Because these blog-bites deal with only one challenge at a time, they probably make caregiving look easier than it really is.
For example, an early post illustrated the problems associated with getting a diagnosis and then suggested ways to facilitate the process. A more recent entry described the frustration of mornings that begin with a non-stop stream of NOs, and went on to suggest actions we can take to handle those mornings. And the February 5 post detailed an issue many caregivers must deal with: how to keep a loved one safe who tries to go out alone, especially in the middle of the night.
Caregivers find each of these situations difficult. But seeing the issues doled out one per week doesn’t begin to approximate a typical day of caregiving, where a string of such challenges may present themselves in rapid succession, even simultaneously.
Still, one challenge at a time is exactly how we must face caregiving. If we look too far into the future, we may be tempted to despair. But If we look back, back to the victories we’ve already experienced, we’ll realize we’ve overcome every obstacle every day. Maybe not perfectly, but sufficiently. We’ve been successful so far. Expecting success to continue will give us strength.
But we can go beyond that. Far beyond.
After we’ve been caregivers for a while, we find we can expect not only success, but miracles.
Miracles occur every day for caregivers. God blesses us with signs we can actually hear or see or taste or feel or smell, and we recognize them for what they are: confirmation of His presence and His care. Whether it’s a momentary flash of recognition from our loved ones or a message of encouragement from a friend, it’s just what we need, just when we need it most. We know it’s a miracle.
Before we look at more challenges of caregiving and explore ways of handling them, let’s take a couple of weeks to look at miracles. Remembering the ones we’ve seen and expecting more can keep us going through the hardest days.
Thank You, Father, for getting our attention with Your miracles. You intervene in ways we can perceive with our senses, so there’s no doubt You are working with us and for us and in us. Acting in Your strength, we can show Your love to those we care for.
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done…(1 Chronicles 16: 11-12 NIV).