Caregiver Stress: Guilt
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Living Free Every Day®
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"Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? . . . No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35, 37-39 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Caregivers commonly experience a feeling of guilt. You may experience guilt when it's time to go at the end of a visit. Guilt over the role reversal—caregivers often must take on the parental role. Guilt that you can't do more. Guilt when you take time and attention for yourself. Try to keep things in perspective.
- Realize you are just one person and can only do so much.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help frequently.
- Recognize all your responsibilities (for example, spouse, kids, work), not just being a caregiver. Prayerfully prioritize your time.
- Set reasonable expectations for yourself to minimize your frustration.
- Realize you are not perfect and give yourself permission to make mistakes.
It is important to recognize feelings of guilt and frustration and deal with them. Condemning guilt does not come from God. If you love your parents (or whomever you are caring for) and are doing your best for them, don't feel guilty about things you cannot control. Ask God to help you have a right perspective.
Consider this …
Throughout our life, we all experience things beyond our control. In caregiving, this is magnified. We want so much to fix things, to make things better. But often that is impossible. Often no matter what we do, nothing is going to change. We have to find confidence that God is in control.
During these times, we can take refuge in the truth of today's scripture. Remember two things. First, God loves our care receivers more than we do. No matter how difficult their circumstances, he will never forsake them or stop loving them. Second, despite all our efforts, we cannot protect our loved ones more than God can. There are limits to our finite strength, and many situations are beyond our control. Just as we surrender our loved ones to God's care, we must surrender ourselves as well.
Father, help me remember that no matter what is happening around me, you are in control. Help me remember that you love my loved one—and you love me. Thank you that nothing will ever separate us from your love. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from … Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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