One of the challenges for caregivers is becoming more isolated and carrying our responsibilities all by ourselves. This is especially true when we do not have family near or other have family members that cannot understand all the time we spend worrying and needs we feel we must address. We feel our situation is unique. We find ourselves doing the same thing over and over but wishing something would change. We wish others could understand.
Sometimes, finding a group of people who feel like we do, have a similar responsibility and face the frustration and exhaustion we face is more helpful than family. People who understand the stress we face. People who struggle like we do. Where can we find people like that?
Support groups are made up of people who share similar experiences and questions. They find understanding and strength in sharing their stories and learning together.
Even better is a support group that shares the encouragement of scripture and can pray for one another. Having a leader that can open up the scripture for caregiver eyes, to bring out grace filled words that encourage and point us to God. People that help us learn all that God can teach us during our caregiving time.
I know it is hard for a caregiver to add one more thing to a difficult schedule and to change a pattern of behavior. Getting together in a Christian Caregiver Support Group is one of those things under the category of important. Hebrews 10:23-25 encourages us to, "Hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another."
If we do not make room for the important, then everything is always urgent. It is important to fight the isolation and the depression. We are not meant to live and love that way. It take courage to reach out for new understanding friends and risk a new experience.
My vision and prayer is for an explosion of Christian Caregiver Support Group in every community to help address the important, to find the peace that passes all understanding found in Jesus. When you address the important renewing that a faith centered support group brings to caregiving, you will find that you are a more effective caregiver. That is good for you and for the loved one you care for.