“Hey friend! You over there… in the background, trying to keep all those ‘balls’ up in the air, perfectly balanced and moving fluidly and flawlessly…I see you!” Can we have a caregiver heart to heart?
How Do I Know?
I understand your desire to camouflage yourself with your competing life roles and quietly melt into the background where you can go unnoticed and where you can remain numb and untouched by your circumstances in a desperate attempt to merely survive.
You are trying so hard to keep it all together and by appearances, you are KILLING IT! People look on in awe… “how do you do It ALL?” Your façade is convincing to everyone around you. You even have yourself fooled!
Truth be told though, you are DYING inside!
How do I know?
I know because I was YOU. In some ways, I still am YOU.
Becoming a Caregiver
At 33 years old, I had been a wife for almost 9 years and I was in the throes of motherhood to a 6-year-old little girl and a 4-year-old little boy. I NEVER imagined that I would soon become a caregiver to my Mom, who was about to be diagnosed with Glioblastoma brain cancer at the young age of 57.
Talk about life flipping upside down, backwards and inside out in the blink of an eye.
Life instantly changed without warning and certainly without my permission!
Life would never return to “normal” and there was no guidebook instructing me on how to navigate this new season of life as a wife, mom and caregiver.
I need to be honest with you. The road ahead appeared ominous and unclear. I did not feel qualified or prepared. Fear threatened to paralyze my mind, body and spirit…this was just the beginning of our journey with Glioblastoma brain cancer…and the introduction to the next chapter in my personal story.
Wherever you find yourself today and no matter what season of life you are in, I want you to remember our caregiver heart to heart.
A Caregiver Heart to Heart
I Need You To Know These Truths
You are radically loved by Christ.
You matter to Him more than you will ever know.
The cries of your heart matter.
Christ sees you, ALL of you…especially the beautifully broken, fragile, wounded parts of your spirit that you desperately try to keep hidden from the rest of the world, even from yourself.
YOU ARE NEVER ALONE ON THIS JOURNEY.
My sweet friend, I see you.
Can we get real with one another for just a few minutes?
Lean in…let’s have a good ‘ole caregiver’s heart to heart.
We Walk This Road In Tandem with Christ and One Another
I want you to know that I’m not here to judge you. I’m not going to tell you to get over it or to suck it up! I know you are hurting and I want you to know that I’m sorry.
I realize there are no words that suffice in expressing the true condition of your heart and I will never assume that our circumstances are even remotely the same. You will never hear me say that I know how you feel…because I don’t. Every experience is uniquely personal and sacred.
Please be kind to yourself and understand that it is always more than O.K. to NOT be O.K. You are entitled to feel and fully experience your feelings. He knew your heart would be broken and your back would be burdened, and your spirit would grow weak and weary.
God never intended you to walk this road alone, in your own strength. It’s too heavy, too hard!
But, one thing I want you to know…the “I’m fine” charade will eventually exhaust you.
Carrying on day in and day out with your Superwoman cape strapped to your back will eventually become too burdensome to carry alone. Trust me, I tried…and I failed miserably.
The façade broke me in more ways than I care to admit.
I paraded around like Atlas, with the weight of the world on my shoulders, as if everything depended on me and me alone. I can only imagine the Lord looking down from the Heavens, lovingly shaking his head as if to say, “my child, let-it-go! None of this depends on you. I’ve got this!”
Come close my friend and hear this good news…The Lord knew this was coming. Nothing is a surprise to Him. He has gone before you and already prepared the way. Now, it is your turn to fully trust Him.
I know life is gut-wrenchingly HARD right now and feels anything but “normal,” but God already knows, and He is waiting for you to come to Him exactly as you are, in this very moment.
Come just the way that you are…no charades…drop the facade…leave the mask at home.
Let yourself be seen, beautifully broken and unconditionally loved.
Just Be Held
Just for a few moments, let’s commit to putting down all our competing priorities and pressures, and take a deep, cleansing breath in. As you exhale, slowly release your clenched fist and white knuckled grip that you have on all the “stuff” in your life and bravely relax your hands. Go ahead…don’t be afraid. Now, open your palms in surrender and humbly offer yourself and ALL your “stuff” to our Lord.
By opening our hands and our heart to our Creator, we are making space for Him to take the lead in our life. If we allow Him, He will take our hand, like a Daddy does with his precious children, and He will gently guide us through the hard places and unbearable seasons of life.
Girl…you cannot do this alone.
Take His hand and let Him carry you.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).