I am back in California after two months of being home in Maryland. When I first got to the hospital and learned my dad had a stroke of this magnitude, I knew God wanted me to shut things down and be with my family. He pretty much did the shutting down for me. As I have been saying, God is so intentional. Everything started slowing down in my life a month or so before I got that phone call and now I know why.
God had to take me to a new level of development. The lessons that I learned in selflessness, self-care, friends, family, and the value of help have changed the way I look at life forever. Rather than pitying myself or my family, I feel honored to be selected to manage this challenge because it opened my eyes to the important matters of life. The small issues I once stressed over no longer hold any weight. I am blessed and fortunate because I have this relationship with the Creator of the universe who shows me the bigger picture in every situation.
When your days and nights are spent caring for a person who is physically dependent on you, it can become tiring. That is when the support of family and friends makes a huge difference. If you are a caregiver for a parent, grandparent, uncle, sibling, I applaud you. By honoring your predecessors I believe you will be blessed. I also encourage you to take a day or two for yourself. Do not neglect your needs, the most important one being rest. You need strength to be strong for your loved one.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. Those who love you most want to be there but often do not know how. If you step out of your comfort zone and let someone know what you need, more than likely they will be there for you and that is one less stress you have to deal with.
Appreciate this trial as an opportunity to be what God created you to be, a help to others. Not only are you a help to your loved one, but you are an inspiration to those around you. Take the time to pray with other families in your surroundings who are experiencing their own hardship. You would be surprised at the impact you can make on someone’s faith by shaking off the jitters and asking them if you can pray with them or by giving a hug and a smile, or just letting them know what God has done for you in this journey.
Nothing is all about you. When something seemingly bad happens we question what we did wrong, or better yet we say, “I’ve been living right, why would God let this happen?”
You’re so vain, I bet you think this song is about you, don’t you, don’t youuuu? -Carly Simon
Believe it or not, your circumstances are not all about you. God will allow us to endure challenges so that we can grow and be prepared for our futures, but He also wants to use us to change lives. We have the power to make a difference in someone’s reaction to their problem by being positive in our own. Let your light shine by being a radiant burst of sunshine in the midst of a storm. Don’t back away from the challenge. You have suited up, now ask God to put you in the game.