(Today's post is another chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections For Family Caregivers.)
As a caregiver do you ever feel as if you are being bombarded by the “fiery arrows” of negative emotions? (Ephesians 6:16) Negative emotions can so easily spring up in the midst of care-giving chaos and heartache.
On June 9, 2009 while caring for my husband, Wayne, I wrote the following words:
“It is so easy to allow myself to get bogged down with discouragement, impatience, and sometimes anger. I realize I need to fight those “fiery arrows.” There is still so much for which to be thankful. I need to concentrate on that.”
Then on June 23, 2009 I journaled the following words:
"The future is unknown and feels scary for Wayne and I, but I do know the Lord who holds the future. I need to focus on that and on the fact that I know my Lord will always be with me.”
One way caregivers can fight the “fiery arrows” of negative emotions is by remembering the good things that still are present in their lives. Care-giving can be physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining. There always are blessings in one’s life, however. We need to look for them and be grateful for them. We also need to look for the wonders of God’s working and guidance in our lives. If we look for these things we will find them. If we look for these things it will also help to soothe the negative emotions.
Caring for someone with a terminal or serious disease can be frightening at times. This is because the future is so uncertain. Hence, fear and other negative emotions can quickly surface. It is wise to take it one day at a time and one step at a time. It is also wise to leave the future in the hands of the Lord. Caregivers tend to be great advocates for their loved ones. In the end, however, caregivers need to remember that they are not in control. God alone holds their futures and the futures of their loved ones. In the measure caregivers can rest in the Lord’s care the negative emotions will be soothed.
As a caregiver for my husband I found that fighting the “fiery arrows” of negative emotions was a constant struggle. If it were not for my faith, I would have not been able to persevere. My faith and knowing that God was in control made all the difference. The promises of God’s Word that He would always be with me soothed my fears and other negative emotions. Finally the weapon of prayer and looking for God’s working in my life was a big help in fighting those “fiery arrows.“
Dear Christian Caregiver, remember that emotions negative or otherwise are just feelings. Feelings are not necessarily based on truth. Only God’s Word and resting on your faith in God is the source of truth. Look for the blessings in your life, and rest in His truth.