http://wp.me/p2UZoK-tkDear Caregiver,

I know how frightening and fragmented your life feels. Nothing remains the same as BC (before caregiving). Sure, you try to put on a strong front with those who ask how you’re doing—after all, the focus of prayers and petitions should be on the one you care for.

You may hesitate to ask people for prayers or even assistance because you think that God has given you this burden to bear, and you don’t want to trouble anyone else.

I know. I stepped into the hero-caregiver trap myself. I fell into it naturally, easily, as if I’d simply accepted a light jacket (which quickly turned into a lead jacket). But I didn’t realize how much suffering I would bring upon myself.

According to my parents, from the time I could toddle and talk, I made it clear to the world that I wanted to “Do it myself!” I didn’t learn much in the intervening years, either, because when Pedro got sick, I knew without a doubt that only I could provide him with the level of care that he needed.

Don’t get me wrong. I trusted the medical profession, but I’d read stories of missed medicines and wrong diagnoses from overworked nurses and inexperienced doctors. After all, I knew Pedro’s medical history from onset of pain to current prognosis. He didn’t need me by his side so much to provide care—he needed me as an advocate in adversity.

In addition to learning an entire new vocabulary (cancer as a second language), I continued working full time (when I was home), parenting double time (since Pedro couldn’t participate), and half my time wondering where the money would come from to travel between Bozeman and San Francisco (and where the money would come from just to pay the regular bills).

My parents moved in with us so that I could spend time with Pedro on weekends and holidays as well rush to his side almost a thousand miles away any time a crisis occurred (which happened often).

But I suffered. I don’t remember doing anything particularly well that year. My need to “Do it myself!” didn’t make room for other people to help me. And when I did accept offers of assistance, I often felt put out and resentful if the assistance didn’t live up to my expectations (it would have just been easier to do it myself!).

The problem with my stubbornness was that I inflicted a lot of suffering on myself (and probably, unwittingly, on others because I often acted brusque and short-tempered to those I cared about the most.). I spent time reading the Bible whenever I could—and those sessions always left me feeling better. But maybe I missed the point.

We will suffer on this earth. We don’t know how or when, but we WILL suffer. And when our seasons of suffering occur, remember that God will provide comfort—God is the conduit through which our comfort abounds—we can’t pick and choose the delivery system. (tweet this)

He might use a Bible promise, a prayer, a song, a book, a sunset or a person to deliver His comfort

So be on the lookout, Dear Caregiver. God promises that his comfort will abound (occur in great quantities, be well supplied, teem). We just have to make sure we keep our hearts open to receive it.

God doesn’t promise you a life free of suffering; but he does promise you a life full of comfort DURING the suffering.

Drop by these posts for more comfort:

31 Days of Comfort for Caregivers

Day 1-He Is

Day 2-Rod and Staff

Day 3-New Song

Day 4-Inadequate

Day 5-Promise

Day 6–Unfailing

Day 7-Afflicted

You can find more inspirational blogs at Essential Things Devotions.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Dear Anita … your heart-words touch something gently fragile and deep in my own soul. Thank you. And thank God, who cares for us in ways that no other could understand.
    Linda@Creekside recently posted…Makeover * autumn nesting delightsMy Profile

    • Thank you for your kind words–they encourage me.

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  • Dear Anita,

    I love how you are using your trials to bless and encourage others on a similar round…Thank you 🙂
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted…When you trust enough to play (& Book Review)My Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by, Dolly. I’m praying that the words aren’t mine and that the Author gets them to the ones who need them :).

  • Anita-your words are so spot on! I am like you in that I feel like a super hero who can do it all and I am not good at asking for help. God’s comfort does abound and I pray that opening my heart to the embrace of His love will be my new mode of operation rather than putting on the cape and trying to fly on my own. Blessings!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Oprah’s Courage or God’s?…{following our passion}My Profile

    • You made me chuckle, Mary! Here’s to hanging up our capes, eh?

  • donnybud

    Conduits! What an awesome comparison. People are great conduits. They can be the
    conduits of God’s help or the devils misery.
    Some are conduits, some are canduits, and some are cantduits!
    Love your insights.

    • :). I’d rather be a canduit than a cantdoit!

  • Anita, thank you for this open, honest, and transparent post about being a caregiver. You articulated so many of the feelings I had during my days as a caregiver for my mother who suffered from unrelenting pain and dementia…your final sentence was certainly true in my case…”God doesn’t promise you a life free of suffering; but he does promise you a life full of comfort DURING the suffering.”
    beth willis miller recently posted…blind spots and imagination…My Profile

    • I’m so sorry about your painful journey, Beth. I hope that God continues to help you in your new season (recovering caregiver 😉 ), and brings joy and good memories to you.

  • It took me years to realize that people want to help, to feel useful. I know I want to help others when they need it, but I forget when I am the one who needs help. We need to just lay down the need to do it ourselves!
    Sarah Donegan recently posted…Be Someone Worthy of RespectMy Profile