As a new year unfolds, I take a soul inventory. I think about the things I "invested" in last year. Maybe I invested some money, time, or just thought. My goal is to see what things merit continued investment. As a caregiver, you know how limited our time is each day, so we have to make the most of it. Some things can't be compromised like our own health (mental and physical), our jobs, other relationships (if we have any!), and our spiritual wellbeing. But some things can be cut for sure.
I was thinking along these lines in terms of how I care for Chris. What things do I need to make sure are in his days and which things are unnecessary? Right now, I want to focus on keeping him as comfortable as possible and as mobile as possible even with his limitations. I want to help him have more "experiences." He seems bored and unengaged here at home, but as soon as we get in the van - he pops his head up and looks around like crazy - more outings are on tap if it's just driving around in the country! (That is beneficial for us both, I'm sure!)
Most of all, though, I want him to feel genuinely loved. I have no way of knowing if he "misses" his friends or not. But I did show him a picture of his last girlfriend - he stared at the picture for a very long time and heaved the longest sigh I think I've ever heard. Can I shield him from the pain of wondering where she went? Can I protect him from the rejection of all his former friends? (I cannot and will not blame them - they had to move on with their lives, of course!)
Then I realized I am not exactly his shield. I cannot shield him from rejection, loneliness, or any other emotion, especially since I really don't know what he feels. But that sense of desiring to protect and shield him is how God feels about us. He won't interfere. He won't always "fix" every situation to our satisfaction. But His heart longs for us to feel His love and care. He wants us to know that He's going to bat for us in ways we cannot see or may never know.
David said in Psalm 3:3 - But You, O Lord, are a shield around me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. (NASB) He's got us covered today - and every day.
Today, I will make an effort to realize His shield around my life and my heart. I'll meditate on His great love for me - far greater than the love we feel for our loved ones. I'll be thankful that He is near - because He wants to be - no one is demanding that He be near - He chooses to come near us even when we feel most broken. I'll thank Him for His nearness and trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?
I have two bookstores of devotionals, Bible study guides, poetry, and more! You can get my downloadable eBooks (some are free!) from Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore. A few of them are also available in print or for Kindle on Amazon!