I sat crumpled on the bathroom floor, tears streaming down my face, gasping for breath through my sobs as I cried out to God “I can’t do this anymore!”. I was exhausted, discouraged and unable to cope with the never-ending burden of caring for my disabled son, while also caring for two other children, my spouse, and working full-time shift work as a registered nurse. I felt hopeless and angry with God. It certainly wasn’t the ‘happily ever after’ that I had dreamed of.
If you’re feeling the burden of caring for children, parents, or other loved ones, I see you. On the floor, tears streaming, exhausted and wondering how you can find the strength to go on. Tired, isolated, angry and afraid. Feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. Grieving for the future you dreamed of. Mourning the family life you hoped for. Crushed by the burden of never-ending caregiving. I know, I’ve been there, too.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us.” Ephesians 2:4-5
I certainly don’t have all the answers, I wish I did. But God knows your struggles and understands your frustration, fear, anxiety, grief, and exhaustion. There are days that I’m not sure how we made it from sun-up to sun-down. But through it all we managed to keep our marriage, our family and somehow even our faith intact, even when it seemed our prayers were not being answered.
Did we make mistakes? Oh, yes! Are there things I regret? Definitely! But we did the best we could, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other just like you, because after all, what other choice is there?
Despite the fatigue, worry, and stress, you get up every day to care for the person you love, even when you don’t like them very much. Some days are like that even if we don’t want to admit it. People tell you how strong you are but they don’t see you crying in the dark or screaming in the shower.
At times I feared for my sanity. I struggled with anger and depression. I nearly lost my faith. I have yelled, cried, and even sworn at God. Railed at him in my anger, tears, frustrations, and fears.
But I’ve also marvelled at his grace, patience, love, hope and joy. Yes, sometimes my tears have been for joy, even in grief.
I struggled through my spiritual doubts to a deeper knowledge of who I am in Christ and my life with God. Know that you are not alone. Don’t despair or give up. There is hope. With God, there is always hope.
”May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 NIV