Saturday, September 24, 2022

For Those Who Are Caring for Others

I think the picture below says it all.  Many of you are struggling with being a caregiver for a loved one.  In the best of times this can involve sacrifice and sometimes struggles.  Yet you continue to persevere, and you continue to love.  Care for a loved one must involve sincere love and a focus on honoring and glorifying God.  Otherwise, it may deteriorate to resentment at God and your loved one for whom you are caring, because of the struggles and burdens sometimes connected with family care-giving.   

Having said that take respite time whenever possible, dear caregiver.  Take a few minutes each day to recharge by spending time in God's Word and prayer.  Also spend some time doing things you enjoy each day. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually in the same way, as you care for your loved one.  Finally, ask people to pray for you and to help out when possible.  Thank you, dear caregiver, for all the love you show to your loved one in their time of need.  Thank you for all that you do! 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

For Those Receiving Care From Others


About two years ago a friend on mine, who was a caregiver for her husband, Walt, until his death posted on her Facebook status.  What she wrote was very profound.  So I asked her at that time, if I could share her words on my blog.  I would like to share her words again this week on my blog post.  My friend addressed her words to those who are the recipients of care from someone else.  This is what my friend wrote:

"I am bringing this up because there are a few of my dear friends here who are struggling with guilt and feeling like a burden with having a family member or friend become their caregiver. When Walt was first diagnosed with his brain tumor, he turned to me and said. "I would not blame you if you left me...I don't want too.." I stopped him before he could finish. I told him to never go there again. I told him that I am here and he is here, and we are a team. We are going to walk this journey together each step of the way no matter how painful or difficult.

It was an honor to be the one to walk with him. It was an honor that he put all his trust in me when the time came for me to take over all his care. Please don't waste precious time feeling guilty or feeling like a burden to those who are caring for you. Take that time to tell the person who is by your side how much you love and appreciate them.

I have a letter from Walt that he had written to me while he was still able to write. In one part of the letter, he talked about how well I was taking care of him. This letter meant everything to me. After Walt died, I would often have thoughts that I did not do enough, or I could have done better....a lot of guilt. I would turn to Walt's letter and his words would tell me to stop thinking like that. If you are able to write or even record a message for the person who is caring for so now. Just because you are being cared for doesn't mean that you can't care for others. You just may have to do it differently then you have before. God still has a purpose for you, so ask Him how you can help others while being helped."

Friday, September 2, 2022

The Lord's Answers to our Questioning


This week's blog post prayer is for those who are family caregivers for years on end or have found themselves a caregiver for a second or third time.  It is the caregiver's questions for the Lord and His answers in Scripture.

Dear Lord, why do I find myself in this position as family caregiver for so many years or once again?  If I have to undergo trials, why this one?  

Because, my child, I have planted you in this area of service for a purpose.  "Each one should use whatever gift he (or she) has received to serve others faithfully administrating God's grace.----If anyone serves, he (or she) should do it with the strength God provides. so that in all things God will be praised through Jesus Christ."  (I Peter 4:10-11)  Dear child of mine, I know what area of service and trial is best for your spiritual growth and for your love for Me to become more intimate and sweet.

But, Lord, I am so tired.  

My child, I have said, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest..  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and my burden is light."  (Matthew 11:28-29)  Yoke yourself with Me, and I will carry the burden.  This involves surrender.  It involves resting in Me and not resisting, but the blessings are wonderful.  If you rest in Me, I will take your exhaustion and uncertainty and turn it into calm expectation.  

But Lord, aside from the tiredness, I also feel so weak and unqualified for this.

"You are My servant, I have chosen you---So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold with My righteous right hand."  (Isaiah 41:9b10)  I have also said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."  (Hebrews 13:5b)

Yes, Lord, but what about the heartache and less than pleasant moments of dealing with my loved one's illness?

I have said that I may allow grief at times, but I will also show compassion and My great love is unfailing.  (Lamentations 3:32)  "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33)  Also I have promised to someday wipe away every tear. I have said that on that day when I return for you "there will be no death, or mourning or crying or pain."  (Revelation 21:4)

But, Lord, what about the huge personal cost and sacrifice this care-giving involves for me?

My child, I came to this earth from a beautiful place in Heaven with the Father.  I took on humanity, and I identified with my chosen people. I washed the disciples' feet as an example, and I died on the cruel cross for you. I, Jesus Christ, "being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped."  I emptied myself and made my self nothing "taking the very nature of a servant---and became obedient to death even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:8)  When you see what I did for you, your attitude should be the same as mine in your service to others.  "I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master---Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."  (John 13:16-17)

How can I have joy and peace in the middle of difficult moments, Lord?  

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again; Rejoice!---The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God---" (Philippians 4:7)  Also think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent,  and praiseworthy.  "And the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8-9)