Monday, July 30, 2012

Other Life Lessons Taught by Caregiving

In my last post we talked about some of the life lessons taught by caregiving. There are so many lessons a caregiver can learn through his or her experience with caregiving that it can not be contained in just one entry. I am sure we could fill many posts talking about life lessons learned while being a caregiver.

Caregiving by its nature teaches what is important and what is not important. It teaches that frivolous material things are NOT important. Family and relationships ARE important. As a caregiver I also was reminded that my treasures did not lie in earthly things but it heavenly things. My faith in my Lord God and my relationship with Him was and is alone of supreme value. Caregiving because of its challenges and sometimes heartaches further often tested my beliefs between what I said I believed and what I really believed in regards to my faith in my Lord.

Caregiving also teaches us that knowing the “why” of why our loved ones became ill would not take away the emotional pain of watching our loved ones suffer through the effects of their illnesses. Some things are just too difficult for our human minds to understand, and some things just have to be left in God’s hands.

Another important truth learned from caregiving is that God is good. Circumstances may be bad, but God is good. God is the very definition and essence of goodness. He proved that by sending His son on the cross. Thus He can help and guide caregivers who are struggling to make their way through the maze of making impossible and confusing decisions about their loves one’s care. He can help caregivers who are struggling to keep emotional and spiritual equilibrium in the midst of the heartaches of seeing their loved ones decline in their health.

Caregiving further teaches that joy can coexist in the midst of the heartaches and grief that often accompany caregiving. This is because joy is not based on circumstances which are favorable or perfect. Rather it is based on a relationship with the Lord.

Finally caregiving teaches that God is sovereign and in control. Nothing happens to a Christian caregiver or his or her loved one that is not filtered through His love. This is true even in the heartbreaking events which often accompany caregiving. This is a hard truth to accept. When this truth is accepted, however, it a soft place to land when overwhelmed with caregiving difficulties or life’s difficulties in general.

Today, July 30, 2012 would have been my husband’s and my 41rst wedding anniversary. Caregiving and watching my husband decline in his health and then his death in January of 2011 has been one of my life’s most difficult tests. Knowing I could trust that God loved me and was in control in the midst of the confusion and grief of it all made and continues to make all the difference in the world. Dear Christian Caregiver, never forget that the Lord loves you, and He is good. He is in control.

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