Then I started instead to learn all I could about the disease and make the best possible situation for DH (dear husband). I began going to an Alzheimer's Association support group once a month. Slowly I have begun to live for the moment--we camp now and we even went dancing with Jake and Sally! Bob on the Alzheimer's Reading Room advises to live your life as you always have. I became concerned for the concerns of others. Today DH and I visited Sue whose husband has both Alzheimer's and cancer. The life of a caregiver is not all about worry. Some call changes the new normal.
I am determined to not be a worry wart. I have been immersing myself in Scripture. How does Scripture help me? It helps me, for one thing, accept my imperfections, my sin, and do something about it. Scripture helps me not to be proud about anything I can do, be, or become and gives me guidelines to help me live out my faith, to be obedient and content with my calling as a caregiver. Scripture helps me cope. I post Scripture highlights on my Facebook notes every day now since the beginning of January.
Last Monday morning I was going to substitute teach at two schools (one in the AM and one in the PM) and had too much to do to get out of the house. I started feeling sorry for myself (sinning), barking orders at DH--get my watch, plant flowers today so they won't die, don't forget to take your pills, eat your breakfast and please make your lunch--I don't have time! He can't handle all those verbal orders and inside of me I knew that I needed to be calm with him. I was as angry at all I was having to do just as I read earlier that morning about Balaam in the Old Testament book of Numbers. Balaam beat his donkey for not obeying him. But with the Scripture reading I saw that Balaam had to learn to do ONLY what God wanted him to do. To get through to Balaam God even had to have his donkey talk to him! I had to see that I can only do so much and it's okay--what does God want me to do or not do? I called DH and apologized for my short-tempered barking out of orders to him. Everything worked out fine on Monday and even when I came home my husband, who is often unmotivated, had put flowers in the planter boxes! Christ uses Scripture to work out sancification (His best) in my life and helps me calm down with input such as the story o Balaam.
Isn't worry justifiable, understandable, for the caregiver? I am taking a class on anger, worry and depression. One of the books for the course is called Down, But Not Out: How to Get Up When Life Knocks You Down, by Wayne A. Mack. Mack has the nerve to call worry a sin but says we can overcome it! We learn first that the foundation for overcoming anxiety is a personal, vital relationship with Jesus Christ, he writes. Putting struggles in perspective he continues:
As believers, we have trusted God for our salvation, for forgiveness of sins, and for a guarantee of eternity in heaven. Why then are we not willing to trust Him for our food and clothes and health and all these other things [a husband with Alzheimer's] that are of infinitely less important than our salvation? (p. 72) . . . When we experience anxiety, we need to make sure that we surround ourselves with godly people who can encourage and admonish us. In other words, people who can lift our spirits but who can rightly point out our sin in a loving manner. (p. 77)So many people who comment here do lift my caregiver's spirits. Above all, God can be trusted with the road ahead and my worry will not add to the outcome. The Lord has led in the past. There is nothing He and I cannot handle together.
Wonderful Scripture supports this peace the believer can have. Mack himself expounds on Philippians 4:6, 7:
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. New Living TranslationWorry can be managed, folks. What Scripture or techniques help you?