Overall, I think I'm a pretty positive person. I try to find something good in every situation. But some mornings, I'm just too tired. Caregivers can bring a whole new meaning to an entirely new level of tired. Am I right? If I'm honest, there are mornings when I get up, and I just don't want to do a FaceBook live devotion for everyone else. I really don't want to write this blog sometimes. Lol. I'll admit that most of the time, when I push through in an attempt to encourage others, I find encouragement for myself as well.
Caregiving is very rewarding, but it can wear you out! Many times we don't have physical help, either. I can say, it's a good thing our help comes from the Lord! Psalm 121 has been a source of encouragement for me since I read it in the ICU waiting room during my 3-week stay. I lived there. I wrote a song out of Psalm 121 because my son's friend knew I was a musician, and he loaned me one of his old guitars. I lugged that thing around wherever we moved in the hospital. What a blessing. That's the guitar and the Psalm! :-)
I can read and quote that my help comes from God. But so far, He hasn't stepped in to do laundry, clean house, turn Chris, or take out the garbage in the snow. lol. While all that kind of help would be very welcomed and appreciated, His help goes much deeper than physical tasks. He touches and helps that part of us that no one sees.
People often compliment caregivers by telling them they are "so strong." If they knew that I still cry myself to sleep now and then or that I wake up as tired as I was when I went to bed, they might think otherwise. If "they" knew that we often push through extreme fatigue and caregiver burnout to take care of our daily caregiving duties, they might not think we were so strong.
If "they" knew there are days when I just want to sit, stare at the wall, and drink coffee, they might think otherwise. I'd love to binge-watch something - what's on these days? Things don't get done if we don't do them, right? So we push through our own fatigue, mental tiredness, and brain fog to make sure our loved ones are cared for. If they only knew, our smile often masks a broken heart, our laughter holds back tears, and our silence is because we are just out of words. Maybe "they" would think differently.
But in the middle of the trouble - our God continues to be our help. He sends in the troops of angels to make sure we do make it one more day - one day at a time. One thing I have learned on this caregiving journey is what it feels like to have God carry me. When I literally cannot do it myself, there He is to uplift my soul and encourage my heart to keep beating one more beat. One more step. One more day.
My plan for today is to lean into Him just a little closer and let His peace overtake my soul. I'll remind myself of the promises in Psalm 121.
- He is my help. (v.2)
- He will not let me fall. (v.3)
- He will watch over me without sleeping. (v.3)
- He stands beside me as my protective shade. (v.4)
- He keeps me from evil. (v.7)
- He preserves my life. (v.7)
- He keeps watch over me as I come and go. (v.8)