Sunday, June 12, 2016

No Pit So Deep

As a caregiver, you may sometimes feel as if you are in a deep pit from which you cannot escape. The emotions of being responsible for the well-being of your loved one who continues to decline before your very eyes can be overwhelming. Below are some words that I scribed on January 23, 2010.  Perhaps you can relate:  
     Last night we watched the DVD The Hiding Place. It is about a Christian family in Holland who hid Jews in their home during the Nazi occupation in World War II. They were eventually found out and captured. The father died about 10 days after their capture, but the two sisters, Betsy and Corrie Ten Boom, were sent to a concentration camp.
     In the horrors of concentration camp, Betsy and Corrie came to the conclusion that there was no pit so deep that God does not go deeper. That movie was a real encouragement to me. Sometimes care-giving can seem like a real pit, but the Lord is with me each step of the way. My life is a piece of cake compared to what those ladies endured.
     Having said that, however, the fact remains that care-giving is often very difficult. I really have to struggle with patience and wisdom. Besides the difficult physical and mobility symptoms in my husband, I am seeing some slowing down in his thinking. It is not that I can’t still rationally discuss some things with him but, as I said, there is a slowing down in thinking.  He sometimes does have trouble controlling his emotions in public. This usually manifests itself in laughing. Then there is the always difficult task of communicating. He speaks with a mumble and does not speak clearly.  Finally, I suspect some depression is going on also. This whole process of decline -- physically and otherwise -- that I see in my husband sometimes seems like a slow death.
     Adding to this stress, we are planning on moving in about 4 weeks. We are scheduled to close on February first on our new condo.  Then we are scheduled to have a wheelchair ramp built starting on February second. The plan is to move into our new condo on February 20. My prayer is that the ramp will indeed be built the week after closing and that it will be easily usable with my husband, Wayne.  Sometimes my stress level feels like about twelve on a scale of ten. 
Dear Christian caregiver, the stress of care-giving can often be overwhelming. It can feel as if one is in an emotional pit so deep that one is not able to crawl out of it. In those times, remember the conclusions of Corrie and Betsy Ten Boom: that there is no pit so deep that God does not go deeper.

(This post is a chapter found in my book: Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  My book can be ordered several places online.  A link to the order page for my book on Amazon is on the side of this page.  If you are getting this by e-mail just click to the christiancaregiving link to get to my home page.)

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