One of the Spiritual Principles of Caregiving relates to sacrifice. The choice to Caregive is a Call to Arms. When we choose to be Caregiving Warriors, we are at the forefront of the battle lines against the fleshly desires to escape and pass off the responsibility. We achieve victory in doing the tough thing that has spiritual impact.
Most people get pulled into caregiving. My friend Frances didn’t exactly sign up to care for her Mom at the current level of care required. My friend Donna caregives for her mother, even though she resides in an Assisted Living 2 hours away. I didn’t sign up to care for my bipolar Mom’s extreme episodes after her residential living arrangement threw up their hands about what to do at certain points of the year.
It is a “price” that is paid that takes people away from several other opportunities of their own choosing. It’s different than taking care of one’s own child. Taking care of an adult who theoretically should be able to take care of us doesn’t fit the normal range of life expectations. All too frequently, that adult never was capable of fulfilling the role of parent we needed them to fill in our lives early on. Yet, their need arises and no one else steps up to the plate.
It could feel like our time isn’t our own anymore and we can’t “get anything done.” Many of us get called into things we don’t want to do. We feel we “have to do it.” It feels like a burden and comes with a high cost. Often that cost involves writing checks and creating space in our homes. How many offspring who are single have to take care of a parent and the other married siblings seem to be off the hook? Somehow, we have to find peace about this, because it doesn’t do us any good to live in a state of anger and unforgiveness. That becomes our problem. So on top of everything else, we have to figure out how to live in a state of “forgiveness.” In and of itself, this can be a tough challenge. It gets complicated when dealing with relatives and years of history and repeat patterns. God knows. He will keep us steady though the mess.
Continued in Part 2 of Redeeming the Cost of Caregiving Warriors