Galatians 5:22-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)
I introduced you to my little sister, Michelle, and shared her new struggle with Alzheimer’s. She has already lived a full life in her Down Syndrome and she will continue to live as full a life as possible with Alzheimer’s. She is the same sister, but different.
Caregiving is a new role for me. It’s been odd taking up that role, just realizing it’s where I am now. I don’t know why it took so long for me to consciously accept. I don’t mean that I fought it, caregiving just became a new way of life one day. The same life, just different. Michelle lived with us for about a year before I recognized myself as her primary caregiver, not just her big sister.
Michelle lived with Mom and Dad, and then just Mom. When Mom had a fall that landed her in the hospital and rehab for about three months Mitch, that’s her nickname, moved in with us. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that for everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. This was the beginning of a new season of life for Mom, Mitch, and me. Huge adjustments for all of us.
Mom still struggles with separation anxiety two years later. She’s 90 years old now but insists that Mitch spend the weekends in her old room, and that’s a good thing for all of us. We all need a respite from time to time. Rest and time away. In this case, a quarter-mile away.
Taking care of another person, who is totally or partially dependent upon you? This is often hard work physically, mentally, and emotionally. It takes patience but brings joy. Fruits of the Spirit that He develops in us over time. On the other hand, rest for the caregiver is hard to find but we need it nonetheless.
I’m thinking of launching a page devoted to the Caregiver’s Respite. A place for prayer, sharing practical tips, and rest. Please let me know if you are a caregiver? If you are now or know you will be someday, would you be interested in a respite this?
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)
These last few months, as Michelle’s memory declined, and we had to accept Alzheimer’s, I’ve realized that I can only do this in Christ. I am not strong enough on my own. Life’s seasons change but He is always the same. Christ is the greatest example for caregivers. When we put our faith and trust in Jesus, He is faithful to care for His children.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold strong to the confession of our hope, never wavering, since the One who promised it to us is faithful. (Voice)
Go to the Table of Contents to read more posts in this series as they go live.
It’s October so this must be time for 31 Days of Five Minute Friday Free-Writes. The event is hosted by Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Fridays. We write daily for five minutes, or maybe a bit longer. The point is to write. Kate provides writers with a one-word writing prompt each day. Today the prompt is SAME.
Featured image credit – Canva with a little help from me.