Memorial Day which was originally called Decoration Day is a day when we remember those who have died in service of our country. It is also a day when we often remember loved ones who have gone ahead of us into heaven.
Remembering is a good
thing especially when it reminds us of happy memories from our past.
Dear caregiver, perhaps you are remembering happy memories from your
past experiences with your loved one. Although your loved one is
still with you, perhaps things have changed due to your loved one's
illness or disability. You may be wishing that the days gone past
could return, and your heart aches with longing for those days now
Remember something else,
however, dear caregiver. You are exactly where you are supposed to
be in your life right now. It is a God's ordained thing that you are
your loved one's caregiver at this moment in time. Remember too God
has promised to always be with you. He has said, “Never will I
leave you, never will I forsake you. (Hebrews 13:3b) Care-giving can
be very discouraging and tax all your emotional, physical, and
spiritual strength, but the Lord is with you each step of the way.
There were many days when
I was my husband's caregiver that I felt as if I could not go on one
more day. Yet God always provided a way. He will do the same for
you, dear caregiver. There is one verse in Psalms 32 which has
become meaningful to me. It says, “I will instruct you and teach
you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you
(Psalms 32:8 NIV). Often in my care-giving days and even in my post
care-giving days I didn't/ don't have a clue what I was doing, but
God promised and continues to promise to lead me. He will do the
same for you dear caregiver.
Remember too that others
are watching you, as you care for your loved one. They see Jesus in
you. I know you are saying “But they don't see all my moments of
impatience and sometimes lack of joy in what I am doing.”
Remember, however, that the Lord sees your sacrifice and love for
your loved one. So do others who are watching.
Recently I was in a store.
I saw a man helping his disabled wife or mother buy clothes. I am
pretty sure this was outside his comfort zone, but he was making this
love gift for his loved one. I was so touched by what I saw that I
went to the car and got one of my books and gave it to him. I told
him how much I appreciated what he was doing. Others are watching
Jesus in you as well, dear caregiver. You are doing God's work.
Praise God for what you are doing!
Finally, remember that
care-giving is shaping you to become an even more beautiful
reflection of Jesus in the days ahead. No difficulty in our lives is
ever wasted in God's kingdom. God is using you today, and He will
use you in the future because of your care-giving experiences.