Showing posts with label acceptance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label acceptance. Show all posts

Just As I Am

Silly chris and me

 I'm sure the title reminded you of the classic hymn. It was a standard at Billy Graham's crusades around the world. Many church settings still use it as part of the altar call. We can come to God just as we are. I love that; maybe because I'm a bit rough on the edges. God doesn't make us clean up first. He doesn't have us fill out a questionnaire to determine if we qualify. There's no checklist we have to complete first. It's plain and simple. We can come to Him at this moment and He accepts us. 

I was looking at my son the other day and grieving over losses. His friends all moved on with life - and they should! No judgment from me! But it still makes me sad to think he has no one. Please understand - I get it. He can't hold a conversation. He may not even look you in the eye on some days. He can't hop in the car and go somewhere for a bite to eat. I get it. But I love him just as he is. Do I miss who he was - without a doubt.... every moment of every day. But I still love him.

It's this type of unfailing love that Father God has for us. Perhaps we can't communicate on His level - obviously. We don't function in the world He is in - we are bound to this world we live in. Right where He put us! Even though we don't look right, can't walk right, don't talk right, and spiritually cannot do anything for ourselves - His love is unfailing. 

Just like I love my son with an undying love - even though he can't carry his weight or give back - that's how God loves us. He doesn't look at our lack of ability to give. He looks at us as His child - and He loves, adores, and cherishes us even when we are the most undone.

Today, I will be thankful for His genuine acceptance and love. I will move my thoughts from the feelings of helplessness I am so familiar with over to how He continues to stand by my side to help me with my spiritual ADLs. But He loves me - and that will be my meditation today. Will you join me just as you are?

We Still Look the Same

So many things may have changed when we became caregivers. For me, I had gotten rid of everything and moved to Chicago from the deep south and was working three jobs in preparation for heading to the mission fields in South Africa. But like many, my plans came to a screeching halt with a single phone call informing me my son had been in an automobile accident and had been medi-flighted to a local hospital in Shreveport. From there the changes were astronomical.

I booked a flight to Shreveport and lived in the hospital for 4 months as I sat by his side. We then went through a series of nursing homes and rehab facilities until I could get my own apartment and have a place to "bring him home" to. It's an understatement to say that everything changed. I now work from home as a writer and have a decent little apartment near my family in Oklahoma.

Over time we all change, we evolve into different roles as life throws new things at us. We develop character as we embrace life changes. I think as caregivers we get used to rolling with the blows since we never know what a day is going to bring and who we may have to confront on behalf of our loved ones. For me - recent changes include stepping into  more of a caregiving role with my parents as they age as well. Even though this brings more changes I still look the same.

Of course I don't look the same physically as I did when I began this caregiving journey, I'm a little fluffier and more wrinkled for sure - I'm not nearly the same person I was. I don't put up with as much silliness and I basically have learned how to fight for others. We learn new skills like advocating on behalf of another and dealing with people who don't want to do their job like aides etc. Supplies -- there you go - just getting the supplies that we are due can be quite a journey. Perhaps we don't think about it - but all these struggles and situations mold us into a new person.

No matter what changes we endure - we still look the same to Him. God still sees us as the exact same person as He always has - and He always will. I think we could compare it to how we see our kids. They grow up and eventually leave home to raise their own family. And even though they go through many physical changes they remain "our little girl" or "our little boy." God sees us like that -- we are still His little girls and boys.

Psalm 139:13 states that He wove us in our mother's womb and that He formed our inward parts. I think that means the insides that make us who we are -- not just our intestines, heart, and liver. Job said it like this: You clothe me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. (Job 10:11) To me this means God sees us from the inside out - He sees us like we really are - what makes us "us" and then He put skin on it. So even though our worlds turned upside down or topsy-turvy we still look the same to the one who loves us most.

Today I will meditate on how God sees the real me - and continues to love me. I will turn my meditations to how He chose for me to be on this planet and even though He put skin on the "real me" He sees way deeper than that. I will think about His closeness today and how He loves me with or without skin on! Even though people treat me different and aren't sure what to do with me - He still thinks I look the same....and He loves me. I'll think about His great love and compassion for me today - will you join me?

Feeling Left Out

Because our lives are so different from the main stream, it is easy for us to feel left out. Watching others go on vacation, make a coffee run or just meet up with friends can make us feel like we're sitting on the couch while the rest of the world is enjoying itself. Social isolation is real for the caregiver as people in general just don't know quite what to do with us. "Church" presents its own set of problems in this arena.

Many of us can't attend church services or have so many obstacles to get there it's not feasible. The good thing is that we are part of the universal body of Christ. Just because we are separated from a physical church building on the corner, does not separate us from the body. We are no less a part of the true body of Christ than others. We may just need to broaden our ideas about what and who the body really is.

The body of Christ reaches beyond the church downtown, it's time inclusive. That means that we are part of the body with Paul as well as the 12 disciples. We could even say that spiritually speaking the body covers much more than just the New Testament believers. Think for a minute of the "Hall of Faith" from Hebrews 11. We have some pretty impressive family members including Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David and Isaiah. We are not excluded from the true body of believers - we are a part.

Perhaps you say that you are just the little toe - but that little toe is important to the whole. If your little toe was removed you'd have to learn to walk again as it balances the whole body. There are small parts but no one plays a small role in the body.

Sometimes I think that caregivers and their loved ones are a test for today's church. There have been times that I felt totally ignored and like I could no longer relate to the church world today. We do not fit in the church's box so they really aren't sure what to do with us. Some churches thankfully, think outside the box and reach out with love and compassion.

The Lord looks at us in the spirit. We are a huge part - he sees us inside-out and is far more concerned about the parts of us that cannot be easily seen. He watches over our soul and sees our true heart rather than our position in the world today. He sees us as we really are. When the "world" is stripped off - what do we look like?

Today I will meditate on the fact that I am a part of the body of Christ and without me it's not complete. I'll think of God's inclusive love, compassion and acceptance just like I am - undone - but whole. I choose to rest in His acceptance today. Will you join me?

Right Back to Him

 God is so patient with us. I run to Him so often, I often wonder if He silently shakes His head as I approach for the millionth time. In a ...