If you are in a care-giving role, you may be feeling like you are a worn out floor mop used once too often and lost most of its ability to mop up the dirt and clean as you go. You have nothing left to give. Maybe you feel you’re not good enough, capable enough, and knowledgeable enough. And so you do more, spend more time, working faster and harder. Instead of feeling better, however, you feel less able and therefore less worthy.
Being a caregiver finds you giving so much that you feel empty, used up, broken and somewhere along the way you no longer know who you are and have ceased to exist.
And when you’re in that state, you’re not your best. So you unleash anger, resentment, exhaustion, frustration to those whom you love the most. Once spent, you are filled with remorse, guilt, shame…and then you really wish you didn’t exist. I know. I have been there. And I have unleashed some major nastiness.
But you do exist. And God knows you exist because he made you. And he made you wonderful. He created you.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)
You. Are. Worthy. You are worthy of time for yourself. You are worthy of laughter, smiles, walks on the beach, time with the Lord, and reconnecting with yourself. You are worthy of love and hugs, and time to be treasured.
How? It’s not easy. It takes concerted effort. And it’s a lot more than just the one suggestion: set boundaries. Boundaries are limits you set that are reasonable and safe for both the care receiver and the caregiver. It may be boundaries on your time which may mean calling in the Calvary to help in the care-giving. It may be boundaries on your space – moving a loved one where they can benefit from more care than you are able to provide in your own home. It may be setting boundaries as to how you are treated. Boundaries – safe and reasonable for all concerned.
Begin to think of yourself as God does. You are His amazing child. Built with beauty, brains and brawn! God does not make junk. You are not junk. Pray unceasingly for wisdom, and discernment in your care-giving. Cry out to God for He hears your cries.
Decide today that you are worthy; because you are worthy!
Start with this first step. Set some boundaries. Psalm 139 helps to acknowledge your worth. Take the first step and acknowledge your worth today. Look in the mirror and see what God sees. Look in the mirror and say out loud:
For I am fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves me and cares for me.