Thursday, January 5, 2017

Are you Engaged Yet?

As a caregiver it can be easy to feel sort of "cut off" from the rest of the world. Our lives usually look much different than the status quo. And even though I can get out and about more now, there was a time I referred to my life in the cave.

The social isolation can be one of the most difficult side roads of caregiving. It doesn't seem to happen overnight, but slowly. One day you look up and realize not only has your world changed, but your people groups have too. Sadly, in many cases there are few people, if any, who can stand to walk alongside the caregiver.

We may not get invited to social events. If we do get invites, it can be difficult or even impossible to attend. Sometimes, for me, just the thought of trying to manage my schedule so it coordinates with Chris' needs, get him dressed, fed at the right time, and loaded in the van is too overwhelming to even attempt going out. This drives the stake further in and separates me from things I used to enjoy doing. Other times, I load him up and head down the road. Social life can be virtually non-existent, slowly dwindling or barely hanging on - if there is any hope of it at all.

One thing I really wish for my son is for him to have a friend. He had tons of friends before his wreck and they were all so young when it happened, they really didn't know what to do with it....or with him. What do I expect? He cannot communicate - can't hold a conversation. He can't go out with them. He can't even relate to them anymore and of course they cannot relate to him. So he is left inside himself - to battle alone. That breaks my heart and is one of the pains of caregiving.

On the other side of that proverbial coin though, is us. We are here and many times fail to communicate with God. Having discussions and conversations with Him requires faith. How many times have we (or I) failed to talk to God because we don't hear back from Him, don't think He can hear us, or we think we (or He) cannot relate to us anymore? How that must hurt His heart sort of like mine hurts for my son's lack of interaction.

God can be so easy to ignore as we go about our busy days. I have a "google mind" as one of my friends put it. It goes 900 miles an hour and each term, picture, thought or question generates pages of results over and over again. It can be tricky to get it slowed down enough to engage with God and hear Him. Just like it's difficult for my son's friends to stop long enough to communicate with Chris - whether he can engage or not. How many times do you think God tries to engage us and we sit there silently or going so fast we "don't have time" to hear Him? I'm determined to slow myself and my mind down enough to engage with Him - for He is the source of life.

Today, I will learn to "be still." I'm going to purposefully stop and listen for His input. I will step out of the way and let my heart engage with Him. I'll consider myself "engaged" to Him and anticipate his eager response. My thoughts will be on giving Him the highest seat in my heart. I will rest in Him, I will listen for His slightest move and I will rest in Him as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

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