Sunday, June 22, 2014

God in the Lonliness of Care-giving

As a caregiver I sometimes felt intense loneliness. Usually my husband, Wayne, for whom I was caring was right there with me in the room; and yet I felt a deep sense of loneliness. Of course these feelings of loneliness greatly deepened after my husband’s death, but they were also there while he was still alive.

I think these feelings of loneliness came from my grief over my husband’s steady decline downwards. Because of this decline I could not and did not relate with him in the same way, as I had in the past. I missed the way our relationship had been in the past. So there was a loneliness for that past relationship. There was a longing for the ability to communicate and talk things through, as we had in the past. There was a hunger for the fun times and for more of that spiritual and emotional connection we had experienced together in the past. There was a sadness in seeing him sleep away so much of his days and life being consumed with just meeting basic needs.

There was also a feeling of discouragement in knowing that others could not really understand and identify fully with all that Wayne and I were experiencing. It was a feeling of being all alone in this experience. 

I found that reaching out to fellow caregivers online was a great help. Writing down my own feelings in this way helped to crystallize those feelings. It also helped me to connect with other caregiver bloggers, and it made me realize that I was not alone in my care-giving experience.

Most importantly, however, was my reliance on God, prayer, and His Word. God’s promises to me in the Bible were a great comfort and help. He promised me and continues to promise me in Hebrews 13:5b to never leave me or forsake me. He also promised and continues to promise me that He will bring good in my character and life through the difficulties.

Dear caregiver, when you feel lonely trust that God is with you even when no one else seems to understand. His love and care for you is awesome and marvelous.

(This post appears in one of the meditations in my new book DEAR CAREGIVER subtitled Reflections for Family Caregivers. If you would like to order the book just click on the Amazon or Xulon link below the picture of the book.)

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