do not know what to do next? A few months before my husband’s death it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to take care of my husband’s physical needs. I wrote the following paragraphs at that time. As a caregiver maybe you can identify with some of those feelings that I experienced at that time. I hope my sharing those feelings will be helpful to you, dear caregiver.
On September 25, 2010 I journaled the following paragraphs:
“Things definitely are changing with my husband, Wayne. Transfers for my husband to the bathroom, back to the chair, etc. are getting more difficult; and I have been finding myself getting increasingly stressed. I find myself dreading and consumed with thinking about the next transfer. I also keep wondering what my next step needs to be. Keep doing it myself? Try to hire more in home help? Pursue nursing home options?
Last night my son came over. He was all stressed out because of a serious job issue. He was basically in panic mode. It was and is a serious situation, as his job may be on the line. My first reaction was to think, 'I do not need this. I have enough stress of my own.'
Then, however, I found I could relate to him and thus calm him down. I told him about my heavy stress level and how we just need to trust. Nothing happens by chance, and we are being guided. I also told him that what will be will be, and we will be okay. I asked him if he had prayed about it, and he said 'Yes.' He then asked me to pray for him. I did that, and we both felt better. I do not think I could have helped him as much if I was not as stressed as he was. I could relate to him, and therefore what I said to him had validity. It helped both of us.
This whole incident reminded me that everything has a purpose even the difficulties of caregiving. Because of the stress I was experiencing with caregiving I could help my son. We also shared a prayer and a hug together. That is a special blessing in spite of the situation we both are in. What could be more beautiful than that?
I listened to a wellness webinar last night. I liked all the things that were said, but the trait I am going to accept as my main wellness trait is 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.”