It is interesting how difficulty can bring strength to the inner core. The discovery of aha moments in the most challenging of situations brings hope to the surface, enabling one to continue trying, even if the light at the end of the tunnel can’t be seen. But there are things that can be acknowledged:
Know who you are in God. Know that in Him you live, move and have your being. He knows your thoughts afar off, even before you formulate the thoughts of fear, despair, and frustration, all rolled into living the life of being a caregiver:
- The long discussions one has with their loved one, familiar conversations you know you have had with him/her before, but ones that your loved one clearly does not remember, and says “I did not know”, or “I was not aware”. This happened recently with my mother. After talking for over ninety minutes, the familiar adversary of frustration crept into my emotion, and while we did not argue, I left feeling there was not much accomplished by the going back and forth, wondering what else I could have said that could have not only made her understand, but could have eliminated the underlying current of distrust of me and others who are trying to help.
- After our conversation, I felt so heavy. I didn’t say enough, I didn’t present the right sentences, I wasn’t successful. I left her place and came to mine, not long thereafter going to bed, sitting in darkness and crying out to God about what to do next. At the same time, I did not want to complain and rehash what just happened.
Instead, I determined to just honor God by saying affirming statements like “I trust you have me God”, “you said nothing is impossible”, “I am victorious”. And then the prayer shifted more. I said I wanted what He wanted, and my request was for His involvement in all of this and other situations and concerns. I told God that I want to know what he wanted, that I wanted Him to be “in”. IN everything I do, IN everything I am involved with, I wanted him involved. I remember saying that night in the darkness, “God, I want you in.” And just like that, God’s presence entered the room, and worship broke out.
That encounter enabled me to get to sleep. It caused the heaviness to dissipate. I can’t tell you that when I woke up the next morning I felt like the heaviness was completely gone, because it wasn’t. But I can tell you that God-encounter cause me to continue on living life, fueling me to get out of bed, get ready for work, and once at work to get things done. By the time I got home, and after doing some exercising and eating dinner, I felt better and yes, I felt lighter mentally, as I continued to make affirming statements that included “this too shall pass”.
- Friends are important as you are experiencing challenges. God has provided me with a support system of friends who went through the same things I am presently going through with my mother, and they encouraged me by presenting a different angle to the situation I had not considered. So I encourage you to get much needed wisdom from those who have been where you presently are; learn from them. They can be a big help.
“We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power and strength.” Charles Stanley
Therein is where the experience of growth pains from challenging situations causes strength to become stronger deep within one’s very being.