Even though we are all caregivers, our stories are very different. Some of us care for aging loved ones. Other care for adult children. Others have provided life-long care for children born with disabilities. No matter what the details our stories contain, there are a few things that are the same.
God's grace is woven into our stories. Through His grace, we stand today. In 2 Corinthians 12, we find the apostle Paul struggling with life. We understand that life, in general, is going to present difficulties, trials, and tribulations. But it also presents many opportunities to trust God just a little bit more. Since he called it a "thorn in the flesh," we can assume it was something in the natural that he was dealing with. Most agree that it was a physical condition and that perhaps Paul was ill. Whatever it was, Paul asked God to take it away three different times.
I can't say that I've asked God to "take away" caregiving. I cherished being able to take care of Aunt Polly for her final years. It's difficult, but I don't loathe caring for my son. It's not only the right thing to do for me, but I feel privileged that God has allowed me to care for him for nearly 15 years now. That's not to say that caregiving isn't the single hardest thing I've ever had to walk through in my years here on earth. Whatever Paul was dealing with was BIG. He pleaded for God to take it away. God did not. What God did say to Paul, though, was that His grace was enough. And we gladly can look into Paul's story and see God's grace interwoven through the pages of his life.
But you know what? God's grace is also woven throughout the pages of our stories, too!
God doesn't make all the difficulties go away, but He does walk through them with us. His grace is always enough for whatever we face in a day. No matter how smoothly or roughly the day goes, His peace is present. If we take a moment to look back at our BC (before caregiving) days and all of our caregiving days, we'll find that His grace has been interwoven into every part of the story. We'll see that His peace is woven through the days of the lives we've lived. We will find that His presence has never left, whether we were able to acknowledge it or not. Circumstances in our stories often prohibit us from seeing His grace as clearly. But all that He is - is always in our "here."
Today, I'll remind myself of how His grace has carried me and how it's been woven into the story of my life. I'll take a few minutes to encourage myself by thinking about how I have not yet and never will face a day without His presence, His grace, and His peace. Thanksgiving will be the theme of my heart today, and I'll choose to be thankful for each footprint that oozes with His all-sufficient grace. I'll trust Him with my today. Will you join me?
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.