Family caregivers have endured many hardships over the past year as we have struggled through a pandemic combined with a brutal national election cycle and, depending on where you live, numerous unprecedented weather-related disasters as well. If you care for an older family member, likely you felt forced to isolate yourself and your loved one socially to prevent possible exposure to COVID-19. Without even the normal social interactions found by going to the grocery store, out to eat or the beauty salon, we suffered in loneliness. Even churches were limited to developing or expanding their online presence or holding parking lot services while congregants remained in their cars. Online worship can be very moving and meaningful, it cannot ever truly replace the strength, nurture and encouragement we experience when we come together as a family of believers. As we talk about a family caregiver’s fitness needs, we must acknowledge that their spiritual support is perhaps more crucial than any other fitness consideration.
Scripture teaches us of the strength and substance found in prayer, scripture study, worship, and Christian fellowship throughout the New Testament. Jesus modeled all these disciplines throughout his brief ministry and steeped His disciples in the importance of constant connection and relationship with our Creator God. As we pray and study scripture, we gain enlightenment and encouragement for the challenges we face each day; through worship we reflect our gratitude to our Lord and Savior who never changes and never gives up on us. Through Christian fellowship we find empathy, strength, courage, and resources to help us when we feel like giving up. Each one of these facets of our spiritual health is beneficial to the caregiving challenges you encounter day after day, but taken all together and practiced regularly, they equip you fully to overcome every obstacle and embody God’s blessings in their truest sense.
Perhaps COVID lulled you into a sense that virtual worship and Bible study is enough. Frankly, it had to suffice while everything was shut down, but don’t be fooled. When it is safe and allowed, get back to in-person worship and fellowship with other believers. Some days you might feel like there’s simply no time for Bible study or prayer time, but with discipline you will discover that those are the days when these practices are the most important features in your day.
Gaining or regaining spiritual fitness might be challenging at first, but I promise you that it will equip you as a family caregiver in ways you never thought possible!
Betsy and I hope you will join the conversation this week here at Heart of the Caregiver and share your heart about growing spiritually stronger.