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The Unexpected

I'm an organized person, really. I like structure, a schedule, and to know what is happening next. Too bad caregiving doesn't accommodate that. Ever. Each day there are tons of certainties. Obviously, I will feed, dress, transfer, and care for my son. But there are all these other forces that interrupt my new normal.

This weekend it was the flu. Chris nor I had it - but my granddaughter tested positive for both A & B flu. Who does that, seriously? That and the cold weather caused me to cancel a race I had planned for me and Chris. When I signed up, the forecast was sunny and 54 - perfect for taking Chris to the race. But the high temperatures continued to drop throughout the week until it was cloudy and barely in the low 40s. Not good for those who are fragile. So I canceled. Again.

It's times like these that I feel the losses most. I feel inconsistent and that goes against every fiber of my being. In my heart, I am a pleaser and I cannot stand to let people down. However, I know that my role as caregiver causes these situations and there is nothing I can do about it. I start sinking into the abyss of loneliness and social isolation. But honestly, it's getting more comfortable there and that's what scares me.

I'm learning a lot about both worshipping and being a warrior. When the unexpected happens and the bottom falls out we can get swept away in so many lies. Some I deal with as a caregiver include:
  • you're not worth anybody's time
  • no one wants to hang out with you
  • you've got nothing to offer society
  • you were made to live on the bottom
  • you don't deserve a social life
Maybe it's just me - but the emotional struggles are real for caregivers. It may wear a little different voice and say words a bit differently, but caregiving can attack our identity. We get lost in caring for our loved one and literally lose ourselves. But there is hope. (You knew there would be!)

Paul asked the Christians at Colossae a question. It's not in the same context, but he says why as though living in the world...we are not of this world. We are citizens of heaven and our identity is in Him. And the good news is that it doesn't change in response to any circumstances. Caregiving doesn't change our identity - we are His and we are still hidden in Him. Nothing in time can change who we are in eternity.

Today, in the midst of my crazy thoughts- I will stop and thank Him for saving me. For calling me His own. And I will be thankful that I'm still His - and nothing, not even caregiving can take me out of His hand. I'll turn my thoughts to who HE thinks I am and I'll remind myself that He is consistent in a life that is not. His love, His peace, His fellowship can be expected in a world where the unexpected is the norm. And I'll be content in Him today - will you join me?

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