Early on my caregiving journey, I found myself in a predicament. I obtained a few credit cards and found that I just kept filling them up. If I saw something on Amazon or other sites that I wanted I purchased it, whether or not I could really afford it. This went on for some time until I found myself swamped with credit card debt - some of which I am still crawling out from under. But one day - it hit me as to why I was doing it. Knowing the why - caused me to stop immediately.
One day, sitting at the computer, I saw something I liked. Immediately I started the process of making the purchase, but this time I stopped. I asked myself why am I doing this? It was like God answered my question as I realized I was trying to compensate for the sense of loss that had taken over my life and emotions.
As caregivers, we can suffer a lot of losses, some of which we don't even recognize at first. There are so many changes that emotionally feel like losses such as losing our career or job to care for our loved one. We may lose the way of life we were accustomed to. Friends grow distant. We lose the ability to socialize, at least like we used to. Losses come in many forms including money, friends, careers, jobs, lifestyle, and fill-in-the-blank. When I realized I was trying to cover my sense of loss with all these random purchases, I was able to stop. Plus, I ran out of credit. lol.
I did similar things with emotional eating. Life hurts, food tastes good - eat up! I'm still trying to lose that added weight too! Yesterday, in my flower garden, I started reflecting on all this as I gently pulled the wilted flowers away. Each little bloom opens in a day and then fades away in a couple of days. As I was pulling the dead flowers away the brilliant new flowers seemed to just pop out at me. I thought what's perceived as a loss, makes room for the new. Doesn't God work like that in our lives?
When we can let go of our losses, which may be far too many to count, He can make things new. I can turn my thoughts from the losses to the things that might not have happened if I hadn't started caregiving. I have a bookstore full of eBooks I might not have written. So, even though parts of me died, some parts of me have bloomed more brightly. God has a unique way of turning things around, doesn't He? I believe Paul said it best in Romans 8:28 - God will work all things to work together for good - for those of us who love Him. I love sitting back and looking at what He's done - I am always so surprised!
Today, I will shift my focus from my pain and sense of loss to all He's provided on this caregiving journey. I'll thank Him for staying the course with me and for never leaving even when it got rough. My meditations will be on how He continues to work out all things for good and how He continues to work in me - no matter how broken, scattered, or lost I feel - He just keeps looking out for me and working in me. And this is a good time to just keep trusting Him. Will you join me?