Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Perspective

No one needs to tell you caregiving is hard. For many of us, it's one of the most difficult things we've ever faced, at least it makes the top 5 list! It's not easy physically. It is not easy emotionally. It can be draining and tiring. However, it can also be the most rewarding experience in your life. It can bring joy. For many, it drives us into a deeper, more intimate place in God. Maybe it sort of balances out in the end.

Protecting that intimate place with God is probably the most important key to keeping our sanity intact. Yet, there are moments when that seems so difficult. Those down moments. I'm sure I'm alone on this one.. right?

In many ways, I think it's our perspective that can protect us. But it can also be what sabotages us. This holds true for anyone in any situation. What we choose to hold in our gaze will consume us. We have to deal with caregiving face on, of course. But if we focus on it, it can drag us into depression, guilt, frustration and many other deep, dark places.

I understand we must be attentive to the needs of our loved one, but for me personally, nothing trips me up more than taking my eyes off Him. When I start focusing on life, and all that is going on around me - I become overwhelmed by it. The opposite is also true - when I turn my gaze to Him - I am overcome by His faithfulness, His grace, His compassion, and the truth that He chose to walk this out with me.

What we set our eyes on - will control us. It's what we give ourselves to. No wonder the author of Hebrews said fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him, who endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I had almost lost heart. I did grow weary. But just in time, I turned my gaze to Him, and He lifted me up out of despair. It's up to us what we focus on. It's up to us what changes us. When we focus on Him, we can let Him carry us again. Our perspective protects us when we choose to look at Him from our situations - no matter how good or how difficult.

Today, I will fix my eyes on Him. I'm going to shift my gaze from what's going on in this horizontal plane to what's going on vertically. I'll turn my eyes to the One who authored and finishes my faith - the One who has been carrying me - and will continue to walk through time with me. The weight of life seems lighter when I'm looking at Him. It's not as confusing or overwhelming when I fix my eyes on Him. I'll turn my thoughts away from all those things that are digging at me, and I'll meditate on His grace, on His love, on His ever-abiding presence and the peace He gives that surpasses understanding. Will you join me?

2 comments:

  1. I've been offline for 2 weeks and was catching up today on your devotions. Stopped here because you highlighted what might be my favorite verse (Hebrews 12:2); companion to Isaiah 26:3-two key verses that helped me through caregiving. Sending lots of love and praying for your family as your mom transitions to nursing home care. <3

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    1. Thank you so much for reading - and for continuing to pray for us!

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