The Invisible Sore Thumb

Chris looking at the sunset at Lake Hefner OKC

Have you ever felt invisible? For caregivers, it can often feel like everyone else's life went on while you're stuck in a vacuum. It's an understatement to say your friends change when you enter caregiving. For many, old friends disappear. For the lucky ones, a few new friends may appear. We often get passed over for invites, mostly because others are not sure what to do with us - or not sure how to "handle" us in public and some private settings. Even family members may look the other way or stop reaching out, leaving the caregiver feeling abandoned and alone. Recently, I've really wondered if I have a new superpower of invisibility. Lol. 

The dichotomy is that caregivers can also feel like we stick out like a sore thumb. For example, I enjoy going to a local Christian writer's meeting. However, trying to get my son's chair through the narrow door is quite the spectacle. It usually takes two or three people. (True accessibility is a whole other story!) I've stopped going to the meeting because I feel like I stick out, but at least I'm not invisible. Lol.

So, here we are, the invisible sore thumbs of life.  We don't want attention. But we don't want to be ignored either. I hope that makes sense. 

Working through the emotions of caregiving is one of the most difficult parts. There's this ball of grief, sadness, and loss. But at the same time, we can have joy and peace and be happy we are able to care for our loved ones. The rush of emotions can go to any extreme with or without notice on any given day. Or second, for that matter. Talk about a yo-yo. The pain is real!

God gets us. Period. He gets our crazy emotions and understands our doubts, fears, faith, joy, hopes, and disappointments. He gets the whole bundle - and still doesn't walk away. As a matter of fact, He moves in closer when we are the most broken. He has to get close to catch our tears before they fall and to hear the silent whispers of our broken hearts. (Psalm 34:18) Personally, I think it's easy to feel like we are living life with shattered hearts. But you know what? God gets us and sticks around on purpose anyway!

Today, I will remind myself that my mess is not big enough, nasty enough, or dirty enough to keep Him away. In fact, He doesn't see my mess as a mess at all - even when I feel a mess! My meditations will be on how God leans in to hear my heart's cry, how He offers me His strength, and will not leave my soul to die by caregiving. I'll think about how He doesn't leave. Ever. No matter how dirty, messy, or crazy the day gets, He remains. And that is something I can stand firm on as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

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