Nothing is easy about caregiving, in my opinion. Some days are overall easier than others, maybe. And eventually we tend to adjust to a new normal, don’t we? For me, it’s taken some time to get into a groove and stay there. That’s actually how I adjust to many of the daily responsibilities. When I need to add something new, I find a spot for it in what I am already doing and once I fit it into my “groove” it becomes a new norm too.
As caregivers, we have so much on our plate it can be hard to juggle it all. And it’s not just a hectic spot – it’s every single day - day after day. It can be easy to lose sight of life itself. Most caregivers I’ve had a chance to cyber-chat with get frustrated with people who tell them they need to take care of themselves or they need to take a break – but offer no real solution for how to do so. Not to mention how friends seem to vanish over time and social isolation becomes a real deal that gnaws away at our very existence. But alas, we adjust and continue to do what we must do for our loved ones.
Pressing on when it gets difficult makes me think of a scripture. Hebrews 12:1-2 says this:
Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith
Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
Despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth sharing again. I recall the day I stood by my son’s hospital bed, right after I’d brought him home. I was still heartbroken and was also in caregiver’s shock as I had no idea what it was going to look like. It was certainly figuring it out a day at a time thing. Lol. As I looked at my adult son sleeping, I was overwhelmed by the love I had for him. I knew I would stay beside him no matter what that road looked like, for I was bound by love. And in that moment, I realized this was the same love that held Jesus to the cross. His intense love and compassion for us was why He faced the cross, to begin with – and it’s what held Him to the cross when He had the power to walk away.
He looked out over time and saw us in our caregiving situations and endured the cross so He could perfect our faith. Those days when we just are not sure we can put one foot in front of the other or it takes all our strength just to breathe – we can look at Him and realized He endured pain for us because He cherishes us, He loves us. And we can take one more step, one more breath.
I think I didn’t really understand love until that moment that day. It’s helped me sort through many days – none of them easy.
Today, I’ll keep my thoughts focused on His great love for me. My meditations will be on how He didn’t get off that cross because it hurt – He knew WE needed Him to stay there. He endured – I can endure. I can run this caregiver’s race that is set before me with patience because of what He has done. I’ll thank Him for the grace to make one more hard day – will you join me?