Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Full Life God Intended for Caregivers

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:7-10 NIV

Photo Credit: Special Purposed Life

Without even trying, our daily lives can become busy.

Meals always need to be cooked. Messes need cleaned up. Everyone expects their clothes to be washed. And that dishwasher won’t unload itself. Then there is the work that is done that actually pays the bills.

There are also extra things that happen in my household. These are the jobs that come with raising a child with special and medical needs. The medicine needs to be given twice a day. The nebulizer is turned on and off twice a day. My daughter is placed on her vest airway clearance twice a day with my help. The bi-pap must be turned on every night and checked at least once after she falls asleep. Appointments for specialists must be scheduled and kept.

A few years ago, I was struggling. I felt very busy moving from task to task never quite feeling like I was ever getting ahead. The day ended, I mentally applauded my efforts and then sighed knowing a slightly different version of this day will come again. Years of caring for a child with medical issues weighed on me. I had always hoped my daughter would grow up with decreasing health needs. But, more (not less) diagnoses and their treatments were added over the years.

Yes, my life seemed very, very full.

Is that the full life Jesus wanted for me? Did Jesus want me to fight my way through the days serving my daughter with a sense of being overwhelmed?

Nope. It was easy to know that I shouldn’t feel that way, but it was harder to change it.

There were many changes I made in my attitude and heart to stop feeling like my life was too full. The main thing I had to do was refocus. Jesus wanted to be my gate. He wanted me to come to him into a place of pasture where I could go about my day, care for my child, and enjoy my everyday life. It is through him, that I could find a place of mental safety to allow myself to better serve my child.

Jesus does not want our days stolen away by cares, worries, and chores. Focusing on what needs to be done means that we aren't focused on the life giver. God wants our days lived to the fullest in every way assuring us peace when we feel like our life is too full.
God, I thank you for giving us life and life to the fullest. I pray that those of us caring for a loved one will find balance and hope in you. Help us not to be distracted and overwhelmed by the work we need to do daily, but help us to thrive in the place you have called us to be. May our lives be lived to the fullest potential as we help our loved ones reach their fullest potential too. Amen.

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