Thursday, July 9, 2015

Caregiver's University

As caregivers we are able to get in there and get things done. It sort of comes with the territory. No matter what our basic personality is, in just a short time of caregiving is good schooling on this topic. We learn rather quickly that in many cases, advocating for our loved one means rolling up our sleeves and getting 'er done.

Too bad there's not a Caregivers University where we can go to learn the skills needed. We could get a diploma once we learned it all and of course passed our internship where we learned all the ropes using a hands-on approach. Of course I am speaking tongue-in-cheek as it would be impossible for someone to teach us what we've learned.

Of course there is no such school and we are not going to get a diploma for our learning. But we do a lot of learning about a lot of things once we become a caregiver, including things about ourselves. Even though I'm pretty high strung and hyper most of the time I let a lot of things slide as a person. I wouldn't get in there and fight for stuff - I'd just take the wrong and walk away in most instances. Early on in the caregiving journey I learned that this approach was not going to work, People do not just do their jobs - they want to do as little as possible and still get paid. That can lead to some frustration for us. Until we learn how to fight.

During the four months we stayed in the hospital after my son's initial head injury, I learned that something Madea said was true. She said you only have to go crazy up in here one time. And I did that. It was premeditated I will admit. And I purposefully went out into the hall to throw my fit to get everyone's attention. I threw a good fit too and they came running! They took care of a very serious situation with my son that was having to wait until they were done with break. Suddenly every RN up there knew how to take out an infected, clogged catheter.

But as tough as we become or learn to be there is still an underlying humility, or there should be. Let's face it, there are parts of our job that others are not willing to do. We don't go around talking about those midnight messes we have to clean up and things like that. How can you not be humble when you are meeting the very basic personal needs of another person. Things others won't think of stooping to do? Humility comes with the package too, just like tenacity. They work together to make us stronger, better individuals.

James 4:6 says that God gives grace to the humble. When I was in the church scene sometimes we were indirectly taught that we could take a scripture and wave it around in God's face long enough to get Him to do what we wanted. It wasn't on purpose but we were sort of taught to be full of pride and come to God like I did in the hallway at that hospital in Shreveport. Screaming and yelling and telling them all what-for! But God acts on true humility.

In the next verses it says if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. We don't have to act up to get His attention, we already have it. Micah 6:8 says that all God requires is for us to walk humbly  with Him. True humility has us walking alongside Him, but never out in front. Never with our fists raised in the air (although I have thrown a few fits with God too....they didn't work.) but with humility.

It takes true strength to lose ourselves enough to be humble with Him. Humility is not weakness, although it is often mistaken for it. Humility says I yield to You and Your work in my life. We become the sheep, and let Him be the Shepherd. That can be difficult for caregivers, especially since we are so used to getting things done. 

Today I will slow down and walk humbly with Him. Not out front, not lagging behind; but alongside Him so I can be with Him on this journey. My meditation will be in Psalm 100 - I will think about how I am one of His people and a sheep in His pasture. I willingly submit my will to His today and let Him shepherd me. I will ask Him questions - and then wait for His answers. Will you join me? 


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