Showing posts with label loss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label loss. Show all posts

Tinted Glasses

As a full and part-time caregiver, it's difficult to read the word without seeing it through caregiver tinted glasses. Of course, this is true no matter what comes at us in life whether a long-lasting recovery, serious illness, divorce, or anything else. The good thing is that the Word of God does not change to fit what we are going through. His Word stands sure - no matter what we go through - it remains applicable. It has to be - right? If our situations change it - which is stronger?

Sometimes, parts are not as easily understood because we view them through pain-tinted glasses. But His word still stands. It is still true. It does not change. For this I am thankful. I read sometimes, looking for parts that can be lived from the cave. You know? Even though I can get out a little more - I still deal with frustrations when I can't find the "me" I used to be. The one who was always there for everyone. I didn't miss church. never missed meetings, etc. I was on "go" almost all the time. And to be honest, it's been difficult to find myself here and miss the other me. But alas, I adjust.

May we become more like Paul who shared a sense of loss too. As he was writing to the Philippians in chapter three he said:

What things were gain to me, I have counted loss for Chris.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ...
I have suffered the loss of all things...
and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ...and be found in Him

And that last phrase is where I stopped... found in Him. When I feel the losses - the life I lost, the me I lost, the freedom I lost - if I can just look for myself in Him instead. And that's what I love about the word - our circumstances do not change truth - it can stand the test of time. It stands through our situations and circumstances. It will weather the storms of life! Instead of looking in all these different places - instead of looking for myself within  - may I just look to Him and be found in Him.

Today, my thoughts will be on how securely I am tucked into His heart. How He holds me there and is content. My meditations will be on how to enjoy the fullness that only comes from Him and from abiding in Him. And with that, I will be content today. I'll just rest in Him and trust Him for today. May I always be lost in Him.

What about Jakob?

I've read and reread the story of Joseph, and growing up in church it was one of the common Bible stories that we heard over and over. On one hand I think the caregiver can learn from Joseph's patience. He had a dream that seemed could never come true. Life betrayed him. I know the scriptures don't go into Joseph's thoughts but he had to have some serious dedication to God to not lose it during those waiting years.

I think of the betrayal by his brothers. Then the betrayal by Potiphar's wife. Not only did his brothers put him in a pit until they could sell him to the next passerby, Potiphar has him thrown into prison for something he didn't do. He spent a lot of time waiting, wondering, and trying to figure things out I would assume.

While our stories usually focus on Joseph and his determination to serve God through his trials, this weekend as I was rereading the story once again, I thought about Jakob.

In Genesis 37, it says that Jakob wept for Joseph and goes on to say he refused to be comforted. His other children all tried to console him, but his reply was I will go to my grave mourning for my son. He had no idea that Joseph was going to be his leader some day and he had no reason to believe that Joseph was alive - no hope that everything would be okay one day. He lived in grief.

The caregiver can experience what is called a living grief. Depending on the particulars of our situation, we can lose a lot. For my situation, my son is gone, but his body is still here. I have grieved the loss of my son but can't quite "put it away" since there was no funeral or burial. The grief continues. It's the same with my mom. She's experiencing dementia and is not really who she used to be. I have to grieve the loss, even though she's still technically here. 

Many caregivers experience this living grief and it can be some very complex emotions to work through.You can't just "move on" but there's still a sense of loss. Caregivers have given up something on some level no matter what their situation. Some give up jobs, freedom, friends, and many other aspects of life to care for a loved one.

1 Corinthians 1:3 says that God is the God of all comfort.  I really like this little word, all. God can comfort Joseph sitting in the prison cell wondering where the promise is; and God can comfort Jakob who feels like the promise was stolen and is gone forever. God can feel us. He gets us. And He will comfort and strengthen our hearts.

Today I will turn my thoughts to the fact that He gets me. He understands everything I am going through and He pours His strength into me - and gives me strength for today's journey. (everyday is a journey for caregivers) My meditations will be on the truth that He loves me with the same love I have for my son. (Insert whoever you are a caregiver for.) And instead of focusing on the loss today - I'll focus on His provision, His love, His strength, His patience with me and the grace He gives me to make it one more day. Will you join me?

My Times are In His Hands

I can't even begin to imagine what Job went through. If you go back and read the first chapters of Job you'll see how he lost his children, his wealth and sustenance, his possessions and even his health. Sometimes I read Job when I think I can't handle anymore. Early on in my caregiving journey (and sometimes even now) I feel a great sense of loss. I had rid myself of my possessions and was headed to the mission field when my son was involved in the accident. When he was going to be released to "go home" I had nowhere to take him. Add that to losing who he was and I dealt with a heavy sense of loss for a long time.

I compensated for the losses I felt by buying anything I wanted. I'd see a movie, a book or a piece of furniture I liked and I'd buy it. It took me some time to realize I was making purchases and other allowances in my life to try and make up for the great loss I felt. I say that to say only on a very small scale can I begin to understand the enormity of loss Job had to feel. Even Job's friends didn't know what to say in the situation. When they heard of his tremendous trials they came and sat with Job. They sat in silence for seven days, because there really wasn't anything to say. I so appreciate my friends who have been present through this journey even though they may have been uncomfortable and didn't know what to say or do, don't you?

In Job 13:15, he declared, though God slays me - I will trust Him. I've heard it said that this was a lack of faith on Job's part. But I think that it was the ultimate statement of trust. Job was pretty much saying that no matter what the journey brought he was going to continue to trust the Lord.  Even though he was faced with huge losses Job clung to God. I can't say I've had that much tenacity in my situation. I've been angry and didn't care what role God wanted to play in my life. How could He let all this happen? I know nothing happens that doesn't cross His desk for approval first.

And yet gradually I worked my way back around to trusting Him for the journey. Eventually, I was able to say once again that no matter what life brought - it's better with Him than without Him. I found that He was patiently waiting. He wasn't angry, He didn't cast me away; but His gentle presence welcomed me freely. My times are in His hand declared the psalmist. (Psalm 31:15) I must rest in that truth and continue to trust Him.

Today I will meditate on trusting Him more fully. I will not worry about losses, I'll concentrate on His gentle presence in my life. I will rest in Him and trust that my times are in His hands and He's as committed to this journey as I am. 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 ...