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grace, caretaker

photo: Martha G. Brady

Click this link for the other days in the 31 DAYS OF CARE TAKING: ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Part I

So we move on to talk about grace. Yes, it is more than simply mercy plus a blessing. We can’t have grace without death. It may be a literal death or the death of a dream or desire. It may be the death of a plan for a season so someone else will be cared for. You can see that grace is deeply entwined in the life of the caregiver.

We will learn considerably more about the grace of GOD, the richness of it, as we partake of it. Click To Tweet

So is reconciliation, or an attempt at reconciliation. True reconciliation has to involve both sides of a relationship. Yes, it can be initiated by only one side and may be spurned by the other. But the attitude of grace and forgiveness can always continue from that one side even if full reconciliation never occurs.

As caregivers, we need grace, mercy, and gifts of reconciliation available always.

Frequently, these are both involved with caregivers. How many times is the daughter-in-law asked to take in one or both parents-in-law to care for in their older years? It may even be a parent that has been hard to live with all her life. It is not easy for her to take in people with whom she or her husband have a difficult relationship. There will be less spontaneity in their family life. What will they do?

But in the best case scenario, GOD has used your family to minister to them in their senior years. No one wants to have this ministry. This is not the way we want to witness to our family members who are difficult. We would like them to be able to go home and take their problems with them. But if that is what GOD is calling you to (and be sure He is calling you to it, not a sense of guilt!)

Other scenarios fall on various levels of the spectrum. Often the parent who comes to live with you has been a pure blessing to you and your family. Those are not the times you need to struggle for grace, however. I’m talking about the times where it is needed.

Many of you realize just how much grace you need to do your job. It isn’t easy. It tries your patience…often! That’s why I put this little discussion of grace here. Caretakers need it in abundance.

As someone who has richly received grace from GOD, I can give it out as I give care to my loved one. Some days it isn’t easy. It can be very mundane for those who have to change diapers or deal with accidents of adults. Sometimes, the person we are doing it for is not appreciative or doesn’t understand our motives. They are also broken. Other times, we are dealing with their lack of care for their clothing and things when they once took care of their stuff. Or they struggle to eat normally like they once did. We have to die to preferences we have for a “normal” life…for the ability to come and go as we please.

We will also learn more about loving, sharing, caring for others in unselfish ways. Click To Tweet

Whatever is involved in our caretaking, this is going to curtail what was once normal for sure…in some way, for a season. But we will learn considerably more about the grace of GOD, the richness of it, as we partake of it. And in the end, we will realize that whenever it happened right, it had nothing to do with us. We alone, know how much this kind of thing doesn’t come naturally to us. We alone know that when our caretaking comes from this kind of place, it came from Him. Then we sit down at the end of a good day and thank Him!

 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are,
yet without sin.
 
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy and
find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:15-16

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