I booked a flight to Shreveport and lived in the hospital for 4 months as I sat by his side. We then went through a series of nursing homes and rehab facilities until I could get my own apartment and have a place to "bring him home" to. It's an understatement to say that everything changed. I now work from home as a writer and have a decent little apartment near my family in Oklahoma.
Over time we all change, we evolve into different roles as life throws new things at us. We develop character as we embrace life changes. I think as caregivers we get used to rolling with the blows since we never know what a day is going to bring and who we may have to confront on behalf of our loved ones. For me - recent changes include stepping into more of a caregiving role with my parents as they age as well. Even though this brings more changes I still look the same.
Of course I don't look the same physically as I did when I began this caregiving journey, I'm a little fluffier and more wrinkled for sure - I'm not nearly the same person I was. I don't put up with as much silliness and I basically have learned how to fight for others. We learn new skills like advocating on behalf of another and dealing with people who don't want to do their job like aides etc. Supplies -- there you go - just getting the supplies that we are due can be quite a journey. Perhaps we don't think about it - but all these struggles and situations mold us into a new person.
No matter what changes we endure - we still look the same to Him. God still sees us as the exact same person as He always has - and He always will. I think we could compare it to how we see our kids. They grow up and eventually leave home to raise their own family. And even though they go through many physical changes they remain "our little girl" or "our little boy." God sees us like that -- we are still His little girls and boys.
Psalm 139:13 states that He wove us in our mother's womb and that He formed our inward parts. I think that means the insides that make us who we are -- not just our intestines, heart, and liver. Job said it like this: You clothe me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. (Job 10:11) To me this means God sees us from the inside out - He sees us like we really are - what makes us "us" and then He put skin on it. So even though our worlds turned upside down or topsy-turvy we still look the same to the one who loves us most.
Today I will meditate on how God sees the real me - and continues to love me. I will turn my meditations to how He chose for me to be on this planet and even though He put skin on the "real me" He sees way deeper than that. I will think about His closeness today and how He loves me with or without skin on! Even though people treat me different and aren't sure what to do with me - He still thinks I look the same....and He loves me. I'll think about His great love and compassion for me today - will you join me?