As a caregiver, you will find one or both of these two lies that will easily derail you from having hope in the daily journey of giving care to your loved one. If you allow them to take root in your mind, you will enter a downward spiral that with lead you to a very dark place.
Lie #1: This situation is going to last forever.
This situation is going to end. There is no way to know when it will end. You have no idea whether it will last a month, a year or 5 years. But there will be an end to it. Of course, that is both good and bad. The end often comes with either the death of your loved one or a point in their care when you are no longer able to care for them at home. Either way, it is an unhappy resolution from your perspective. But if your loved one knows Jesus, It is a relief for them when they pass away. They are going to eternity with Jesus. They will no longer have the discomfort and distress they had while living here on earth.
The logic of that doesn’t remove your grief at their passing, of course. But it takes a little of the sting out of it. Your preference would be that they could live here as they once were…in good health in body, soul and spirit. But at some point, that can’t happen anymore. It is part of what happens when we live in a fallen world. We can’t have all the choices we want to have. It is painful for sure.
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding;
Daniel 2:20-21 ESV
So the good news and the bad news is this: This caregiving situation will not last forever. It will end. We just don’t know when.
Lie #2: I’m all alone. There is no one else to help me in this situation.
As I write, I’m writing to Christians when I say this. This is not an exclusive group. Anyone can become one. Click here to see how you can become someone who is “in Christ.”
If you are a person who belongs to Christ, you are not alone on at least two levels. First, you are not alone because you have the Holy Spirit living within you to encourage you and remind you of Scripture you have memorized, nudge to things that will help and build you up in Christ, and remind you of what GOD has promised you in His Word including what He tells us about who He is. These are things that will bring you hope that lasts.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Isaiah 40:28-29 ESV
Second, you have the Body of Christ, the local church you are part of. Even if you aren’t able to attend as much, you have resources there that you can take advantage of. Each church is different. Does your pastor offer to visit, or is there a visiting team for people who are confined to their homes? Take advantage of that benefit. Don’t be “humble” and try not to cause them inconvenience. They are there to minister to you during this time. It may need to be a short visit. You don’t need to put on airs. They are used to coming into homes that in all kinds of stages of clean/untidy, etc. Having them come and read GOD’s Word and pray for you will be very encouraging…whether it is a pastor or a team who regularly visits.
Hopefully, you have a history at your church and have friendships and networks there through which you can find concrete help, prayer help, etc. If you haven’t been part of a church, find one that you can become part of where you can participate in online services, receive encouragement from staff or volunteers or others who have been where you are now. It’s not too late.
Dwell on truth
Encourage your heart and mind with truth rather than with either of these lies.
Think about the excellent, the things that are praiseworthy and commendable.
These are the things that will help you during a difficult season.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—
practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:6-9 ESV