Have you ever read or heard something that turned on the lightbulb in your head? Or maybe it was an “aha” experience that shed new light on your situation.
While I say, and believe, Jesus holds me, loves, and guides me, I don’t always make choices that reflect that. When I was a youngster, my father told me (did not ask, but told) to shovel the driveway. “What will you give me if I do?” I asked. He didn’t miss a beat and said, “your breakfast.” Message received.
So in my role as caregiver, that message has translated into my doing everything myself. Taking care of my honey, maintaining the house, both in and outdoors, managing financing, shopping. Oh, and when I can grab a few minutes, writing. Never mind that I advise other caregivers to get help! I had not thought I needed help yet, until………..
God Dropped a Brick on my Head
I’m dense. He does that sometimes.
In this instance, it was a lovely brick and it landed next to me. My (finally) completed novel found a publishing house, but not just any house. It is owned and run by a dear friend, who had been a full-time caregiver for his parents, until they passed away. Now, wearing his editor hat, he asks every week how I scheduled my time so I could meet the deadlines we established. He is a man of faith, and we discussed how God is calling me as a writer, even as I care for my Honey.
After one grueling day, in which I had written not a word, I realized I was up to my knees in the proverbial alligators. Spurred by David’s advice and example (he wrote two books while caring for his parents), I called a home care agency. Within a week, our angel arrived, and a ton of weight fell off my shoulders. Three days a week, I bury myself in my local library and write up a storm.
But I didn’t stop there. I ordered home delivered whole-food-plant based-organic meals, so the only meals I cook are for my Honey, rather than two meals every evening.
God Said So
Reveling in my newly found heaven, I read these Bible verses just today in 2 Corinthians 1-10 (NIV Life Application Study Bible). St. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, is writing about having been taken up to the “third Heaven.” What he saw made him realize how insignificant and weak he really was. Then he speaks of the “thorn in his flesh…a messenger of Satan to torment me.” The thorn could be anything, and maybe that’s why we don’t know what it was.
I think we all have “thorns” in our sides. It may be an ailment or handicap. It could be the challenges of caregiving. But God’s response to Paul’s supplication is perfect.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Before this week, I would have thought those words meant I should continue to take everything on, even if I had little time to write for Christ. He would somehow turn me into “Super Nurse and Wonder Writer.”
Now I heard a different message. Paul writes, “For when I am weak, I am strong.” Since I am weak, I found strength to be a better caregiver and more productive writer once I admitted I needed help. I saw more clearly that this is how God plans to make me strong in my weakness and thus His strength is made perfect.
And that’s not even mentioning the many blessings his companion brings my Honey!