Sunday, December 30, 2018

In the Hands of the Lord

(Much joy has returned to my life including the inroduction of a new person to love in the past few months.  It has been wonderful.  Yet I do soemtimes think back to those days when I was a caregiver for my husband.  I remember my eventual losing him to death. On January 1rst it would have been his birthday and on January 2nd it it the eighth anniversary of his homegoing to Heaven.   We prefer not to speak of the possible eventual death of a loved one when discussing family care-giving.  It is a real and possible outcome, however.  I discuss the day of my husband's death in the below post. This is also chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.)

On Saturday, Jan 1, 2011 my husband, Wayne, turned 65. Even though my husband’s health had declined significantly, I had no clue that on Sunday morning, January 2, 2011-one day after his birthday-I would find that my husband had passed away during the night. The process of the disease was supposed to take six to ten years after diagnosis. Wayne lived only four and a half years after diagnosis. I knew that he would pass away some day, however; and I anticipated that the his eventual death would be somewhat easier because of the grieving I had already done. I had been slowly losing him for a long time. I found out that certainly was not true, however. Death is so final on this earth. He was the love of my life for so many years.
My body reacted to the shock with chills, nausea, by feeling tired and wired at the same time, and by feelings of operating on auto pilot. I also found, however, that now I was beginning to release some tears which I could not release during all those years of having to remain strong in my role as caregiver.

I was so happy for my husband. He was released from a body which trapped him, and he was now in Heaven. I was sad for myself and my family, as we would miss him. I also wondered what next? As difficult as care-giving truly had been, it also had been my purpose for being on this earth for so long. I would have to rediscover a new purpose in the days ahead.

Dear caregiver, you may find this post more discouraging than helpful. If so, I apologize. Death, however, may come some day for your loved one. Know, however, that your loved one (as well as you, dear Christian caregiver), are in the hands of the Lord. God says all the days that we and our loved ones are meant to live on this earth are ordained by the Lord God (Psalm 139:16). 

Hence, I plead with you to not engage in false guilt during your care-giving days or in the possible eventual death of your loved one. It is the devil’s trick to discourage you. Also care-giving for a family member can be all consuming. Hence, when it ends a caregiver can have a sense of loss of purpose. I know I did. Be assured that God will use even that to refine you and mature you. Eventually the Lord will slowly reveal His new purpose for your life, begin to heal you, and begin to add new joy to your life. What will the future bring for you, dear Christian caregiver? No matter what it brings trust that the Lord will be with you each step of the way. You and your future are in the hands of the Lord, dear Christian caregiver.

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