Monday, October 10, 2016

Exiting Crisis Mode

There can be many aspects of caregiving that are weighty. Even though each situation is unique and has it's own set of circumstances, it's never "over" and you're never "done." Tomorrow always awaits with mostly the same tasks today demanded. And even though the initial trauma or gravity that may have occurred at the onset of the caregiving experience are over - the situation usually means we may live in a sort of crisis mode. (Maybe it's just me.)

Two things have been on my mind over the weekend. One is the social isolation that is customary in a caregiving situation. The other is how people tend to act like you had a crisis in the past but they seem to think it's over now. I think this can contribute to the isolation many caregivers experience.

For instance, when we lived in the hospital for the first 4 months of our journey, we had visitors frequently. Not as much toward the end, but people still came to visit from time to time. We could usually expect someone at least on the weekends. When we came home - it felt almost like we were put on a shelf as if the crisis ended. But in reality - it was just a different level of crisis as we brought the hospital home with us.

Caregivers are resilient though. We bounce back. We adapt. We adjust to a new normal and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. We do what we do and just keep doing it. With or without help. With or without interaction that seems to slowly subside over time.

Obviously, all is not lost. Our relationship with our heavenly Father deepens as we press more into Him. We adjust to our circumstances, partly because we just have to; and partly because we are too busy to really stop and think about it a lot. But for me, there are those times when I feel engulfed in loneliness and it makes it difficult to navigate spiritually.

The last couple of days have been that way for me. It leaves me feeling pain on every side. It is deep and intense and I feel like it is inflicted to make me lose focus and be counted out in the fight. It's okay to realize how deep the pain is - and how deeply our caregiving experience is affecting us. Living in crisis mode can affect us on every level.

So what are we to do? How do we get clarity in the middle of the fight? These were my questions over the weekend. I turned my heart to two different psalms. One I caught myself singing. It's Psalm 61. The heartfelt prayer of the psalmist cries out:

Hear my cry O Lord
Listen to my prayer
From the ends of the earth have I cried out to You.
For you have been my shelter from the storm
A high tower from the enemy.
When my heart is overwhelmed
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

I find myself singing/praying that during the times caregiving seems overwhelming. The other one is Psalm 13 where the psalmist talks cries out to the Lord and asks Him some very good questions. 

How long will You forget me...
How long will You look away...
How long do I have to struggle...
How Long will my enemy be winning...

But the last verse of Psalm 13 is key. In it the psalmist says this: 

But I will trust in Your unfailing love
I will rejoice because You rescued me
I will sing to the Lord
...because He has been so good to me.

And this is where I am again today. I see the turmoil around me. I feel the grip of living the caregiving lifestyle... and yet I see He has been so good to me in the midst of it all!

Today I will purposefully acknowledge His presence. I will trust Him, rejoice in all He's done and I will sing from my heart about His unfailing love and care. My meditations will be on what He has done and how He continues to work on my behalf rather than on what I see surrounding me. I will turn my heart to trust in Him... for one more day. And I will rest in Him - will you join me?

2 comments:

  1. Hello Jeanie haven't been here in a while. We recently moved to Jacksonville to take advantage of the therapy options at Brooks rehab. Lost my mom in July. The move also meant we would be much closer to our daughter but alas they will have to relocate ( my son-in-law is in the Army. I say all that to say this. I feel so alone and I know these insecurities affect the way I relate to others. I am a mess. We had such a great life and now after 4 years I feel like a completely different person. The self confident loving husband has been replaced by I don't even know what. But like you said we have to carry on. No other options but to keep on keeping on. My spiritual life is pretty much a roller coaster. Christianity is not meant to be done alone but here we are . even our closest friends are no where to be found. So I will join you today trusting he knows our pain and in the end will give us beauty for ashes. Thanks for listening

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing part of your journey with us and for trusting us with your heart. I wish I had all the right words to say -- or just something to say that might help things make sense. Unfortunately, there are no words like that, How well I know.

    When it all closes in on me I try to think of anything positive I can find - sometimes I have to look real hard. I usually end back up at the truth that He is still with me - right here in the heat of the furnace - He didn't get out because it got too hot for Him. He doesn't walk away (like friends do) when life gets ugly. He's with us.

    thanks for sharing - thanks for reading... Sending hugs and prayers to you and your family today.

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