For nearly everyone, the last few years have been hard. We’ve found ourselves facing unsettling situations and unwanted changes. Now, several years into the pandemic, we realize that things will never return to the familiarity of the past.
Nevertheless, we trust God to help us adjust to, and thrive, in the new normal.
As we spend time processing our emotions from the past three years, it is good to remember that every challenge we experienced was even more of a struggle for those who were caregiving for vulnerable family member.
New Caregiving Challenges
While we had trouble finding toilet paper in the store, caregivers struggled to find necessary personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. Where we had to find new ways to entertain ourselves because large gatherings were discouraged, caregivers often found themselves completely homebound. We moved work and school to the computer, but caregivers struggled to navigate remote medical appointments. We probably reduced our visits with family members, but many caregivers had to go without visiting loved ones in care facilities for months on end.
And while we complained about wearing masks, caregivers had to be concerned about how often they were exposed to possible illness by those not taking advantage of safety measures. A mild case of COVID for a caregiver would result in his or her inability to care for a loved one or perhaps lead to months in the hospital for a vulnerable family member. The last three years have challenged caregivers in ways we cannot imagine. Many of these hardworking, loving people are weary and need our care.
How to Love a Caregiver
A world pandemic brings with it challenges, but through the grace of God, this time of tribulation also brings blessings. Through the work of the Spirit, we learn, we grow, and we find new ways to love one another. If you have people in your life engaged in caregiving, I encourage you to lift them to our heavenly Father in prayer. Ask God to bless them with peace and strength and show you how you might serve by caring for the caregiver. Here are some possibilities:
- Offer to provide respite care so the caregiver can have a break.
- Offer to do some household chores such as laundry or lawn care to provide much-needed self-care time. Even a meal brought in once a month is a welcome blessing.
- Do you have expertise with finances or dealing with insurance companies? Unfortunately, these are two things that are time-consuming for caregivers.
- Check to see if the caregiver needs assistance with technology to set up medical portals, visits with family members, or online church.
- At church meetings, speak up for caregivers and their situation, so your community of believers becomes more aware of their needs and how to meet them.
- And perhaps you could call or visit to encourage the caregiver and to share how your church cares about his or her struggle. So often, a small gesture makes a huge difference.
Find Peace in Your VocationWhen we look for opportunities to assist caregivers, we do well to remember that caregiving is more than a part of family life; it is a vocation. For some, it becomes a career, but all Christian caregivers are engaged in earthly spiritual work made worthy because of the redemptive work of Christ. It is a blessing to support this critical effort by encouraging the caregiver.
I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Our Savior does not leave us in our tribulations without providing a way to grow and feel His peace. I pray that your experiences through the pandemic have continued to form your God-given faith. Whatever struggles we face, we know the ultimate battle has been won by Christ.
Learn how to show love to a caregiver in your life with Kim Marxhausen’s book.