Abound

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.

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