I’m Martha Grimm Brady and I have been there.
I write to those of you who are feeling alone, afraid, and even overwhelmed as you look toward the future. Many of you are older women. Some of you are like me and are caregivers as well.
In 2015, two years after my husband and I had both retired and moved to AL, my husband Ron, had the first of four strokes. By then, we had been married almost 50 years and lived in a variety of places in the US and Jamaica.
As a result of his strokes, 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 have found very few resources for us specifically during this time of our lives. 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 because that is statistically the most common situation.
How are we going to find hope to survive this chapter of our story?
You may not be caregiving, but you may still be dealing with loneliness, grief, or feeling overwhelmed or scared. These are not uncommon emotions as we deal with many of the changes happening at this point in our lives. There are many uncertainties we are facing in terms of health, finances, our ability to cope and on the list goes. As Christian women, we often fight to find hope in the many dark days of our life. But we aren’t always successful. It helps to understand what the Bible is actually talking about when it talks about hope.
Hope: confident expectation based on the person and promises of God.
Is it true that God is with us as we are told in the promises surrounding Jesus’ first coming to earth? Does He love us as He says and shows us throughout the Bible and particularly when He died on the cross for us, providing full, free forgiveness for our sin? The Sunday school answer is “Yes.” But as time goes on, the truth of the wonderful words from the Bible sink into our hearts like a warm embrace. We come to believe and understand who God is and what His promises are and we realize they are actually true!
Immanuel. He is with us. He is present on the days when we feel His presence and when we don’t. He loves us deeply, and in ways we never understood before. But we don’t always feel it. Hope is there but it isn’t based on how we feel every minute. It is based on truth that we must hang onto for dear life. Actually, God is the One hanging onto us when we think we’re hanging onto hIm.
I can help you…
As someone who is living 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 function as imperfect people? None of us is an expert 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.
Here are some ways I am offering you encouragement…
- On the right side of most pages of the website, you will see a number of series I have written on topics you will find to be encouraging about who God is, what His promises are, Benedictions (Blessings…a very hopeful series) as well as on Navigating the Healthcare System for Caregivers.
- There are also some helpful practical pages for you to use as caregivers to make your lives easier.
- Watch for more to come. Please let me know what you would find helpful as I broaden the emphasis of the blog to include other challenges older women face beside caregiving, that we need hope for.