Showing posts with label everlasting love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label everlasting love. Show all posts

Made it!

Chris standing by me!

 Do you ever have days where it feels like life is just dragging on? I do. I wake up and think, how long has it been like this? How far do I have to go? My BC (before caregiving) life becomes foggy memories. Maybe it's just me, but that's how I felt this morning. Navigating caregiving isn't easy - but it's do-able. There are far too many of us doing it to refute that fact! 

When my son and I moved to this apartment over four months ago I will admit I was nervous. Probably more like downright scared, but we'll call it nervous. The rent is higher than any I've ever paid. I know how my work can fluctuate - it can be feast or famine sometimes. I'll have lots of work - then none. I have built up a small bookstore by writing study guides and devotionals, but I keep the prices so low so people like me can afford them, it doesn't bring in much that I can count on. So, I was a bit nervous.

Here were are at the beginning of February I can say I already paid my rent for the month. I was kind of in awe just thinking about how God has provided. After I hit "send" I thought,  I made it! whew! But for us caregivers, it's like that most every day, isn't it?

Today, we can all say - I've made it this far. God has carried us this - far and today is NOT the day He's going to stop. We've all seen bad days, better days - and some good days; and God has been there through every single one of them. He has not - and will not abandon us on our caregiving journey. He never wrings His hands in my worry - and never says to me, well, I'm not sure what you're going to do. (Sorry - that's a funny image in my mind. lol) It's funny because it's so impossible. 

He always has a plan. His goal is always to get us to the other side of what we are facing so we can say with Him - We made it! I was reading Jeremiah 31:3 this morning. It's where God told Israel through the prophet - I have loved you with an everlasting love. They were in the midst of captivity. Yet God was extending His love and mercy to them still. Every once in a while, honestly, caregiving feels a little like being a captive. I'm a captive of love - a bond slave to the situation since I choose to care for my son and my aunt. But God's love and mercy transcend the circumstances and still reaches out to our hearts to express His deep love.

Today, I will meditate on what it's like to rest in His love. I will let His unending love wrap my heart and my wounds and I will rest in that. My thoughts will be on how He reaches past circumstances of all sorts to extend His love to us. He is ruthless in His pursuit of us. That truth will carry me through today. I will rejoice in it - will you join me?

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?

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?

Some Things Never Change

It took me awhile to learn that it was okay to grieve the life I lost when I became a caregiver. Of course, it's not healthy to park there emotionally, but it is okay to grieve over what was lost. I think at first I felt guilty for grieving, like maybe I didn't want to be my son's caregiver if I was sorry over what I had before his accident. Once I grieved, cried and got it out of my system though, I was able to move on and be a better caregiver by giving my full attention to his needs.

There are a lot of things that change as we transition into the role of caregiver. For some there are a few schedule changes but for others it is an entire lifestyle change. In my situation I lost the freedom to come and go as I wanted to, the spontaneity of life no longer existed. I had to gather all my stuff and my son's stuff up into one location which took quite a long time. I physically moved twice after his wreck to try and provide better care and to make sure he was close to family.

For a long time I felt the loss of my "former" life; but now it seems so far away. Contentment did not come over night. Yes, I know Paul said that he learned to be content  in whatever state he was in but it was a rather sharp learning curve for me! My whole world changed that morning I got that phone call, plans were on hold and all my possessions left behind. But this morning I am reminding myself of some of the things that never changed  in my life.

In Jeremiah 31:3, God tells the prophet that He has loved with an everlasting love. His love for us does not change when we face adversity. His care for us is not moved by life's hard knocks. The psalmist said that God is a very present help in time of need. (Psalm 46:1) His presence and His love are just two things that will never change. Our whole world can be turned upside down and inside out - but He will be constant in His love, His mercy, His grace and His ever abiding presence in our lives.

He won't leave us to walk it alone. I look at it this way. My son needs my full attention and care. He became an adult, left home and was about to finish college and in an instant became like a baby again. I did not walk away from him when life got tough. In the same way, God will not abandon us just because life no longer looks ideal. He is ever present, ever helping, ever sustaining us by His love. Some things never change. And for this I am thankful.

Today I will meditate on His ever abiding presence and never ending love. I am going to let that carry me through today. I will purposefully think about the mercy He continues to extend to me on this caregiving journey; and I will rest as I trust in Him. Will you join me?

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