I was thrust into caregiving when my son was in a tragic accident but soon found that there's a whole world of "us" out there! Many times we find ourselves alone. Even the church can disappear quickly and good friends distance themselves because our world has changed. But God does not change with circumstance. My faith is what has carried me through and these devotions will hopefully help us all make one more day - encouraged in Him.
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No Room in the Inn
Do you ever just feel out of step with the rest of the world? I'm not really sure what everyone uses to measure "normal" but I think our caregiving lives don't fit the mold. :-) Most of the time, I'm good with it - I know we walk a very different walk. However, I also know that the baby boomer generation is busy taking care of our parents, so it's a bigger thing than most think. Honestly, I'm not sure about everyone else - but I am sure about me. And I feel out of step with pretty much the rest of the world.
When you are a caregiver:
Simple things are not simple.
Doable things are not doable.
Basic activities of life are more complicated.
I know you understand. In one way, the pandemic has been a huge help. It's so much easier to order groceries and household supplies now. I am thankful for that since just going to the store can be a huge deal. One cough from my son and the trip is off! lol (Yes, I'm a bit overprotective like that!)
With the holidays approaching, my sisters and I were discussing our family's Christmas get-together. One of my sisters has a single step going into her house so it's easy to get Chris' chair inside. My other sister has a series of steps. The last time I went out there, several of the guys grabbed Chris and his chair and toted him inside. It worked, even though my blood pressure went up! lol
It's obviously not feasible for everyone to build a ramp for their house, right? I've even found a few businesses that didn't have access for chairs. Like when we were ordering flowers for my aunt's funeral - the flower shop in a small rural town literally had no way for me to get Chris' chair inside. I stood outside and waited as others went in to arrange her flowers.
I wonder if this feeling is anything like what Mary and Joseph were feeling as they went from inn to inn finding nowhere to stay. Of course, their circumstances were a bit more demanding. :-) I can just stay home, they didn't have that option. How many places did they try before settling into the barn? It had to wear on their emotions - especially Mary's! She was going to give birth and had no place to rest.
One thing I'm thankful for is that God always welcomes me. His door is open for the caregiver - no ramp needed. I don't have to worry about not being able to "get in" to see Him. His ear is listening for our faintest cries for help. He is right here. Right now. I never have to wait outside for Him like I did at the flower shop. I can bring my son - chair and all - right into His presence where I can find grace to help in time of need.
Today, I will be thankful that He is ever-present - and that He doesn't always wait for me to get to Him - instead, He's right here. He never runs out of room, never denies access. I love Him for that. He hears the words I cannot form and sees the tears before they fall. He's that close - that accepting. So, when I don't feel quite "normal" today - I'll look to Him. Will you join me?
Check out my bookstores! Poems for Caregivers is a free eBook in my main eBookstore. Some of my study guides and devotionals are also available on Kindle or in print from my Amazon bookshelf.
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
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
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