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In Good Company

 

Mama and Aunt Polly
It's easy to feel all alone as caregivers. This is even more often the case during the pandemic. We can feel like we are carrying the load of caregiving all by ourselves. And a lot of times, we are. It makes sense that we feel we are alone - when we are alone. Many caregivers have spouses, friends, relatives, aides, and others who help along the way. I think the worst loneliness is felt when we feel alone - even though we are with others.

For me personally, if I am in a social gathering (mostly online of late!), I still feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. There is often casual conversation about things people are doing, where they are going, and even daily routines that are far different for caregivers. Sometimes we feel alone just because our lifestyle can be so different. Other times we feel alone because we are alone.

Even in our aloneness - we are in good company. As I was reading this morning, I found myself in John 16. In the last few verses, Jesus tells His disciples that there is trouble on the way and they will all be scattered each to his own. (v.32) Then He says, you will leave Me alone. Then it seems to me as if the next phrase is Jesus responding to that alone feeling. As if to remind Himself He says, And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. If Jesus needed to remind Himself that He was not alone in that deep dark night of the soul - we are indeed in good company.

As I read on through Jesus' prayer in chapter 17 and realized it preceded Gethsemane, I did some thinking about prayer. Prayer didn't keep Jesus from going to the cross - it sustained Him. Through prayer, He gained the strength to face it. None of our Bible heroes escaped peril by praying - but they did rely on the One who was going to see them through it. As caregivers, prayer isn't a magic potion to make all the hurt and difficulties go away. It is communion with the One who will carry us through it though. Again, I say - we are in good company.

Think of Joseph in prison for crimes he didn't commit. Daniel faced the lion's den for praying. Prayer wasn't an escape hatch - it was communion and intimacy with the source of strength.

Today, I will purposefully take time to spend in prayer. And during that time, I will make sure to thank God for carrying me this far. I'll be thankful that He didn't send me into the lion's den of caregiving alone but chose to walk it with me instead.  My meditations will be on how He walks with me - oftentimes carrying me through each day and He gives me strength. So, I will rest in Him and trust Him for today. Will you join me?

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