Posts Tagged comfort

Life Does not Stop for the Caregiver – It Just Changes

No one plans on caregiving particularly, for many it just happens. In my case it was an automobile accident which left my son Chris with a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI). For many of us, our lives stopped that day. But then slowly each of those affected began gradually moving back into their normal lives…without us. Even though my world seemed to stop that day and made some very sharp turns – it didn’t really stop; it just changed.

I guess what I am saying is that all of life’s events still occur alongside caregiving. Once I had become adjusted to the caregiving aspect – which is never anything I had imagined in my “former life,” other life events went on. People got married, had babies, I became a grandmother, my parents continued aging, and friends died. For awhile the emotions around all these events were strained at best. Even the good stuff was difficult to bear. Now that I’ve settled into my life as a caregiver and I’m not looking for anything in particular to change anytime soon – the emotions don’t seem as raw. Perhaps it’s more that they have shorted out and fried and I just don’t know it!  But at any rate, the emotions seem more rational and normal again.

Don’t get me wrong – nothing and I mean absolutely nothing is normal. There are some things that seriously pull my emotions all out of whack. For instance, when I see my son’s friends getting to go on with their lives – they travel the world, continue to pursue their dreams, play music, marry and have children, I just wonder. Where would Chris have been? What would he have been doing? Would he have married his true love? Would I have more grandchildren…the questions run in huge packs. But I have to make them stop. It’s not fair, or healthy, to allow my thoughts to run away with my emotions.

Today I was pondering some of these types of things and realized that they were not nearly as difficult as in the past. For one thing, I have developed my own personal strategies for dealing with these types of emotional upsets. It was kinda – do that or be overtaken by grief. So today, I found a tiny bit of comfort rather than discomfort in the fact that life has gone on. It’s really the same for everyone – we all have grief, sorrow, pain, joy and triumphs that we work through. I just have to work through my life occurrences while providing full care for my son.

Even though life is not an even playing ground and it’s not exactly the same for everyone, there are some things that we all have in common. We all have exactly 24 hours in a day to accomplish all our goals. We all have a circle of influence – some are smaller than others but we all influence and inspire someone; and someone influences and inspires us. The question is now what we are going to do with what we have?

One day I was whining about my whole situation (yes – I do whine!), then I found this quote that totally changed the way I was thinking. It said simply: Crying will get you sympathy, sweat will get you success. I have lived by that for some time. I chose to start working and then to work harder at working in order to succeed. I didn’t want sympathy – I wanted what was fair. Well – life is fair in some ways even when it’s not fair in others. For instance, we all have tools, we have a mind, emotions, creativity, and time. It is up to me what I choose to do with those elements.

First of all, I choose to rely on God for my strength – I just don’t know any other way.

Secondly, I choose to continue to press my son toward improvement – who knows what may come of it?

Thirdly, I choose to not live my life with my head in the sand – or in my circumstances. We have to look past ourselves and our own situations no matter how difficult or painful they are – other people are hurting too.

It’s my choice to live by crazy faith that is not about getting “prosperity” which is not soul prosperity at all – and walk with God each day of my caregiving journey. It’s not that knowing God is walking beside me makes it any less difficult – or any more normal – but it sure helps to know He’s there to lift me up when I get down, to strengthen me on those many occasions when I feel so very weak. All I can do is pray that He helps me to help others deal with their own situations. We have permission to grieve, hurt, laugh and play. We really can live life with everyone else – even from the cave – or from the furnace. We may be singed and smelly – but life is still worth living in Him.

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It’s Just A Wierd Day…so far…

I am not even too sure how to begin this post…it’s just been a strange, yet emotional, day…so far. Chris doesn’t seem to feel well and that always causes my emotions some strain. He’s terribly sleepy, but I remember giving him a Benadryl last night so that could be some of it. He has kept a low-grade fever though too..no cough – nothing apparent, just a fever.

So this morning when I got up I sat down with my cup of coffee. I actually sat in the floor situated where I could see my bird feeder that’s just off the patio. Questions were running through my mind like crazy…so many whys and why nots… You see, I’m supposed to start reading Luke now according to my little reading through the Bible in alphabetical order thing I am doing…but I just don’t want to read Luke; then Matthew…

I know it’s filled with all the stories of the healings Jesus did and just to be honest – it troubles me when I do not see Him do the same for my son…and that’s when all the questions started rolling through my mind. The old familiar frustrations were back – why would Jesus heal the one man with the withered hand and not my son’s hand…you know the drill! lol!

I know all the Bible stories too – you know how God went in to Egypt to get His people out and in the process He did all these might works…I can’t doubt them really, but for a minute I just wanted to ask if they were real…did they really happen? How do we know? Why did we need to know them, if He isn’t going to do the same today? Would He come after me? 

Then I thought about all the nations He wiped out…for what purpose? He is not so egocentric that He needed to wipe out those who don’t believe in Him to protect Himself…They didn’t bow down to Him…was that it? I can’t imagine serving a God (or a god) who feels the need to wipe out races of people because He’s afraid of them..can you?

Now I would never say I want to be like a harlot…but Rahab comes to mind. The residents of Jericho knew the Children of Israel would come and destroy them. She believed in God against her whole city…and she was spared. What about all the other Jerichoians? Couldn’t they have joined with her beliefs?

Just about the time my frustrations were getting the better of me (and I haven’t even shared all the latest on the doctor/nurses craziness I’ve endured… the recent cracks Chris has been dropped through.. the day-to-day stuff that led to this moment of insanity!!!)…This sole dove landed in the back yard…just one of them – and they are usually in pairs, but I have this one that comes to eat by itself.

The dove landed and it caught my attention. I just looked at it and wondered about the dove being symbolic of the Holy Spirit because of the way He descended on Christ when He was baptized by John the Baptist…and I just began to pray… here are the words to my prayer:

Holy Spirit I Need You
to come touch my heart and make it brand new
without You I really don’t know what to do
but I know I’m in desperate need of You!
And so I’m waiting…
I’m waiting here for You
to comfort…Wipe away the pain
and restore the joy like when you first came
 
Then I picked up the guitar and the song just came out. Now I realize that nothing in the natural is even minutely better…but just the asking for Him to come – brought comfort…like the simple request moved Him into teaching me, comforting me…or something I really cannot explain.
 

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