Being a Family Caregiver is a big responsibility that can consume your entire life if you let it. This isn’t merely a duty or chore like cleaning your kitchen or doing the laundry. It might involve those things, but it’s not nearly so simple! To really do this job right, you need to lean in and embrace every facet of the role. When you don’t allow yourself to fully own being someone’s family caregiver you could experience feelings of frustration, anger, and even burnout.
It’s Holy Week and as we contemplate the days leading up to the crucifixion of Christ, perhaps we should also ponder our own calling to care for others. It is truly a sacred responsibility to care for another person, whether they are young or old. Many people discover their calling to care for others when they become a family caregiver out of necessity. A crisis occurs and they are thrust into the responsibility of caring for a loved one for weeks to months. They fulfill their duties out of a sense of obligation, love, desperation, or any number of other feelings. While most family caregivers are only in this role for a short time, for some it becomes a lifelong journey of caring for others once their initial experience comes to a close.
Family dynamics often represent a tangled web of broken and damaged relationships, and family caregivers have to wear many hats to do their job well. One of those hats represents playing the role of peacemaker. Jesus came to this world to teach us about what God’s love really meant. As we remember the Crucifixion during this most holy of weeks, don’t miss an opportunity to embrace the truth that Jesus’ death and resurrection happened in order to reconcile a sinful world to a Loving Father; perhaps your path leads to reconciling relationships between estranged family members, smoothing ruffled feathers or restarting conversations that fell silent many years past. Sometimes all it takes is putting two people together in the same room working toward a common purpose. Other conflicts might be harder to reconcile, but if you do your homework and research a little background you might just find the right keys to open doors and heal old wounds.
What Jesus did during the days preceding his death and resurrection took faith and courage, and He changed the world by overcoming death through faith and love. You can demonstrate these same attributes each day by showing up, stepping in, and squaring off to the responsibility of caring for another. You change the world for others through your love.
Betsy and I hope you’ll join us this week here at Heart of the Caregiver and share your heart about being a Peacemaker within your family.