The Caregiver Generation
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
I have a very dear friend named Nancy, who is extremely busy and is presently struggling. Like so many women, at 58, she has run the gamut in her adult lifetime from raising her children as a working single parent, to caring for her 87 year old mother who is now on hospice at home. And of course that also includes looking after her 88 year old Dad, as well. The doctors say her mom’s prognosis is about a month, but in the meantime Nancy and her family are trying their best to stay positive and keep her as comfortable as is humanly possible.
For Nancy, and so many other women in the “Sandwich Generation,” being ever available, so “on” for loved ones over the years that it has left her feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, weary, and frankly, somewhat cynical at times as she often asks at the end of her hectic days:
“Is this all there is to life? Is there more to life than being a caregiver for the generations???”
Life is full of opportunities. Opportunities to choose your purpose, opportunities to pray, opportunities to love and be loved, opportunities to stand with Jesus or walk away…Yet, we always need to remember everyone has choices and purpose(s) in life. In fact, a blessed life often entails a series of God-given purposes throughout one’s life.
Sometimes I find that my first purpose is serving God through family, other times my purpose involves completing a task or project and /or helping people through my chaplaincy. I consider serving God with all my being as my primary purpose in this life, and at the present time, my secondary purpose seems less altruistic than other times in my life…
Squarely focused on improving my personal wellness to regain muscle strength and good health after decades of living with disability and infirmity. In this purpose, I am fully dependent on Jesus for all my needs ~ fortitude, patience and strength. As I pray throughout the day, and am getting stronger by the day, I am growing in gratitude to Jesus for the signs of healing great and small that He is bringing, and in that way, prayer does not disappoint. Actually, I am growing in gratitude as my prayers are answered in due time as only God can.
Regardless of what your chosen purpose is at any given time, ongoing gratitude to God is essential for a peace-filled and joy-filled life. Gratitude to God is so important that it can even be the deciding factor in how you decide your purpose. It also allows you to put aside all negativity to embrace Jesus and your subsequent purpose with fervor and open arms. Clearly, some jobs/tasks are easier to accomplish than others. Sitting at the bedside of a loved one can be most difficult, as can three decades of care-giving while caring for a growing family. However, one who embraces each God given purpose prayerfully will find the work load lightened and enabling one to accomplish each purpose with greater ease, regardless of what must be done.
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 / NABRE Version
There is an appointed time for every affair under the heavens.
2 A time give birth, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
6 A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
8 A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.