There used to be a game show on called "Baggage." It was a dating game and one person was supposed to choose from among 3 for a date. In each stage of the game, participants revealed a bit more of their "baggage" and the chooser eliminated potential dates based on if they could put up with their extremes or not. If it was too much for them, they told them to "pack their bags" and scoot on out the door, it was too much baggage for them.
I thought of this show this week as I read a post in a caregiver support group. The person felt like her family "didn't want to hear" about her caregiving and its challenges. In essence, they felt it was "too much baggage" and they were not willing to even help carry any of it. I empathized with the caregiver (of course), as I've come to the place where I think I understand that most people just want the highlights. They want to ignore the nitty gritty of caregiving. That leaves us emotionally stranded, doesn't it?
I mean, here we are dealing with and working through the potentially hardest days of our lives and it's "too much" for some? I've had to come to the place, personally, where I am just willing to walk it alone. That can be a painful, extremely lonely place for a caregiver.
This morning, I was thinking about all that and how I have a few people who are willing to know me casually, but no one willing to get close. Maybe they think caregiving is contagious. Lol. The problem is that we are left to carry our caregiving baggage all alone too many times. The funny thing is that something as simple as sharing casual conversation over a cup of coffee could provide a nice escape. As I was pondering this and rolling my own emotions and thoughts over in my mind, I thought, I have a place to go, though.
Psalm 46 reminds us that God is our present refuge. He doesn't leave us to figure it all out on our own. He is always present, ready, and willing to take us and our baggage too. We never have too much "baggage" for God. His door and His arms are always open, and so is His heart. We can carry all of our caregiving struggles and blessings right up to Him and crumble at His feet, if we feel the need. He won't tell us it's too much for Him to help with. He won't turn us away until we can "get it together" better. Instead, He bids us "come." It's in Him we find the refreshing for our souls. We can walk in peace knowing that our soul has a safe place to go - anytime, all the time.
Today, I'll remind myself that I am always welcome in His presence. I'll be thankful for this refuge for my soul. My thoughts will be on how He chooses to walk these days with me, with us. We don't have too much baggage for Him. We don't cry too many tears for Him to catch. He provides us with a safe place to unload, even if just for a few minutes. I'll remind my soul that He is that safe place, so I can trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?