Hi, My name is Martha Brady.
I write to those of you who are lonely, scared, overwhelmed or brokenhearted. Many of you are older women. Some of you are like me and are caregivers.
I have been alive for 75 years and married for over 50 of those years to Ron, a pastor. We have three daughters and seven grands. We lived in Florida, Jamaica, Texas, and Illinois during our years of ministry. I am also a retired RN who worked my last five years in a Rehab Hospital. Now we live in Alabama. I retired in 2013.
In 2015, two years after we both retired and moved to AL, my husband Ron, had the first of four strokes. As a result, he now has vascular dementia. But even though he doesn’t always know what day it is, he can still read his theology books with understanding. The brain is so complex, isn’t it?
In conversations with other women, I find very few resources for them during this particular time. I don’t mean to exclude any men from reading here, but most often, I tend to refer to the caregiver as she/her and the person receiving the care as he/him. Occasionally, I switch for the sake of you who are the reverse of my situation. Just know I haven’t forgotten you.
“How are we going to survive this chapter of our story?” is one of many questions you might be asking.
The weeks and months after that first year were very lonely and dark. My mind was full of many questions. How are we going to survive this new chapter of life? What has happened to my faith? I knew the problem wasn’t with GOD. It was just a dark time as I struggled to find some balance and make sense of all that had happened. The context for all my questions was deep pain as I watched my husband become someone different from the man I had lived with for nearly 50 years. I was also struggling to learn how to manage the family finances. It is a job I have no affinity for, especially when I am under stress! This was Ron’s domain all those years. He loved to do it and I was glad for him to continue doing it. But it was now beyond his ability.
Fortunately, I found help from one of my pastors. Not all of you are so fortunate, I realize. I also have friends who navigated the caregiving experience ahead of me. They were very helpful as well. Just know that these and many other questions are not unusual for people who are grieving. Make no mistake. That is what is happening when you are in the throes of caregiving.
I needed hope and encouragement and I suspect you do too.
- We all need the encouragement of GOD’s Word to remind us of who God is, what His promises are, and how certain our hope is in Him! It is not because of how strong our faith is because there are too many days when it is very weak! But because of who God is and what He has promised, we can have the kind of hope that is certain…confident expectation. That is what Biblical hope is.
Just so there isn’t any misunderstanding when I speak about the encouragement of God’s Word, I am not speaking of it in the sense that we take individual Bible verses and attach them to situations like band-aids! That is why I’m more likely to over-quote a passage and read or say three or four verses rather than only one. I really hate to quote verses out of context. It happens sometimes, but not on purpose.
2. We also need the encouragement of other Believers who can tell us truth based on God’s Word, not lies. A really great place to meet them is a good church. It is also a great place to find encouragement as we hear Biblical preaching, worship corporately, and minister together in community.
How can I help you?
As someone who has lived through caregiving in real life, has a nursing background, has walked with GOD for most of my life, I have help to offer you. I have never done any of these things perfectly. I don’t think anyone feels they have. But caregivers need to know that they can give good care and learn to function as imperfect people, don’t we? None of us are experts at everything. Some things we do well, some things we do okay, and others? Well, we just aren’t great at everything…and we have to live with that.
The fact that our neatish worlds have been turned upside down is something we now have to adjust to as caregivers. COVID just made it an even more common experience.
The upside of this is that we are forced to examine what we actually believe vs. what we say we believe.
With COVID, our somewhat neat, controlled worlds have all been turned upside-down. It makes no difference what our age or stage in life, everything has changed. The things we once based our hope on have shifted for all of us. I’m not talking about the things we said we put our hope in, but the actual things we were putting our hope in! You may not be a caregiver, or even be an older adult. But you may need some of the help I have for you here.
Here and there you will notice some quilting themes tucked in. I am a quilter. It’s fun for me. It has also taught me a lot about life and its realities as well.
Come join us as we find hope together in Christ! We’re all learning new ways to trust Him as we discover places we once thought were firm are now shifting out from under us.
Here are some ways I am offering you encouragement…
- I offer posts for you on Mondays. Some are rewrites of older posts that many haven’t seen. My purpose in writing is for encouragement of your spirit as well as for practical help.
- I am developing free material to help you for such things as Knowing when to go to the Emergency Room, What to Take when Leaving for the Emergency Room, Encouraging Bible Verses to Remind you of Truth, etc.
- I am also developing some small E- books for you at a small cost so you will have information available when you need it. I will let you know when they are available.
- As you read here, please comment if there are topics you would like to hear more about that would be helpful along the lines of my stated purpose.
I know, that was a long read! Congrats on making it through!