Sunday, February 24, 2019

Simply Trusting

This post is yet another chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.)

The Lord God is the caregiver's refuge, source of guidance, and assurance in the difficult challenges of family care-giving.  Care-giving is one of the most important avenues of service in the kingdom of God.  It also can be a time of despair, discouragement, and bewilderment while making decisions concerning the next wisest step in dealing with the health of one's loved one for whom one is caring.

Every caregiver needs  to ask the Lord to help and guide him or her through the difficult twists and turns of care-givng.  This involves also TRUSTING that God will guide step by step through this process.  God will not usually let the caregiver see far into the future, but the Lord has promised to lead step by step.  He will always walk alongside the caregiver with His sustaining strength.  He will be the caregiver's refuge each step of the way.

The caregiver needs to choose to rest in the Lord.  A caregiver cannot control the circumstances of their loved one's disease, but they can control their response to the circumstances.  That response has to be one of trust in the Lord.  When one sees one's loved one deteriorating in health it is so easy to become discouraged and to become fearful, but the Lord is the source of hope.  He has everything under His control.  He is worthy of our trust.

There are times when the care-giving situation become increasingly desperate and hopeless.  This can cause the caregiver to feel brokenhearted and want to give up.  Remember, dear caregiver, the Lord is very near to you when you feel this way.   God sees your overwhelming situation, and He hears your cry for help.  He can and will bring you through this storm in your life.  He will hear your every cry and meet your every need.  You may not always understand God's ways with you and with your loved one; but He will never leave you or forsake you, dear caregiver.

The Lord may not heal your loved one on this earth, but the Lord will heal your loved one.  As a child of God, even if your loved one's disease is not healed on this earth, your loved one will be completely healed in eternity.  No matter what happens, the Lord will heal you too, dear Christian caregiver.  He will heal you emotionally and spiritually and teach you valuable lessons about His love and faithfulness in the process.  Trust in Him.  Rest in Him.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Praise the Lord

(This is a chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.)

Family caregivers often face overwhelming physical and emotional struggles, as they care for their loved ones. This is especially true if their loved ones have a terminal disease and are deteriorating in their health month by month and sometimes day by day. In many cases, caregivers' dreams for a beautiful future with their loved ones have been shattered. They also often feel weighed down with fears about the future.

Dear Christian caregiver, do not let Satan discourage you by his schemes at times like this. Satan is a liar, and he wants you to forget that you are a child of God with the power of God on your side. Satan wants you to forget that you have Christ's resurrection power in you to live for God and carry out your difficult care-giving role. Trust in the Lord. Rest in Him, dear caregiver.

One way  caregivers (or anyone for that matter) can fight Satan's schemes to discourage us is to praise the Lord in the midst of difficulties. It seems to go so against our instincts to praise the Lord during difficult times, but thankfulness takes the sting out of trials and adversity. The chains of discouragement and despair drop behind us when we praise the Lord. I read somewhere recently that if we give thanks to God in spite of our feelings, He in turn gives us joy in spite of our circumstances. We sense God's presence when we are praising Him in a way that we can not do in any other way. It is said thanksgiving and praise in our hearts squeezes difficult circumstances until joy oozes out of it. Praise for the Lord gives us glimpses of Heaven, which in turn gives us further reasons to be thankful.

I still remember very vividly those care-giving days taking care of my husband with a rapidly deteriorating neurological disease. Those days were very difficult. This was especially true the last months of his life. It is hard to feel thankful and full of praise in such moments. God asks us to make a SACRIFICE of praise, however, even in those difficult moments. If we do this, we will find peace and joy as we are resting in Him. We may not always understand God's ways, but He does have everything under His control.

Praise the Lord in the midst of all the challenges and difficulties, dear caregiver. It will lift your load.

(I have a link posted below. It is a song from the Imperials and it is called Praise the Lord. I hope you will find it a blessing, dear caregiver.)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Our Divine Valentine

(Forgive me for once again republishing a post from the past in a slightly edited version.  I think it is a message worth repeating again, as Thursday is Valentine's Day.)

Dear caregiver, do you ever feel the sorrow of things lost?  Do you ever miss the way things were in the past with your loved one for whom you are caring?  Does the approach of holidays such as Valentine's day make you feel melancholy and sad?  Even though new love has entered my life, I remember those feelings.

During those moments of sadness remember that the Lord loves you with an infinite love.  He in effect is your Divine Valentine.  He is sufficient.  He alone can give you all that you need.  Below is a poem called Your Divine Valentine:

Your Divine Valentine

A Valentine may play a love song for you, but God sings you the sweetest love song in the universe.  (Zephaniah 3:17)

A Valentine may give you flowers, but God sent you the most beautiful rose of all, Jesus.
(Song of Solomon 2:1)

A Valentine may bring you chocolate, but God provides you with something even sweeter, His Word.  (Psalm 119:103)

A Valentine may love you for a lifetime,but God loved you before you were born and will love you for all eternity,
(Jeremiah 31:3)

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Grace, Gatitude, and Faith

Recently I came across a Guideposts magazine that I had misplaced in a stack of books and magazines.  In it was an article called "Grace, Gratitude, and Faith."  The article told of Jeff Bjorck's walk of faith, as he cared for his mother with Alzheimer's disease.  In this article Jeff lists four tips for caring for a loved one with Alzheimers.  Below is the link to that article online.  The only difference is that it has a different title than the print editon.  I think you will find it to be a wonderful source of encouragment, if you are caring for a loved one.  Just click on the link below:

Jeff also authored a book called, Twilight Meditations.  It features some of his mother's thoughts about God, as she progressed through Alzheimer's.  I wrote about his book in a blog post that I authored in August of 2017.  In that same article I also reviewed a book by Brian De Jong called Honoring Our Elderly.  Finally, I reviewed my own book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  You can find that post by clicking on the below link: