“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV).
During times of struggle and adversity, the Devil is just waiting in the wings, ready to pounce on our spirits and capitalize on our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Spiritual self care for the caregiver is critical. As we walk through this season of caregiving, the vitality of our spirits depends upon us learning to take the lies captive and fight back with God’s truth.
We must remember that destructive thoughts do not come from our heavenly Father. Satan is the father of deceit who is constantly trying to plant lies in our hearts and minds and then he sits back and watches us self- destruct as we intentionally (or unintentionally) water them into existence during our challenging seasons of life. We must empower our caregiving spirits to stand firmly on TRUTH.
Why is Spiritual Self Care for the Caregiver Important?
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to critically look at the way you talk and think about yourself? I think you would be surprised and painfully disappointed if you honestly looked at your thoughts and words concerning your beliefs about yourself and your abilities to successfully navigate the numerous roles you are trying to juggle in your life at this moment.
Let’s get honest together, right here, right now. We are living in the midst of the most challenging season of our lives right now. Our life roles are constantly bumping into one another and some days it is hard to keep it all going.
Am I right?
We are wives trying to love and serve our husbands to the best of our abilities. We are mommas; trying to love our children well and keep them alive (which is our best on some days). Then, we are (brain cancer) caregivers. Come on sweet sister…that is A LOT OF LIFE on your plate right now!
Extend yourself some grace.
If we are honest, we can be downright cruel to ourselves. If you are anything like me, you would NEVER speak to others the way you speak to yourself. Why do we allow this into our lives? As a Mom, I would be heart broken and downright TORN UP if my children spoke about themselves the way I hear my inner dialogue spew lies about who I am and what I am (or am not) capable of!
Have I hit a nerve? I hope so! This has got to stop!
My sweet friend, I love you. My heart breaks knowing how destructive your self- talk can be to your spirit. I know because I know what it did to mind.
What Does Spiritual Self Care for the Caregiver Look Like?
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NIV).
Satan is relentless in his pursuit to smash our spirits. He will do whatever he can to try to destroy our eternal compass that points us to who God is and who we are as His children. Some lies are rooted deep down in the recesses of our soul. These kind of deep seeded lies require us to be hypervigilant in our fight to cut them out and replace them with our Heavenly Father’s truth.
Where do you hear the constant whispers of Satan? Is it in your marriage? Parenting? Finances? Friendships? Career? Caregiving? All of the Above? Oftentimes, Satan will plant one untruth and like an infectious weed, it sprouts another lie and then another. Satan tries to knock us down and wrestle with us until we are exhausted. Then, he leaves us beat up and broken.
Fighting back with truth requires our:
- Alertness: We must keep our spirits pedaling in tandem with Christ moment to moment. Remain on the offensive with God and His Word. It is the Devil’s desire to put you on the defensive, to isolate and exhaust you. Our spirits are lulled into a slumber when we are tired and complacent.
- Intentionality & Preparation: We must commit to taking proactive steps each and every day to strengthen our spirits by staying rooted in God’s word through prayer, daily scripture reading and interaction with members of the Body of Christ.
How to Make Spiritual Self Care for the Caregiver a Reality
Lie You Believe: “God must not love me if He is putting me through this.”
Truth(s): “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV).
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”(Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
Lie You Believe: “I can’t do this.”
Truth (s): “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NLT)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV).
Lie You Believe: “I’m not worth caring for.”
Truth(s): “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27, NIV).
“Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life” (Isaiah 43:4, NIV).
Lie You Believe: “I am not good at anything!”
Truth(s): “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:10-11, NIV).
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).
Lie You Believe: “I’m not strong enough to get through this.”
Truth(s): “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV).
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31, NIV).
Lie You Believe: “I am a failure.”
Truth(s): “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us”(Romans 8:37, NIV).
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us”(Deuteronomy 20:4, NIV).
My Prayer For You
This season of life might feel like more than you can handle. It might challenge you in ways that you feel ill equipped for. You might wonder, more than you would like to admit, that you have NO IDEA how you are going to get through another minute, let alone another day! My dear friend, please remember that you are not alone. I encourage you to journey through this season in tandem with Christ and your Christian community. When you are tempted to believe the lies, turn towards the TRUTH. Self care for the caregiver is critical and non-negotiable for your overall health and spiritual well-being. Commit to equipping and empowering your spirit to stand on truth.