The seventh day of Advent, 2018
Caregivers are not alone in feeling overwhelmed with no end in sight. Many find themselves in life situations which are more than they can handle and so find themselves calling out to God for help, looking for relief, for support, for anything that could improve the situation. We human beings have been having these experiences for a long time.
Consider the psalmist who wrote this plea for help more than 2,500 years ago:
I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.
I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
The psalmist concludes with the recitation of some of God’s past actions, as if to reassure himself, to fortify himself.
Often these days our prayers seem to bounce off heaven. All we can sometimes manage is to try to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And when it feels like the only salve for exhaustion is to collapse in front of the TV or Netflix with the prerequisite glass of wine or two, consider the relief that souls have found in the past by crying out to God even when there seemed to be no answer. For there is relief in expressing your grief and upset, rather than simply numbing out with distractions and mood-altering substances.
Do not be afraid of your strong feelings, of your irritability, even flashes of anger, for you need your own compassion and that of others as it becomes clear you are not doing well, that you are breaking down more and more. Find your opportunities to vent with supportive, understanding family and friends and with God. Ask for help not only from God, but from your church, your doctor, your LHIN (Local Health Integration Network – http://www.lhins.on.ca/), from us here at Stonebridge Haven. There is much support available to you whether it be respite support or understanding and compassionate advice and counsel. I have done all of these and found much support and compassion and so can you! My writing of this blog is part of my own therapy as I am expressing my own strong feelings and needs and reading about all of these issues, reading scripture and other spiritual/practical supportive texts as part of the writing process.
Consider calling us as a first step: we understand, and we can help you find the support you need.
December 8, 2018
Each person’s journey is unique, not all caregivers are overwhelmed, but all need support in their journey with their loved one. If you are a caregiver or know someone who is a caregiver who may need help, there are many resources available. For more information, please contact us directly at www.stonebridgehaven.ca/contact/.