(This is another chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.)
As a caregiver, it is very important that you eat right, exercise when you can, and in general do all you can to maintain your good health. Dear caregiver, you can not be of comfort and help to your loved one for whom you are caring; if you do not do all in your power to stay healthy yourself. Taking care of yourself physically is so important for you to become a caregiver of strength,
Even more important than your physical health is your emotional and spiritual health. Family care-giving can be emotionally and spiritually draining. That is why it is so important that you maintain your spiritual health through daily prayer and reading the Word of God. If this means you have to get up in the morning before your loved one, that is what you need to do. It is essential to your well-being and your being a caregiver of strength. Also throughout the day constantly be aware of and tune into the presence of God right beside you.
The Bible tells us not to be afraid. Yet is so easy for caregivers to let worries attack them. As a caregiver for my husband I remember being so afraid of what the future held for my husband and me. The prognosis for his neurological disease was eventual total disability. That was exactly what happened. Satan wants us to despair during these times, and yet the Lord understands our weaknesses in this area. In the midst of the fearsome circumstances caregivers of strength can show courage because of the Lord's strength in them.
Caregivers of strength know that they are fallible human beings. They know they become impatient at times. They often feel like they are walking in the dark. They often feel as if their whole world could fall apart at any moment. They also know, however, that the Lord will catch them and their loved ones when they fall. Caregivers have no confidence in their own strength, but they avail themselves of the Lord's grace and strength.
Caregivers of strength do not continually look for their own advantage. They often sacrifice their own best interests for the best interests of the loved one for whom they are caring. They also know that they do not have enough strength in themselves for the care-giving journey they are on. They further know with certainty, however, that through the care-giving journey they will become strong by God's grace.
Dear Christian caregiver, this is most likely the most difficult journey you have ever been on. Trust in the Lord's strength. Rest in Him, and you will be a caregiver of strength!
(If you wish to order my book to encourage family caregivers here is the Amazon link to my order page: https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Caregiver-Sharon-Vander-Waal/dp/1629524263?ie=UTF8&keywords=Dear%20Caregiver&qid=1464624581&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books
My book is also found at Barnes and Noble and elsewhere online. My book is available in Kindle and Nook versions as well as paperback. Finally, you can get a copy directly from me as well. Just e-mail me at email@example.com for specifics, if you wish to go that route.)