As I have written in the pass my husband was diagnosed with his neurological disease in 2006. The years that followed were the most difficult and challenging years I have ever experienced in my life. The heartbreak of witnessing his continual declines were extremely difficult. Those years were also extremely stressful years. Being responsible for the well being of the man I had loved for many years, not knowing how long I would be able to care for him by myself, and feeling so alone in all this were very challenging.
It has been over 14 months since my husband’s death. As I still grieve his loss, I also still find myself thinking about those caregiving days at times. It is part of my grief processing. If it were not for the fact that I knew the Lord was with me during those caregiving days and in the days since his death, I would not have survived. Knowing this has also given me and continues to give me joy in the midst of the pain.
Recently I did a Bible study lesson on the goodness of God. The lesson talked about the good reasons why we suffer and how God is more interested in our inward character and conforming us to the image of Christ than in our comfort. Conforming us to the image of Christ is one of the reasons for trials in our lives.
The lesson went on to say that sometimes the pain seems to outweigh the best of benefits, however. We may understand reasons and answers in our heads, but those reasons do not always reach where it hurts in the heart. The challenges of caregiving or other of life’s trials can be so painful that it is difficult to see how the growth in our characters compensates for the pain we are experiencing.
There perhaps are no answers to the “whys?“ in our lives that will fully satisfy us. Completely understanding God’s answer to our “whys?” also would not necessarily make them easier. God doesn’t always give us reasons or answers, at least not ones that will satisfy. The answer therefore must be Someone. God does better than giving us answers. He gives us Himself. Also He explained Himself on the cross. His goodness displayed in His sacrifice of Himself on the cross is really the only proof we need of His love and goodness. Believing in the goodness of God does not mean that the heartaches will completely disappear. It does, however, help us move forward and persevere in life.
I find those thoughts comforting. If I did not believe in the goodness and presence of God, I am not sure where I would be today. Thank You, Lord, for that blessed reality! Thank you that You are there in the moments of heartache.
Dear Christian caregiver, please turn to the Lord for strength and help during your caregiving days. Please do not turn away from Him, because you do not always understand His ways. Trust in His goodness.