Thursday, March 5, 2015

I'm not Stuck - I'm Going Through

I have read story after story by caregivers who feel like they are carrying the responsibility all alone; and in too many cases, they are. Caregiving can be a lonely walk. Not only are there limitations when it comes to outings, friends don't really know what to do with your new lifestyle either. They don't realize that your likes and dislikes didn't change when you became a caregiver. Did you like playing cards or going to movies before caregiving? Then it is likely that you still do. But sometimes those outings are no longer practical and in some cases they are not possible. You are the same person but your social scene may have changed. This can add to the loneliness that many caregivers experience.

The good news is that even when you feel all alone - you are not. I find myself returning to a favorite passage in Isaiah 43. It says something like this:

When you pass through the waters
I will be with you;
And through the rivers,
they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire
you will not be scorched,
nor will the flame burn you.
For I am the Lord your God...

Caregiving can become a heavy load if we carry it all alone; and we can feel like we are going down for the third time. And realistically, there is a lot to fear. My own fears have involved things like making financial decisions, medical decisions and a whole host of decisions all made for someone else and affecting others. What if I make the wrong decision? It can be a vicious cycle. The good thing is that we are not going through all alone. God is with us!

Notice in Isaiah each phrase includes the word, "through." It doesn't say you are stuck in the water or the fire but when you go through the trials. We are not stuck and we are not going through all alone. He is with us.

This makes me think of Psalm 23:4 where David says even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death - I will fear no evil.  Why? Because You are with me. 

Today I will meditate on the fact that God has not left me hanging in the midst of the trial. He is walking it through with me. I will remind myself that God is with me on this journey and sometimes - He has to carry me. Today I will think about relying more on His strength and less on my own - because quite frankly, mine runs out. Will you join me?

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