I was thrust into caregiving when my son was in a tragic accident but soon found that there's a whole world of "us" out there! Many times we find ourselves alone. Even the church can disappear quickly and good friends distance themselves because our world has changed. But God does not change with circumstance. My faith is what has carried me through and these devotions will hopefully help us all make one more day - encouraged in Him.
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Can we just be Honest?
There are some topics that caregivers are not going to discuss with others - not even other caregivers. Our emotions can be too raw too much of the time and there's no place where the pain or grief totally stops. Many days we just suck it up and continue to care for our loved one and give no regard to our own emotions and feelings. Sometimes this is how we actually survive the difficult role we must play for another. We can get very absorbed into their care and forget about our own pain and suffering. But then there are times when it can all come crashing in on us; emotions and thoughts run through our hearts and minds like crazy. What do we do with the rushing river?
As I was reading Psalms 15 this morning one phrase really stuck out to me.
O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness
And speaks truth in his heart.
No matter how good or how bad our day is going or how crazy our emotions might be today - we can always speak the truth in our hearts. It's actually very important to be honest about our feelings and the things we may be dealing with. God already knows - and when we pray - we have no need to shroud the truth. By simply being honest with him about our fears, doubts, mistakes and pain - we have free entry to His presence. And that is where we are refreshed and gain the strength to face one more day of caregiving.
Why would we try to conceal the truth of what we hold in our hearts? Are we afraid He will be disappointed in us? Perhaps we feel that He will reject us if He saw it all. But He already sees it all - and loves us anyway. He has the power to walk with us in the furnace so that we are not consumed by the fire. He carries us over the stormy waters so that we are not overcome by its waves. He is the only thing that is stable in our lives - let us run to Him with all of our questions and concerns.
Today I will meditate on His ever abiding presence and rejoice that I can literally tell Him everything. He will think no less of me because I do! I'll rejoice in His acceptance today - and turn to Him in my pain and grief. Will you join me?
As caregivers, many of us deal with daily grief and a constant sense of loss. Even though we don't feel these emotions all of the time, they do keep coming back. For me, mine is often sparked by seeing something on my Facebook feed. I'll see one of Chris' friends or a memory and it'll tip my emotional bucket right over. Living grief is one of those things the church doesn't know how to deal with. Well, honestly, who really knows how to deal with it? It's not just going to go away, now is it? :-) In some hyper-faith circles, grief is pretty much forbidden. Yet even under the old law, it was allowed room. If you lost a close loved one such as a spouse, parent, or sibling, you were given an entire year to mourn. Our culture allows a little time, but then we are expected to be back at work, back at church, or back to our daily lives after a very short time. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other. But living grief continues. When we deal with parents wh
I know I've written quite a few times about Hagar, but her story intrigues me. I think I can relate to the rejection and loneliness she must have felt. In numerous devotions, I've talked about how God met her right where she was. She did have God "find" her twice. But there are other people in the scriptures that God met too. The list is a bit longer when we start thinking about how many times God met someone along the way. Twice He came and ministered to Hagar, He met Saul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), He met Balaam and stopped him before he sinned against God (Numbers 22). Jesus went through Samaria on purpose to speak with the woman at the well. He crossed two taboos in their time - going through Samaria and speaking to a woman! (John 4) He walked out to the disciples in a storm in Matthew 8. And the Angel of God came to Gideon when he was hiding from the Midianites in Judges 6. It's easy for today's religious thinkers to label these Bible characters
Do you ever have days that are just heavier than others? Of course, you do - who am I talking to? Saturday was Chris' 37th birthday. For some reason, it was unusually hard as I thought of where all his friends are today. You know, married, having kids, and enjoying their careers. I cried more than once that day. I grieved over what should have been, what could have been. I hugged him a little tighter and thought about the progress he's made recently. The other night, I am certain he "sang" to me after I got him in bed. It was the sweetest thing and I posted it in his Facebook group where I share things I don't feel I can share as "publicly." He's moving more and initiating more of his movement on his own. There are many things to rejoice about. At the same time, I am getting older. My joints hurt and I wonder how much longer I can take care of him. I fear the day that I won't be able to. This is the way the rest of my life looks, and I am okay w