January 9, 2012
Psalm 69:3 NIV
I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail looking for my God.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.
One of the hardest things to do when you are the lone caregiver of a person is to ask others for help. The reason is because most sole caretakers, like me, have a caretaker mentality. That mentality tells us that we must do everything on our own, that it isn’t that hard, that we are weak to ask for help and that we burden others when we do. I am not alone in this mentality because the syndrome I speak about gets a lot of medical and physiological attention. That is because health professionals are learning quickly that the caretaker has a 63% greater risk of death than the person for whom they are caring. I wish knowing this information would change me but it doesn’t. I still find it hard to ask for help.
Bringing Gary home from Marionjoy was very difficult. When he first got here, he had no clue to who I was. He thought I was Linda, his first wife, and he hated her. So he would take down all my pictures and try to destroy them. Then his brain would bring him back to before him and Linda got divorced and I got to hear him say, “Goodnight Linda, I love you.” That was part of the brain injury and a part that I had to endure. I would ask God at night, “Really? I mean is it really that important for me to go through this?”
Of course, as I type this I make light of it, but at the time my heart was broken. I cried, and truthfully still to this day I do. It is very hard to live with Gary whose memories are gone. This is my life, my reality. What is yours? What is it that causes you to stay up at night, to cry all day and then toss and turn and shed tears all over your pillow? How long do you suffer and do so silently, begging God for relief? All of us experience this kind of pain at various times in our lives. Mine right now is complicated because it is wrapped up and intertwined with Gary’s brain injury. However, even as I type this I do realize that all of you will have your own special circumstances which cause you great pain.
Keeping pain in, suffering alone is what we do best. It is exactly what Satan wants us to do. It is his plan to have us think that God does not care nor will He do anything about it. We believe him and that makes us cry all the harder. We feel abandoned by God because, now get this, because Satan tells us God abandoned us. This is how it works. Something hurts us deeply and we cry out to God. Satan whispers “God is not there,” so we cry harder and ask God where He is. God is there with us and God is there in us. We push past that knowledge and cry out louder. Satan pulls us down further and as we reach out to contact a family member or friend, he tells us not to burden them. So we hang up before the phone rings. Crying even more we go to our bed or couch or chair and we sit curled up in a fetus-like position weeping deeply with a full feeling of abandonment, and the moment is hopeless and we are helpless. Then and only then do we cry out to God and tell Him how worn out we are and ask for help. God gives us the energy to call a friend or send out an email requesting prayer support. We do and even though the situation we are in does not change, our mood does. We begin to feel God and the prayers being said and think to ourselves, “Finally God is helping me.”
Finally???? I wonder if that is what God says when we cry out to Him. God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. That is what God promises and God keeps His promises. So why, why do we listen to Satan and then why do we believe Satan who is the father of lies? (John 8:44) I don’t know, I wish I did because that would mean I would cry out to God a whole lot faster than I do. I wouldn’t wait until I was worn out, I would cry out at the first teardrop. Can you imagine the peace we would feel if we just did that?
Father God, I do thank You Lord for Your promise to always be there and to never leave me. I do know, Father, that You do keep Your promises and I am sorry that I let Satan convince me of his lies. I will try to remember at all times that You are Emmanuel, God with me, God in me and God for me. This I pray in Jesus’ Name.