Our identities are so often wrapped up with our various roles in life. Our identities, however, really should be a reflection of who we are inside. Our identities should reflect our values, passions, likes and dislikes, and our tastes.
My husband, Wayne, and I were married for over 39 years. During that time I was his wife, lover, and best friend. I was also the mother to our three sons and later a mother-in-law and a grandma.
During the last years of my husband’s life, I also took on the role of my husband’s caregiver. As my husband’s caregiver I was often bombarded with questions like, “How is Wayne?” I never knew how to answer that question. Outside of a miracle, my husband was NOT going to get better; only worse. He was not going to get over his disease like the common cold. There was no treatment for his disease, and his symptoms were predicted to continue to deteriorate. So how was I to answer a question like, “How is Wayne?” People knew this, and I still was asked that question. I also felt that I was more than my husband’s caregiver, and I didn't constantly want to be identified only as Wayne’s caregiver.
As my husband’s wife and caregiver, I grieved each step backwards that he took in his disease. It was painful seeing the love of my love deteriorate before my eyes. The role of being his caregiver did become almost all consuming. Because of this, it also almost became my identity. After my husband’s death on January 2, 2011, my new status became “widow.” I now had/have to work my way through the grief process and struggle to find a new purpose and role in life.
As we said before, however, our identities are not equal to our roles in life. Our identities should reflect our inner beings and passions. The roles we play in life should merely be a vehicle for fleshing out our identities. Also, as Christians, our true identities are really only found in our relationship with our Lord. That relationship will get us through the most difficult of challenges and trials.
Dear caregiver, the care-giving role can be so consuming that you forget who you are as a person. In the midst of the overwhelming decisions and challenges of care-giving, it is important that you do not lose sight of who you are as a unique individual. Most importantly, do not lose sight, Christian caregiver, of your significant identity in Christ.
(This post is taken from my book DEAR CAREGIVER Reflections for Family Caregivers available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Xulon, my publisher. You can also get it directly from me by emailing me at jesuschild54@hotmail for specifics.)
I started caring for a dear elderly friend last year. This morning I asked the Lord to give me a word from Him for encouragement and I came across your site...the Lord really spoke to me through that blog...thank you!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Anne, for your kind comments. I am glad that the Lord used the blog to encourage you. I hope you come back often and also read some of the older posts. I usually post a new post about once a week.ReplyDelete
I will definitely come back often and yes will read your older posts too...thank you SharonReplyDelete