Showing posts with label helper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label helper. Show all posts

Anticipating the Need

My son is non-verbal which can make it difficult sometimes to figure out what he is wanting or why he is uncomfortable. I usually say I'm pretty good at playing "guess and check" where I guess what to fix and then see if that's what makes him happy. It seems like I'm right most of the time but of course I never really know.

Sometimes I wish he could just tell me he needs some Tylenol; or that he's ready to go lie down. But he can't. I've had to figure out his silent signals and interpret what he needs or desires. On one hand, it seems like we've been working on that for some time - but actually it sort of came naturally. Probably because we are connected at the heart.

I think when it comes to communicating with God as our caregiver it can be similar, not that we can't tell Him what we need, but that sometimes we don't really know what we need. He can interpret our silent pleas for help. Along the journey there have been times I've had too many words (meaning I've said things to God I should not have said); but there have also been times of extreme pain when I didn't know what to say. And He's okay with either one.

For me - I have to anticipate my son's needs; but God already knows what I need. In Matthew 6:8 Jesus said that the Father knows what you need before you ask. He is not anticipating our needs - He already knows them. I think sometimes it's more about us learning how to receive His help. He knows and has already provided peace, comfort, joy and everything we need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) He listens to our verbal cries and hears our silent cries for help - and has already met the need.

It's up to us to learn how to rest in Him and how to receive peace, comfort and whatever else we need from Him. He's already extended it to us because He anticipated the need long before it existed. There's something very calming to me about acknowledging that.

Today I will meditate on how He provides everything I need. I'm going to take some time to look back over this caregiving journey and acknowledge how He's been with me all along and how He has provided what was needed all along. I'll meditate on how He knows  my need and has already provided for it. Will you join me?

Social Isolation

One of the things I hear a lot about is social isolation. Most caregivers become such under varying circumstances for me it started with an automobile accident followed by a hospital stay. At first the SICU waiting room was filled with concerned people. As the usual "custom" visitors began to dwindle when it turned into a 4 month hospital stay; and dwindled even more as we moved to the first nursing home. By the time we moved to our first apartment visitors were pretty much nonexistent. This is typically how it goes and it's not that people do not care, it's just that they went on with their lives and somehow had the illusion that since you are "home" yours sort of went on too. That's just the way it is.. no blame.

 Caregiving can end up being a lonely place - but you eventually adjust to this social isolation and it finally becomes the norm.  As a general rule, caregivers do not have the freedom that many others have. They cannot decide on the spur of the moment to go see a movie, go to lunch with friends or grab a cup of coffee with someone. Many cannot even take care of personal errands except when an aide is present. Even if our loved one is mobile it is not so easy to just jump and run to buy necessities. It all has to be carefully planned out and it greatly involved depending on the mobility level of our loved one. All of this can lead to a feeling of abandonment. 

When we feel like the world has kept turning and left us sitting still we can consider this scripture in Psalm 27:9-10. The psalmist prays: Do not hide yourself from me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don't leave me now; don't abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.

I am guessing that David had moments he felt isolated from the rest of the world. He was basically running and hiding from Saul who wanted to kill him. I'm sure there were some lonely moments in some dark caves while he was hidden away that he felt abandoned. But he encouraged himself in the Lord more than once! In this psalm he goes on to talk about seeing the Lord's goodness in the land of the living. And then he makes this statement seemingly to himself in verse 14: wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (NLT)

Today I will turn my focus to the Lord who will never abandon - never leave me alone. I will meditate on these two phrases from this psalm: you have always been my helper and  the Lord will hold me close. This will by my meditation for the day - will you join me?

Where Would He Go?

The caregiver's life is full....of caregiving! Our days are filled with assisting another perform their own SDLs. (skills for daily living) This can range from minimum assistance and supervision to complete 24/7 care. No matter what level of assistance we give, it's not easy taking care of someone else. We are very quick to put our own needs on hold to serve our loved one. In essence, we already lost our lives - at least the one we knew before - to care for them. And it's not always easy working through the emotions that go along with any given caregiving situation. So how do we deal with it?

 The first thing to consider is that Jesus put His "life" on hold to take care of us too! He left eternity to walk through time only to be mistreated, persecuted and killed. In His darkest moment at Gethsemane, He did not consider His own emotions, feelings, wants or desires more important than completing the task the Father had sent Him to do...and that wasn't for His own good - it was for us!

But then He still did not leave us alone; He made sure we'd be taken care of throughout our entire walk through time. In John 15:16  He tells His disciples that even though He was going to depart this earth shortly He was sending them a helper. Did you get that? God sent us a Helper! And that's not all - that He may be with you forever! God sent Holy Spirit to help us, comfort us, guide us and teach us - so that we are not separated from God. He lives in us - and will not leave us!

I find great comfort in the fact that He won't leave us. Holy Spirit never takes a look around and says, "This is too difficult for me, I'm outta here!" He never gives up in His pursuit to help us see the Father no matter what type of situation we are in. Take comfort today in the truth that He will not leave you...think about it - if  He did  leave -- where would He go? He is everywhere - He literally cannot leave you...He chose to call us, "home."

Because of the Enemy

For the believer there is no doubt that Holy Spirit lives in us and strengthens us. Ephesians 3:16b says it this way: ....be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man...Take a second to think about that. We are strengthened from the inside out - because Holy Spirit lives inside of our very being.

 Holy Spirit resides in us to give us the strength to remain in Christ no matter what the circumstances. And actually, our circumstances many times drive us straight back to Him. You may be rocking along thinking life is good and some tragedy or trauma wakes you right out of your stupor. We tend to start trying to figure out where we left God! Or where He went that this terrible thing has occurred. But He never moved. He is everywhere - all the time and will be for all time...even throughout eternity.
 

In an odd way, adversity has its way of driving us to Him. In Psalm 59:9 the psalmist says this: because of his strength I will watch for You, for God is my stronghold. At first I found this verse very confusing...is it  because of His strength? Because of the Lord's strength I will watch for the Lord? While that's not a bad concept, I do not think that's what David meant. He was in a very adverse situation. Saul had sent men to his house to kill him. They were outside his house watching for him to make one wrong move, just step out the door and they would end his life immediately. Saul probably sent more than two or three strong men. Think about looking out your living room window and seeing a few armed men lying in wait...for you. Then around outside the kitchen window are even more men...just waiting.  A quick look out each window reveals the same thing. It was because of the enemy's strength... that David was waiting and watching for God.

 David goes on to say in verse10: My God in His lovingkindness will meet me....It's because of the strength of our enemy, our circumstances, or whatever life throws at us - that we learn to seek Him. Not for relief - but simply to feel His presence. The relief doesn't matter as much anymore....we just need to know that He will meet us...right where we are. We need to rest in Him knowing that we did not sin to find ourselves in this position. The church tends to want to condemn us as having no faith. But only through faith do any of us realize that the Helper lives inside us to give us strength to face our enemy day by day. Only through faith can we really sit quietly waiting to hear His heart beat...we are still in this battle. We did not give up when adversity struck. We certainly found out that we were not serving God as prevention. We serve Him because He is God.

 So, today in the midst of the battle, with the enemy stalking waiting for us to give up or give in, let us wait for His strength. My God in His lovingkindness will meet us here...

And Boy Do I Need the Help!

This morning I came across a scripture in Hebrews 13:6. It is actually a quote out of Psalms. It simply says The Lord is my helper I will no be afraid, what can man do to me. I didn't so much think about what effect other people may have on me as I really am worrying about that less and less. But I focused on the first part of the verse...the Lord is my helper.

 I can think of a couple of other verses about that just off the top of my head. Psalm 121 says I will look to the Lord where my help comes from. And then in Psalm 30:10 is a plea for help Lord, be my helper! It's not that I am so Bible smart - it's just that I've needed lots of help! lol!

I am to the place in this walk that I really do not know how to go on without His help. A caregiver runs on overload all the time. There isn't a "break" actually. Because if you're like me, even if you sit down to enjoy a cup of coffee you feel guilty because surely there's something you need to be doing for your loved one!

He is my strength and I say gladly that I cannot walk through this fire without His help! So today I will rest in Him as I realize that He alone is my help! And He alone can give me strength to stand...and strength to walk through one more day of this journey.

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 ...