Life changes are happening here, ones of uncertainty and large commitments of time.
I came to Texas more than six years ago to take care of my Granny. When she passed, I collapsed from exhaustion. I was thankful our family was able to be with her in her last days. We were able to pray over her, watch the 6 o’clock news, and guess the letters Vanna White hadn’t turned on Wheel of Fortune in the scary dark hours when Granny dreaded sleep and death.
But make no mistake, it was hard. And it was good. An ever-powerful grace come over me when I was slap weary by the needs of two small, homeschooled boys of my own, along with the needs of a dying and completely dependent, grandparent. They learned. My boys learned what it meant to serve.
Truth is, care-giving teaches you. It teaches you how to not take it for granted, those breezy bygone days. It reminds you, life is short and drives you to be intentional. It makes you more aware of the dangers of running too hard, pushing too fast, and operating days on end in crisis mode. You learn how to give up things for their season and be the Hands and Feet when yours feel inadequate and sore.
There will be no hero’s welcome or framed awards to hang on your wall. There’ll be no acceptance speeches or stages or platforms. For most of us, there’ll not be much to show for any of it. Instead, there will be extra creases and lines etched in your face as you honor a life in dignity when independence slips away.
Many times we have to fight for ourselves, fight to be who God made us to be, to use His talents and gifts by being good stewards. But care-giving can strip us down. Make us naked. Drive us to our knees as we crawl onto our beds.
And for that you find courage. You don’t fear the mountain which suddenly appears as a roadblock in a towering shadow over you. You don’t fear the ways in which you will give and give and give some more. You don’t fear the ordinary days turned inside out.
Instead you find rest, minute to minute, in the tiny folds of night. You sit on your oversized couch, feet curled up beside you, and watch shows which give you escape. You plop fifteen beautiful minutes on your back porch in a glorious day between rains. You drag a tired body in, past the hour, and fend dinner for yourself the way your family already did. You collapse against a stack of pillows after you savored your kids laughing and sliding on a soapy trampoline.
This is about heaven in you, about it coming close even when you are wilted. Because, Jesus shines. The silent sacrifices hidden among each day given to another, such rewards are hidden.
Courage will rise even when it looks more like survival. When your oil runs dry, you’ll dip your cup one time, and find more. By faith, He does what only He can do.
You give your meager offerings, your small sustenance, and Bless-ed, God gives the increase. And you try to learn from it again, to be brave with your one life and give it everything within, for God is alive and well. Who shall you fear, but fear its self?
You’ll be swallowed whole in the toil of care-giving as you peer into your own fragile light. You will feel small and forgotten but with God—your work is a mighty beacon. This body ages and fails, the Prize a breath away, just a short distance.
So you make a promise. When care-giving has exhausted its course, you won’t give up on God’s gift in you, for your days are also coming to an end and only God knows when. Your eye is on the Mother Land and for that this life may do to you what it will, but your God-courage rises. Pressing onward you go, knowing life is too short to fear it.
Sign up below and also receive beautiful printables by Anna K. Originals that you can frame for your own inspiration at home. Let’s paint brave canvases, together.