Monday, August 8, 2016

Whether or Not You "Need" It

The last few days have been more hectic than usual around my house. I've had friends and family in and out to celebrate my birthday in one way or another. It's been a wonderful weekend and I'm all birthday-ed out. As we go into a new week, I think about how I'll deal with the alone-ness that is surely to creep back up on me.

I think one of the things we have to deal with as caregivers is being alone. As a single caregiver, I can spend a lot of time all alone and since my son is non-verbal I used to go days without even hearing other's voices except on TV.

Thankfully, my online jobs have changed that and I see and talk to people via video calls frequently. I have also had my health coaching classes I watch via video. It's certainly not as good as in-person, real discussions - but it's been better than nothing. Oddly enough, sometimes if I have a lot of outside contact now - I actually deal with over stimulation. I have to chuckle at that, but it's true. When you live in a caregiver's cave the world can be an overwhelming place.

The good thing is that I've had a wonderful few days filled with phone calls, visits and even an outing. But now we are back to the grind. I'm already feeling like I'm in back to the cave mode as I adjust to the many hours alone once again. It was a nice break.

So what's a caregiver to do as the solitude threatens to swallow them up? For me, I'll slide right back into that place I've found in Him. In Psalm 73:28, the psalmist said this But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. (NLT)

The caregiving journey is similar to any other journey through time - we have the choice whether or not we make Him our shelter. On the rough days I am certainly glad to run to Him and hide from the harshness caregiving can dish out. On the nicer days, I still need the calm of being in His presence and letting Him shelter me.

Today I will be meditating on how He is the ever-present shelter. He protects my spirit and soul from being overcome by the complicated daily routine of caregiving, even when I'm overwhelmed. I will make Him my shelter today (and everyday), and any chance I get to tell someone about how His grace sustains me on this journey - is going to get an earful. But I am going to start with myself. Yes, today I will remind myself of how He has been carrying me for this 8 year (so far) journey. And I will tell myself how He will carry me for another day today. I will rest in him one more day - will you join me?

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