Showing posts with label all alone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label all alone. Show all posts

My Polite Journal

This morning I took some time to pour my heart out in my journal. My heart has been heavy for some time now. There are many things going on - but I'll spare you the details. (You're welcome!) If you haven't tried journaling, it can be a good strategy for stress relief. It's a safe place to let it all hang out! I had stopped for a while but this year I have picked it back up. Let me just say that I put more than my woes in my journal. I usually end with a prayer - or I write what God is showing me, what I am learning - and all those deep philosophical questions that rarely have answers. It's a polite catch-all for my sundry, sometimes crazy thoughts.

As I finished up the entry this morning, I ended with a couple of statements which became the first two lines of this poem:

Lord, hold me and hide me
Let me know You are beside me
As life's turbulent tides
Roll over and over me - 
Comfort me - pull me close
and help me see
There's more to life than the pain I feel
There's more to life than what
seems so real
Whisper to my soul that You won't abandon
But that You'll swoop me up
Out of the depths of this emotional canyon 
Remind me  can trust You even though
I am battle-worn
Let me know You've still got me
even though I'm bloody and torn
For in You I find my soul's true healing balm
Remind me I am not alone even though 
I look up and everyone's gone
You are there to speak and bring calm
Restore my joy, Restore my peace,
Restore my song
Help me remember You are with me and
You are for me all along

After I finished writing that I glanced at my open Bible and read from Psalm 119. Verse 132 says, Look upon me and be merciful to me, as Your custom is toward those who love Your name. He is always merciful, always faithful, always graceful toward us who continue to come back to Him because we love His name. 

Today, I will remember He alone has the healing balm for life. I'll meditate on His mercy that is new every morning and is rich toward us who love His name. I'll tie my heart to His - and listen to His beat over mine.. as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

The Big Dipper

As caregivers, our emotions are often running on the edge. For me, it doesn't take much to tip me over into a huge downward spiral. For today I'm calling it the "big dipper." Just a single word, an honest question, a picture from the past - it doesn't take much to send me into the dip of depression. I have developed a few strategies that work for me and being able to identify it early on means I don't always dip as far or I can head it off at the pass. But not always.

With so many things on our plate it doesn't take a lot, does it? This last week was full of dealing with a faulty internet provider which is enough frustration by itself when you work online and were without internet for two days! lol. Sometimes it's bigger things - but sometimes it's those little things that chip away at sanity and peace.

How are we supposed to deal with this "big dipper?" It's going to come for us. Some day. Some time. We may feel broadsided by it, or we might not realize it has slipped up on us. The church world can be harsh and tell us depression is sin, or that we are not trusting God enough. Neither of those is necessarily true. We have a LOT on our plates. Our cups run over with emotions, responsibilities, and life events. It can sap us of our strength and make the mess much more complicated - but it certainly does not indicate a lack of trust in God.

As a caregiver, there are days that run smoothly. Chris is doing good and things get done that need to be done, my clients are happy with my work (and pay on time!). Depression can still leak into those not-quite-perfect days. Nothing's ever going to be perfect - our loved ones are suffering in some way. I say the fact that you are still reading this blog - you are still searching scriptures for a strand of hope - you are still praying and seeking Him for strength - is an indication you are faith-filled. You haven't given up yet - you are still seeking Him. That to me is the epitome of faith.

And here's the other side of this "big dipper." God has a big dipper to - but it's just the right size to dip down into our lives, find us and pull us out of the emotional muck and mire. This reminds me of Psalm 40:2 where David said, He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He used His big dipper to come into our situation and rescue us. He doesn't sit and watch from a distance (like most of the church) - He inserts Himself as far into our situation as we will allow. He makes our steps firm. Then the next verse says this: He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God (not to ourselves or about ourselves) many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.

Today, I will be thankful that God understands when life gets out of hand or out of control. I will thank Him for not leaving me when stuff just doesn't make sense. I appreciate that He is not afraid of my chaos, my crazy thoughts or roaming emotions. My meditation today will be on His gracious entry into my topsy-turvy world. I'll rejoice that at my invite, He joins my world, loves me in the midst of it and offers peace for each messed up piece. I'll invite Him to come deeper in my world today - will you join me?


When You Find Yourself Alone

As caregivers, we can often be surrounded by a sea of people and still feel all alone. Our day to days are so different, we can't engage in some conversations. Long vacations, weeks off to do nothing, or retirement are out of our league. Others can't understand caregiving talk either - if they haven't walked it. It can be difficult to know where to put the emotions associated with such social isolation and alone-ness.

Late last week I was working through these kinds of feelings and emotions when I thought about the scripture that says, David encouraged himself in the Lord. I found it in 1 Samuel 30:6. As I was meditating on it a thought occurred to me.  David was alone. Perhaps he was in the most alone spot in his life.  The Philistines had rejected his offer to join their efforts. He returned "home" to Ziklag to find it ransacked and all his goods, women, children and other stuff - gone! It says he was greatly distressed since all the people were talking of stoning him - they blamed him.

Although I have reminded myself of this scripture oftentimes, I never realized it was written about a time David felt so alone. David encouraged himself, strengthened himself in the Lord - in one of the darkest moments of his life. What does that even mean? So I did a bit of research and found that it's probable that David penned Psalm 16 during this time. I loved it. It's so applicable and perfect.

It seems to have more significance when David pens:


  • O my soul - you have said to the Lord, "You are my Lord..."
  • O Lord, YOU are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot...
  • My flesh will rest in hope - 
  • In Your presence is fullness of joy...
I encourage you to read Psalm 16 with new eyes, from the point of view of a man who has literally lost everything. Think about the raw emotions he was feeling when he said things like "You are my Lord" - and "My flesh will rest in hope" - or the proclamation "Because the Lord is at my right hand - I will not be moved!"

Today, I will meditate on this psalm and read it a few more times. It will be my meditation today. My proclamation will be "my flesh will rest in hope..." I will rejoice that the Lord is still my portion, he "maintains my lot." I will trust that "I have set the Lord always before me - and because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved." And my flesh will rest right there today as I trust Him for one more day - will you join me?



So Easily Forgotten

chris and mom
Yesterday, a post by a friend got me to thinking. (That's not unusual, and it's very easy to do.) They stated how they are dealing with a serious condition and how lonely they were feeling. As their condition had progressed and they were sent home from the hospital, visitors waned until they were left all alone to deal with their own emotions and thoughts. Not only do those in these situations have to sort through such a wide range of emotional changes, fears, thoughts, and decisions - on top of all that they are left to deal with the loneliness of being forgotten.

Those on the outside don't always see it that way. They would quickly say, Oh, you're not forgotten. I think of you all the time. I pray for you daily. But this doesn't erase or dilute the sinking alone-ness that the ill or caregivers deal with.

Reading her post reminded me of the day I was informed of my son's wreck. I had to fly from Chicago where I was living to Shreveport, LA where he had been medi-flighted earlier that day. When I finally got there after an all-day ordeal, the ICU waiting room was still full of people. For the three weeks he was in ICU there was a constant flow of people in and out. Once we moved into an isolation room on the regular floor, visitors became fewer. Then even less came when we finally transitioned to a nursing home 4 months later.

After we finally made it "home" (which had to be recreated since I'd been headed to the mission field) there was no one. As if we were fine now. Today, even when we are in the hospital there are few visitors if any at all. It's like everyone thinks you are okay now that the initial crisis or initial diagnosis is over. But that's not really the truth. Caregivers live in crisis mode, we just adjusted - nothing went away.

Since God knows everything, we can assume He knew we would have those times when we feel forgotten, forsaken and all alone. Those times just come as caregivers. It's easy to feel like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders because we sort of do - on behalf of another.

The scripture, When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me is nestled in an interesting passage. I'm going to assume for clarity's sake that he's speaking of when his parents pass away. He precedes the thought with do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger, You have been my help. Do not leave me or forsake me. What a plea for God's ever abiding presence to remain. Then the acknowledgment that even if his parents forsake him, he knows God has him. He follows it all with teach me Your way O Lord.

I then turned my thoughts to this verse in Isaiah 49:15 God asks the prophet, Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? The obvious answer is no. It's not natural to forget or neglect a child. But God follows the question, which He didn't ask just to receive information with Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. What a promise!!

We can feel so easily forgotten, forsaken and like we are having to forge through caregiving on our own. But He sees. He knows. He will never forget or forsake. He draws near and answers our unspoken prayers, fears, cares and cries with a simple I am here. 

Today, I will meditate on His nearness, whether I feel Him or not. I'll turn my thoughts away from the crowds who left to the One who stays. I'll be thankful for that and trust Him just for today. Will you join me?

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 ...