Skip to main content

When the journey gets Long

The hospital is a familiar place for many caregivers. We lived there for over 4 months after my son's accident. And then there are times when it seems like we make so many trips they should offer us rewards like frequent flyer miles or something. (smile) Feeding tubes fall out, O2 levels drop below 90, falls or any number of things specific to an individual's care can send you running right back up there. Initially we had tons of friends coming to sit with us. But when the journey got longer they seemed to start disappearing quickly.

After the hospital stay we were in two nursing homes and a couple of rehab facilities before we were able to settle in at home. Even though our lives were still changing and evolving everyone seemed to make the assumption that we were home, so everything was okay. They thought things were returning to normal. But in reality we were just trying to find a new normal. And of course, caregiving is a whole different world.

Friends seemed to disappear even though a few are still in contact. Becoming a caregiver can be difficult on friends. It's like they think it changes you. And in some ways it definitely does over time just like life itself. But just because you became a caregiver doesn't mean the core of you changed. You still have the same sense of humor (necessary for caregiving!), like your coffee the same way and still enjoy doing some of the same things - if there is time.

Having friends who walk away can feel like betrayal. And that's what we find in Micah 7. The prophet is describing a very rough time and a time of betrayal by even family members, which happens a lot too. In many cases it's just that people no longer know what to do with us. Our journey as we step into a caregiving role becomes longer and more difficult than they can handle. And in many cases they don't know what to say, how to help or how to make it better so they do and say nothing. It feels like betrayal.

We make a lot of jokes about Job's friends in his Biblical account. And even though they got pretty rough with him later on - early in his journey they were prime examples of true friends. When they heard he was ill and was going through a horrible time - they came and sat. They had no words; but they sat with him in silent mourning for 7 days. What a picture of true heart-felt compassion for a friend. There wasn't anything they could do to make it better but they were present for his journey.

I have friends who are present on this journey of caregiving. But I've also had some for whom the journey got too long, too difficult and they walked away. During those times when the feelings of betrayal seem to saturate our souls, we can say what Micah did in chapter 7 verse 7: But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. 

When our friends can't hear us - God can. When our friends are not present for our journey - God is. When we face days all alone - God is with us and can hear us. He hears our weeping in the night hours when friends and family are not around. He hears and He can endure the journey.

Today I will meditate on the truth that God has not bailed ship. He is still walking on this caregiving journey with me. It hasn't gotten too long or too difficult for Him. I will rejoice in the truth that He ain't going nowhere! He will remain on this journey with me. I will turn my thoughts to His ever abiding, patient presence in my life today. Will you join me?


Popular posts from this blog

Living Grief

 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

The Best Meeting

  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

But I Have Today

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