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. It purposes in both my life and in my husband’s life were far reaching, and they 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. They 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 his expressions of his love. I would often long for those days.
I journaled 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 standing 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 special 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, always will be with me.
Knowing that God loved me and even delighted in me was a source of comfort to me during my caregiving days. God’s affirming love for me comforted me even more than knowing that my caregiving role had a 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!