I've bragged about it before, but I can go from happy-go-lucky, great attitude to a bundle of emotional tears in less than a second! Sometimes, we talk about caregiving without realizing the emotions that are attached, but they are certainly part of the package. And one we cannot often ignore. They will sneak up on us from time to time. Grief is part of caregiving, whether we are grieving over a parent who is slowly slipping away or a child whose dreams were crushed by tragedy, or dreams that never were in the first place.
Grief can slowly ooze in and take over, or it can sneak up on you, and BAM! This morning, I stepped outside to tend to my plants. School starts back today for many schools in the area. As soon as I opened the door to step out onto my front patio, I heard the drumline practicing. It hit me so hard since my son was a drummer from the age of 8. Scenes of watching him march and play rolled through my mind as I crumbled into a pile of tears. Will those things ever stop hurting so badly?
Living grief is so real for many of us. I dealt with it with my mom as dementia slowly took her away from us. Her body was here for us to hug and love, but she wasn't who she used to be. It's the same with my son. Thankfully, I have lots of beautiful memories with him. But who he used to be was taken away in the blink of an eye. One missed driving calculation, and 14 years later, he's just learning to walk again. Even though I watched him march with expertise all those years ago.
By choice, I have taught myself to rejoice in progress, no matter how small. I heard a phrase early on, progress is progress. I live by that because it doesn't matter how little it looks or how slow it feels; progress is indeed progress. I think spiritually, it's the same. If I trust Him a little more today - no matter what - it's still progress. If I run to Him a little faster when emotions hit, it's still progress. If I wipe my tears and declare one more time that my heart will trust in Him. It's still progress.
Today, I will thank Him for walking this journey with me. I'll ask Him to show me ways I trust Him more and areas where I am quicker to turn to Him. I'll also ask Him to show me areas where I've been holding back and trying to make it on my own without Him. (Isn't that silly?) Today, I'll look back over the years and thank Him for carrying me to this point. I'll rejoice in progress made, no matter how small it seems. Because any progress at trusting our big God is still progress. Will you join me?
I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.