We all remember that special day when we said, “I Do,” just like it was yesterday. We recited the words “I, (state your name), take thee, (state your spouse name), to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto, I pledge thee my faith.”
Today, you may be in the season of in sickness and in health. Sickness can strike at any age. Now you find yourself being the caregiver to your spouse due to a chronic illness and/or a long-term disability. Here are some key things to remember along this journey of being a caregiver.
Implore your faith.
Mark 11:22 says,
“And Jesus answering saith unto them, have faith in God.”
Through this process you must keep the faith and know that God is with you every step of the way.
Resist taking on everything. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is not the time to isolate yourself from family and friends. They often want to help but are not sure how to approach you or they don’t know you need help. They are your support system, so even if it is just a shoulder to lean on, don’t be afraid to reach out.
Take care of yourself. Oftentimes, as the caregiver you are so busy taking care of your spouse that you don’t take care of yourself. Take time to schedule your check-ups, exams, as well as personal time. Personal time can include exercising or lunch with a friend. Don’t feel guilty when you take a much-needed break or time to do something for yourself.
Cultivate continued communication. Remember your spouse also has to process and navigate this life-changing experience of having a chronic illness and/or a long-term disability. They may face different stages in the process to include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Be patient and continue to communicate and show your love and support.
Know that God hears, knows and cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7 says,
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
If you don’t have a local church, join and get connected. We have to be fed spiritually while on this journey and the Word of God strengthens us.
Psalms 31:24 says,
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.”
BY TRACY BIGESBY