Showing posts with label God cares. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God cares. Show all posts

Trust is an Action Word

 

chris standing by me

It's funny how normal things can just leap out at you, isn't it? I make my living by writing for clients. I provide lots of web content which is mostly blog posts. My clients are from a wide variety of industries, so I get a lot of experience. One of the blogs I maintain for one of my clients has some issues. I sent him an email and explained what had happened and that I would get his new posts up for him and fix the issues on last week's posts. When I got his reply this morning, it jumped out at me.

He simply said, No worries. You always take care of me. I have worked with this client for more than a year but I got this boost of confidence directly from his confidence and trust in me. It seemed like I could literally feel his trust. And of course, that got me thinking! :-)

Can I have that same trust in God? What if I looked at my circumstances, then looked at Him and said, No worries. You always take care of me. And then, I just didn't worry about it anymore.

As caregivers, we often have to do that don't we? There are things beyond our capacity to understand or control. We have to give each day to Him and then remind ourselves that He has always taken care of us, and He's not going to stop doing it now. My client didn't just tell me he trusted me. He could have just said - No worries, I trust you. But he said you've always taken care of me. I easily read trust between the lines. I felt his action.

Today, I am going to meditate on what trusting God really looks like. Trust is a verb, and I want to take action on trusting Him. That means leaving things in His hands instead of taking them out and trying to figure them out myself. I'll remind myself that up until this point - God has always taken care of me - and He hasn't run out of grace or patience. He will continue taking care of me as I continue to trust Him to do so. My thoughts and actions will go toward fully trusting Him with every aspect of my life (caregiving included!) today. Will you join me?

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When Everything is Broken

broken van
Ever have One of those days? That's a funny thing to ask a caregiver since every day is pretty much one of those. Our best days and altered-normals are what some might consider Mondays every day. We can live on such an emotional edge that the slightest seemingly smallest thing can tip us over the edge. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with us - it's the nature of the situation. Dealing with the broad range of emotions can cause great conflict because religion can be condemning. But what are we supposed to do with that?

I guess I am thinking along these lines because this has been one of those weeks. An already tough spot has been majorly complicated by taking on the added responsibility of caring for my aunt. While dealing with our elderly loved ones who can no longer use the logical processes to reason can be difficult it's not going too badly. But I won't lie - I'm tired. No, I'm exhausted. I can't ever quite keep up. Working as in job-wise needs to be done between 4 and 7 AM or it's not going to happen most days. The struggle is real. lol

Then this week the lift in the van malfunctioned and my sweet release - my rusty now not-so-trusty treadmill is not working. I was like is everything broken? My life already feels broke, now even the small things I counted on for escape are broke. Well, I'm not going to be beat that easily. I've been running my mile every morning in small circles around my backyard. My neighbors are certain I'm crazy now if there ever was a question about it. lol

Sometimes when the small things we forget we count on get broken it can leave us feeling emotionally stranded. I'm broke. My van is broke. My treadmill is broke. My bank account is broke. My life is broke. Everything is broke.

But it's not. One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Timothy 2:19. The foundation of God stands sure having this seal: He knows those who are His. He ain't broke, ain't gonna be broke and has never been broken. Not by my horrible attitudes or my situation. He is the only constant we can rely on and He knows.

He knows and sees when our lives look broken, and He knows when we come to Him in that broken state and bring our heart bathed in our own tears before Him. He draws near to the brokenhearted. Perhaps that is to help carry a load that both are fully aware cannot be carried alone.

So, today when everything feels broke - I will rejoice that He still knows my name! I will meditate on the fact that Him knowing I am His will never be broken. It's sealed in eternity. His love will never be broken although His heart may break for us. I will rejoice today that His love for me will never wane, weaken or break. He loves with an everlasting love. And with that truth tucked deep into my broken heart - I will trust Him for today. Will you join me?

Who Am I Really?


It's so easy to get lost in the shuffle. We don't have to go through the list of all the things we have to do in a day, or the numerous people who come through weekly to check on our loved one, or the paperwork we have to keep up with - all to provide proper care. But most of these activities are based around the one we are caring for - not around us.

My "love language" is time. If you spend time with me I feel loved. You can lavish gifts on me  (not that anyone has tried that recently! lol) and I won't necessarily be able to translate that as love. But spend time with me and I will feel like you care.

The social isolation of caregiving and the always feeling like you're out of step with normal can start to wear on you. Lately, I'm so much more comfortable with caregiving - and not struggling as much about going into public places. I guess that happens when you don't have an aide for an extended period of time and you just have to adjust. I also nearly ran out of coffee - that'll get you out of the house. ;-)

But over the weekend, I had to do some thinking and dealing with the feelings of rejection. It can be easy to feel like life itself has rejected us - like we don't really belong anywhere. It's not true - but it can feel that way. To be honest, even small things like aides not showing up can wear away at one's self-worth. The one aide needs to get fingerprints. This is his second week to not work and for me it sends the message we are not worth his time to go get that done. And of course the company doesn't offer a fill-in. This and many other things can wear away at one's self-worth.

Last week I was dealing with this issue, actually caused by another event and I felt myself slipping into the abyss. Feelings of worthlessness, rejection, and aloneness tried to weigh me down. I started rehearsing some of the scriptures that reminded me of how much He loves me - no matter what life looks like or if I have to do it alone.

I compiled the list and labeled the file Come Away my Beloved. Because the truth is that we are His beloved - no matter what our lives look like to us or to others. Whether we are a sole caregiver or actually have some help, whether we can attend church or can't get out much at all. It doesn't matter we are still His beloved. That's who we really are and it doesn't change, period.

Today I am going to focus on the truth that I am His beloved child. My thoughts will be on His acceptance of me - just.the.way.I.am. I will turn my meditations to how much He loves me and cares for me in this life I am living for Him. I'll rest in His love for today. Will you join me?

So Great a Love

One of the best things I have purchased as a caregiver is a baby monitor. I found I was not getting up as much throughout the night because if I heard my son I could glance at the monitor and just see if he needed me or was just moving around a bit. It also allowed me to go outside for my coffee and Bible study but still be able to keep an eye on him and hear him. This is very helpful especially on the mornings he chooses to sleep in a little bit.

As a caregiver for someone who needs help with just about everything but breathing I have to watch and listen for him constantly. There are not many breaks and this little monitor lets me hear and see him in a way that gives me a little bit of freedom too.

Just like I keep an eye on my son and an ear open for his every sound, God is always leaning in our direction. He always has His eye on us; and He is always listening for our voice. 2 Chronicles 16:9 states that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him. He is always looking for that opportunity to be strong in us and for us.

1 Peter 3:12 tells us that the ears of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers. He listens for us. In my imagination I see Him standing in the heavenlies leaning over with his ear cupped with his hand listening for the faintest cry of the heart that is turned toward Him.

Just like we get tuned in to our loved ones and are anticipating their cry, moan, or any noises at all; and just like we watch over them day and night to help them when it's needed - God watches over us intently. Why? Because we are His children.

1 John 3:1 tells us that He loves us so much He calls us his children. He loves us and holds us by His side. In the same loving way we care for our loved ones He loves us and cares for us. I've said many times that I learned about His love by being a caregiver. Love keeps me by my son's side - just like love held Jesus to the cross for our sake.

Today I will meditate on how much He loves us. I'll think about the love I feel when I hold my son close and realize that He feels that same way about me. I will allow Him to hold me close today as I turn my thoughts to accepting the love He pours out on us, His children. Will you join me?

Without Complaint?

1 Peter 2:23 tells us that when Jesus suffered He did so without "uttering threats." I take it that He didn't yell back at His accusers or tormentors. He didn't tell them what He could do to them; and He suffered in silence. I can honestly say that I have not done that! I've said some pretty harsh things through this furnace and particularly during those really long nights. The load can become so heavy for caregivers that we speak from our pain or frustration. Many times, we don't really mean what we say - but in many cases, they are things that should never be uttered. Jesus, our example, did not speak out of turn, out of pain, and offered no complaint. He simply entrusted Himself to Him who judges righteously. 

Caregivers deal with constant pain and grief in many cases. If we follow the example our leader gave us - we are constantly presenting our pain and our situation to our Father. And we must let Him judge. Those who are on the outside of the Caregiver's Cave can be judgmental as they are just looking in at - but not actually in our situation.They can oftentimes say hurtful words, make snap judgments, or "should" on us. It can be easy for someone who is not walking through the furnace to judge. Thankfully, our Judge is not a human - He sees and knows all. He sees past our situation and into our hearts. He not only observes our deepest struggles - He understands them; and offers no condemnation.

He sees where we are and what we need; and He offers us whatever we need for our journey. Even though He is very aware of our weak spots, He offers no condemnation and supports us with His love. He offers peace, wisdom, strength...whatever we need right now to put one foot in front of the other. He has it and makes it available to us. We can rest easy in His embrace knowing that when it gets too tough - He is carrying us through.

Today I will meditate on His strength in me. I will turn my thoughts to His peace, patience and lovingkindness. I will let Him carry me when I need it. And I will rest in His embrace. Will you join me?

Who Cares?

It can be easy for caregivers to think that no one cares. But in most instances, we know people do - they just do not know how to express it or show it. I remember when my son was first injured and how many caring people came through the SICU to see him. After 3 weeks we moved to an isolation room on a regular floor and still there were quite a few visitors that came through. As the hospital stay alone turned into a 4 month journey I knew that visitors would continue to taper off. I didn't take it personal; it's just the way it is. Sometimes this can feel like people do not care. But that's not really true it's just that they do not know what to do with the situation over the long haul.

Very few people have what it takes to continue walking an extended journey with you. But that does not mean that their intentions are bad. Folks just don't know what to do when the battle continues on. A lot of people are very good at being there for someone who is in "fix it up" mode; but have no clue what to do past the initial shock and trauma. They get to return to their normal lives while you are left to try and figure out how to get used to your new "normal" which is anything but normal. In most cases everything has changed including the friends you had. And it can be easy to slip into thinking that no one cares. Most people really do care - they just don't know what to do about it...so they ignore you.

2 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all your care on Him, for He cares for you. I look at this last phrase "He cares for you" in two different ways. On one hand we can think of it as He cares for us - or is concerned about our needs, pains, and wants. He cares what goes on in our lives and offers us peace and comfort. The other way to look at it is that He does the caring for us - so we don't have to. For me, either one of these can be very comforting!

Have you ever had times that you felt like He didn't care? Honestly, I have. When life gets hectic and feels out of control it can be easy to wonder where He went and if He really cared why all of "this" (whatever your "this" is) ever had to happen in the first place. But remember all our favorite stories in the Bible - it is likely that they are our favorites because of how the person overcame adversity not escaped it altogether. We gain courage when we think about how David killed Goliath, Daniel was rescued from the lion's den, or Moses took the Children of Israel across the Red Sea. He was with them caring for them in their trouble.

Today I will meditate on the truth that God is with me and that He is going to do all the caring today! I'll think about how He cares for me by providing for my every need, comforts me and watches over my soul. Will you join me in letting Him care for us today?

How Good Can You Throw?

Do you remember the various games we used to play as a child that required we throw a ball? I can remember throwing a ball over the house with someone else. It was fun because you never knew exactly when it was coming back over or where it would come from or where it would land! I always prided myself on how easily I could throw the ball over the house. And I had a pretty accurate eye and arm when it came to throwing baseballs or footballs too! But when it comes to throwing my cares on Him it seems like I lost my touch!

 1 Peter 5:7 says that we should be casting all  your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. This casting is not a passively handing or gently tossing action. It is forcefully throwing all the anxiety of my day, week, or life on Him. Why? Because He is going to do all  the caring for me! I can roll it all over onto Him and let Him do my worrying. Now of course it is only worrying when we are carrying our own load and trying to find our own way in the midst of the struggle. For God, it's not worry at all. He is literally caring  for us.

 I hope you can see this picture. It's not just that He cares for us in the sense that He has great concern over the matters that are concerning us. Of course He loves us, tends to us and carries us...but in this sense, when we can roll all of the things that concern us, all of the things that cause us anxiety over onto Him - then He will do the caring... so we won't have to!

 Make today a day when you hand it all over to Him and you do not worry about stuff at all! It's like having a day off emotionally. Let Him do the caring for you today! I think I will try it again tomorrow too!

Emotionally Stranded

  I was up late last night - and it wasn't to study my Bible. Lol. I was watching a dumb show. But each episode ended with things up in ...