The definition of duality is to have an instant of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects. For caregivers, I think it is having two seemingly conflicting emotions going on at the same time. We often deal with living grief that is ongoing. It is possible for grief and joy to be felt and expressed at the same time. I rejoice over every little bit of progress my son makes, but still have the living grief running in the background. I'm supposed to be happy for his new job, enjoying his marriage, and looking forward to the birth of his children, not that he ate a cup of food or took two steps with little help. We often feel conflicting emotions. Perhaps we are too quick to condemn ourselves when we shouldn't.
I found an example of duality in the Bible during my daily readings over the weekend. In Matthew 28, after that angel announces that Jesus has been resurrected, it says the two Marys went away with fear and great joy. What a moment, right? They were overcome with two emotions at the same time. I liken it to starting a new job. There's an excitement that comes with something new and a little bit of "fear" of the unknown and how it will all play out. But what Mary and Mary were feeling was on a much greater scale. They weren't sure which to feel, probably.
Matthew 28 also gives us another example of duality. Jesus appeared to the disciples on the Mount in Galilee. In verse 17, it says that when they saw Him, they worshipped Him, but some doubted. How is that possible to worship and doubt at the same time? And Jesus was standing right there - how could they doubt when they could literally see, hear, and feel Him?
As caregivers, we can find ourselves in situations where our emotions are all over the place. Sometimes, I think we are tired just from emotional ups and downs. Caregiving can be like riding an emotional roller coaster all day long until we are wiped out. I wonder if the two Marys had to eventually choose if they were going to be afraid or joyful. Did the disciples have to choose whether to worship or doubt what they were seeing? We have to do that all day every day.
Each day, we decide whether we will believe His grace is enough or not. We have to choose which we believe more, that in the world we will have tribulation - or that Jesus left us His peace and joy. But man can be it hard to work through the emotional duality to grab hold of grace and peace for the day! Yet each day we are faced with having to choose whether our circumstances are going to rule us or if we will let His peace reign in the midst of the very real struggle.
Today, I'll remind myself that His grace is still enough. No matter how high my proverbial plate is piled, no matter how crazy and opposite my emotions seem, and no matter how fast my brain wants to run away with the what-ifs, I choose to trust Him. I'll push the negative emotions aside as much as possible and run to the cross to find grace one more time. I'm 100% sure He will meet me there. Would you care to join us?
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Are you looking for a new devotional? I have written several devotionals, and I'm currently working on some new ones that should become available soon. As a caregiver, I found a lot of comfort and direction from Psalm 31. So, I wrote a devotional, 31 Days in Psalm 31 - what it's like to spend 31 days in a cave with God. It's available on my bookstore and on Amazon on Kindle or for print-on-demand.