Thursday, June 13, 2013

Quietly Discarded

There are times that I joke about living in a cave; and even though things are said in jest it really can seem that way at times. Many times the caregiver lives a very isolated life where activities outside the home are very limited. For awhile this used to wear on me but it has finally settled in and my cave is a very safe place, a peaceful place and I am actually finding that I do not do as well outside the cave as I used to.

Others really do not understand the caregiver's cave. There's just no way for others to understand the lack of freedom that can be experienced. You cannot just jump up and go grab a few things from the store, have coffee with a friend or go to an afternoon matinee. The things that are commonplace for the majority are rare for the caregiver, if they exist at all. We cannot expect others to understand our situations - they are not living the experience with us. We do not fit society's mold and sometimes we can feel quietly discarded.

No one will actually say anything - not that it would help. Have you ever just felt politely ignored? When people do not know what to do with you they are not impolite - they just ignore! Even the church can be this way. They do not know what to do with those of us who are homebound and cannot fit their church-going mold. So we do not exist to them. I won't bore you with the details of all the churches or church people who have politely ignored us. lol. But I will tell you that one pastor asked me what I needed and I replied with one word: fellowship. He eagerly said they could do that. (I think he was relieved that I didn't ask for money lol!) But most of those who live in situations with continual pain whether it's physical or emotional have probably already guessed what happened. I never saw him or any people from that church again. I'm not mad - they just don't know what to do with us so they politely ignore us. We become quietly discarded because we can't function in their world. No blame -- just the way it is.


The term that came to my mind earlier this week was cast away. There are times when the caregiver can feel like society or even life in general has just cast us away. We are here - we are breathing - but we don't really exist. When I started meditating about being cast away and realizing that our existence is not in this world but in Him, my mind went straight to 2 Corinthians 4. The apostle to the early church Paul says this we are afflicted in every way...but not crushed. Now for those faithers out there -- they would call this admission a negative or faithless confession. It is not. Paul is stating the obvious. Until we can view where we are in honesty - we'll never be able to view Him in truth. Paul did not stop at this he went on to describe the utter despair he was feeling:  perplexed but not despairing; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed. That about sums it up.

I would like to add quietly discarded - but not rejected. Even though much of the world ignores our situation - God is still fully aware. He has not rejected us - He has not left us. Life may have struck us down but we are not destroyed!! Even though it feels like life has cast us away - to live in the caregiver's cave - God caught us and holds us even now.

Today I will meditate on how He is my present help - He holds me - cherishes me and loves me. I will picture Him holding me...and then I'll rest in Him. Will you join me?











Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Step Out of the Traffic!

This has been a very busy week around here: supplies that do not come in, nurses that drop in unexpectedly, aides that don't show up (they're fired)  - and it's only Tuesday! For the caregiver it simply never stops! Life can be a tilt-a-whirl that never takes a break, just keeps spinning and spinning with no relief in sight. *sigh* Sometimes it seems we cannot even slow down enough to take a breath. It only takes a few minutes for everything to snowball on top of you when you are already underneath the load and emotions are already on "high."

Maybe it's just me, but in those times it can be very difficult to figure out what is the "right" thing to pray. After a few years of caregiving (or suffering otherwise) we've pretty well prayed it all out. That can add frustration too. So yesterday when it all caved in on me again I did what I taught others to do for years. I went right to Psalm 46:10. It's good in any version: KJV says Be still and know I am God. The NASB says: Cease striving and know that I am God. the CEV says it this way: Calm down and learn that I am God." The Message says it like this: Step out of the traffic! Take a long loving look at me, your High God. I guess that about sums it up...when life is overbearing, pain unmanageable, people not present - just be still, cease striving, calm down and step out of the traffic

When you live in the furnace like caregivers do life can become overbearing at any second. Sometimes we do good to even know we are saved! But when it is too much - it's time to quiet our soul in the presence of the One who created it... and say with or without breath -- I still believe You are God. Somehow this acknowledgement that doesn't really change anything....changes everything.

 Take a moment today to remember that He is still God. Remind yourself that whatever ongoing tragedy is occurring in our lives has not dethroned God. As we quiet ourselves simply in honor of His existence...the world becomes a much quieter place around us. He will give us strength to walk another day. 

Today I will remind myself that He is still God - has always been God - and will continue to be God. Be quiet my soul....He is still God!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ever Been Disappointed?

Life can be disappointing at times and the caregiver can find themselves having to constantly pull themselves up by their bootstraps as the old saying goes. Most likely the very reason we had the opportunity to become a caregiver was one of life's huge disappointments. Perhaps it was a tragedy such as a wreck or an accident, or maybe it was a serious diagnosis; no matter what it was it certainly was not the way we had envisioned our lives turning out - and that can be very disappointing.

1 Peter 2:6 is a quote from the Old Testament that says this: Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed. (NASB) When life is full of disappointing news we can start to think that God didn't know what He was talking about. To be completely honest, I was very disappointed in God when my son was seriously injured in an automobile accident. After all weren't we led to believe that since we served God our kids would be safe? Well, I was. When the grave news started settling in and I realized that God was not coming in riding on a white horse to rescue me out of the situation - I was disappointed in what I had believed.

When we look at this scripture in context, we will see that it is talking about the body of Christ - and offering ourselves as an offering to God. (1Peter 2:5) It's not so much talking about life being free from disappointments. I think it's saying to me today that no matter what disappointments may come my way in life - we will not stand before God disappointed. As we continue to trust Him for our daily existence (necessary for the caregiver's survival!), we will not stand before Him and be disappointed. He will not be disappointed in us -  and we will not be disappointed in whom we put all our trust and belief.

We can become very focused on what we see right now that we forget there really is a bigger picture. He will  keep our souls - we must keep our bodies. They are subject to decay (thanks Adam and Eve!), they will wear out, get injured, become weak etc. But our spirit man will not have to stand before God with an ounce of disappointment - He is able to sustain us and present us holy and blameless before Himself - no matter what life brings our way.

Today I will meditate on how He sustains and strengthens me through life's disappointments. Will you join me?