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Mighty Warrior

Have you ever had someone tell you they admire you and how they think you, as a caregiver, are so strong? It happens all the time - but I really don't feel strong at all. It feels like I am just surviving and not doing that very well some days. And then sometimes, like this weekend while on our first big walking adventure - I notice people looking at us with such sympathy - like they feel so sorry for us and our situation. How people see a caregiver relies a lot on the types of life experiences they have had themselves.

Maybe they have had their shot at caregiving and they feel like it takes an enormous amount of strength. Or maybe some have never been in the position and think there's no way they could do it. (I was in that class BC -before caregiving.) The truth is we may not feel strong at all - but others likely see us that way.

We know as caregivers that we have moments where we can take on the world. These usually occur after winning a loooong fight with a health care professional who doesn't understand our situation or an aide who doesn't want to do their job or a person without a disability who took a handicap parking spot! These I-can-take-on-the-world-and-win!  moments are sparse and short-lived as in a matter of minutes we can go from this high back to the harsh reality of not knowing how to face the next moment of the day.

Sometimes we are zooming along full speed and everything is going well - again a rare moment for many of us! - and WHAM! outta nowhere comes something that knocks us off our  feet. Maybe we get a horrifying call from an insurance company who threatens to drop us or our loved one, our handicap vehicle breaks down after a doctor's visit or our loved one's tube just pops out! (All of these have happened to me! lol) We don't even take time to think about having or finding strength we just kick into gear and get 'er done - whatever it takes! Then we promptly collapse into a pile of tears and exhaustion when we are done... experience speaking. That doesn't seem all that strong to me.

I had someone in one of my support groups say something that made me think of it she said, "She's shown us all a thing or two about digging down deep and getting things done." I just stared at that text on the screen and thought Is that how she sees me? To me - I'm flailing around trying to survive! How people see us is not usually how we feel about ourselves.

God doesn't see us like we see ourselves either. It makes me think of the story of Gideon in Judges 6. He was hiding from the enemy and the angel of the Lord came to him and said, hail, mighty man of valour! Really? He's hiding and God sees him as a mighty warrior?

Sometimes it's easier for the caregiver to try and hide in the caregiver's cave than it is to deal with the world outside - and even though we may see ourselves as a bit shaky, or frightened or weak - He sees us as He intended and He sees us as filled with the power of Christ.

Today I will meditate on the strength He has put inside of me instead of my own weakness. I will turn my thoughts to how He fills me with Himself until there's nothing left of me. And I will think about His mighty indwelling presence and how strong I am in Him. Will you join me?

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