(This post is a chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.)
Living life on this earth, in many ways, is like running a race. In fact, the Bible refers to our lives as a race which must be run with perseverance. I think this is especially true for caregivers. Care-giving for a family member with a terminal or long term illness involves a determination and perseverance not found in many other of life’s experiences.
Running the care-giving race requires energy. It is demanding and emotionally and physically exhausting. It is a race which is never ending. To run this race successfully, caregivers needs to rely on God Himself to supply them with the energy and strength to carry on day after day. Caregivers often feel low in energy, but God has promised to supply the strength to continue. It is also so important for caregivers to feed on God’s Word, so that they will have the spiritual nutrients to continue the exhausting care-giving race in which they are participating.
As I mentioned before, running the care-giving race also requires perseverance. It requires a consistent determination to keep going even when tired or when uncertain where the road ahead will lead. This race can also feel very lonely to caregivers. As a caregiver for my husband with a long term terminal illness, I so remember those feelings of fatigue. I also remember those feelings of fear and uncertainty about the future and the loneliness.
However, the Lord has promised to always be with us in all of life’s challenges. As He was with me, He will be with you also, dear Christian caregiver. He will never forsake you. He will help you run your care-giving race with perseverance! Dear Christian caregiver, run the care-giving race keeping your eyes upon the Lord. Do this, for He alone is your source of strength. He also will keep you from quitting the race.
Everybody has a race to run in this life. The caregiver’s race is different than other people’s races. However, it is the race you have been assigned, dear caregiver. Run it in confidence trusting that you will be given the strength and energy to persevere.
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