Being a caregiver for my husband for over four and a half years was a significant calling that the Lord God placed on my life. Its purposes in both my life and in my husband's life were far reaching, and the experience taught valuable spiritual lessons.
Those days were also laden with challenges, however. My husband's continual decline downward in his health robbed us of so much. It robbed us of the relationship we had experienced together in the past. Later in my husband's disease, I missed the easy verbal exchanges we had had in the past. Also in the past my husband had always been so free with expressions of his love. I would often long for those days. I wrote the following comments on May 17, 2009:
"Before my husband's illness, he would tell me I was beautiful, and he would often call me 'his favorite wife.' It became a standard source of teasing between us, because my reply would always be 'How many wives do you have?' My husband was always good about giving loving cards on specials occasions also. So much of that verbal affirmation is gone now. My husband's speech is so poor that basic communication between us is difficult. I miss also the basic bouncing of ideas between us."
I knew that my husband still loved me, in spite of him not expressing it in the same way as he had in the past. More importantly, I knew God loved me with an eternal love. I knew that God also affirmed that love over and over again in the Bible. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Zephaniah 3:17. In that verse, God told me and continues to tell me that He loves me and even delights in me! He actually rejoices over me, and He quiets me with His love. Furthermore He, the mighty God, will always be with me.
Knowing that God loved me and even delighted in me was a source of comfort to me during my care-giving days. God's affirming love for me comforted me even more than knowing that my care-giving role had purpose and meaning.
Dear caregiver, if you are God's child, trust that the Lord loves you with an awesome and eternal love. When the discouragement and negative feelings surface, may you rest in God's love and find your treasure in Him!
(This post is one of the meditations from my book DEAR CAREGIVER Reflections for Family Caregivers. You can order it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Xulon, my publisher. Links for Amazon and Xulon are on the right hand side of the page. If you have already read my book, consider reviewing my book at the Amazon link. It is my heart's passion to help and bless as many family caregivers as possible.)