Sunday, January 13, 2019

After Care-giving Ends

If you are caring for a loved one or friend, some day that will end.  It may end with your loved one being cured of his or her disease.  As we talked about a couple weeks ago in my blog post, "In the Hands of the Lord," it may also end in the death of your loved one.    In that eventuality, you will then have to begin the process of picking up the pieces of your life and finding new purpose in your life.  This is something we do not wish to talk about, but it is often a part of the care-giving process.  Hence, we need to discuss it.

Today I am posting a link to an article that was published in Guideposts magazine over three years ago about my experiences the first months after my husband's death.  I had cared for him for over four and a half years, and that time period was a huge transition for me.  This article documents my journey to finding purpose in my life again.  It is written in first person, but was actually written by a Guideposts author (even though I am a published author myself) after an extensive hour and a half interview with me.  I also suggested changes and had input in the final copy.  Although I would have changed the wording a few places, it certainly reflects my emotions and feelings at the time.  Click on the link below to read it.


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Find Rest in Him This Year

We have entered a new year. Are you worried and nervous about what this new year will bring, dear caregiver, or instead of being anxious are you resting in the Lord and trusting Him? Will you trust the Lord only if your loved one’s health improves or he or she becomes completely well again, or will you trust the Lord even if your loved one’s health continues to deteriorate in this coming year?

In the book of Job in the Old Testament we read about a man who lost everything he owned and all his children in a series of disasters. On top of that he was afflicted with a horrible disease. Job had been living his life in a godly manner prior to all this, and yet he had to suffer all these things.

Do you ever wonder, dear Christian caregiver, why God has allowed the illness of your loved one for whom you are caring? Have you ever wondered why you have to go through all the heartaches and challenges of caring for your ill or disabled loved one? Have you ever wondered why you, a child of God, has to endure these trials?

In the book of Job in the Old Testament a man, Job, began to ask these questions. God responded to Job in chapter 42. In effect God says, “Who are you to question My ways and My plans? Why should you question Me without knowledge-without understanding My wisdom? You have no right to question Me. Your knowledge is too limited to understand My ways. You do not have My power and wisdom.” Later Job said to God that he had spoken of things he did not understand and of things that were way beyond his understanding. These were things only God could understand, and Job repented of questioning God’s ways.

I do not understand why my husband was afflicted with his devastating neurological disease. I do not know why he had to go through the disabilities and indignities of his disease. I do not know why I had to go through all the heartaches of being his caregiver and eventually losing him to death. I must trust God, however, that He knew what He was doing no matter how difficult life became during those care-giving years and during the months of grief after my husband’s death.

The Bible reminds us that we can trust in the Lord, for He has and never will forsake us. His ways are perfect even when we do not understand His ways. He is our shield, and we can take refuge in Him. We can trust in Him and not be afraid of what the future holds. Even in difficult times He is our strength and song.

I do know that I have been strengthened in my faith, and my relationship with the Lord is more precious than ever because of all that has happened to me. God has been my help and support through it all. I needed and still need to trust in Him alone. I don’t understand all God’s ways; but I do know He is a wise, faithful, and loving God. I do know that He is worthy of my trust.  

I also know the Lord has restored joy to my life.  He has turned sadness to joy.  He has restored joy to my life by a sweetened relationship with Him and by my ability to help others just because of my past difficult experiences.  Because of past trials I also have new gratitude in my life for the beautiful blessings He showers on me each day.  I experience these blessings with greater joy.  I will always miss my husband, but the Lord has also given me the joy of loving another special person.  

God is the great restorer, dear caregiver.  He will be with you and provide for you in the difficult days.  He will also in His perfect timing and in a way only He can accomplish, restore joy to your heart and life.  In the meantime, rest in Him this year, dear caregiver.