Archive | January 2019

When you pray in secret

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In my experience, moms have a hard time finding a “secret” place to pray, or even keeping secrets from their kids, right?

So what’s a caregiving momma to do when life hits the fan yet once again? How to keep the stress from overloading your kiddos? How to deal sanely with an insanely difficult medical system?

Today I tried to keep the “secret” — the latest stress that hit our family. Chronic illness generates its own special brand of stress. Dealing with doctor’s offices and the pharmacy?  Often the near top of the “stress” list!

In our small town, there are two main pharmacists at the pharmacy we’ve frequented for years. One of them has a reputation for kindness and bending over backwards to help folks keep their prescriptions in line and filled as the doctor prescribes.

The other pharmacist?

You really wonder if some folks have even a drop of the milk of human kindness or reasonableness in their souls.

Long story, I know, but the pharmacy screwed up our prescription so badly that we had to schedule a 2 hour round trip emergency appointment with our specialist to get the prescription filled again. Counting traffic, gas, and time spent on the phone and the doctor’s office, this pharmacist cost me hours of work time, stress, and financial loss.

The worst part is my loved one is suffering more than usual due to a fall right before the holidays. After the initial shot the doctor gave wore off, severe pain set in.  It’s been weeks of being bedridden and long sleepless nights.

Every caregiver goes through this nightmare at one point or another. Many experience it regularly. I know. Not only have I lived this roller coaster life for years, but I now have a small circle of friends who’ve experienced similar and worse.

Keeping our stresses secret is hard, and sometimes impossible. As a parent you don’t want your child to carry that load with you.

Our teenaged daughter heard the distress call, my advocating on the phone for my loved one, and felt the frustration in the air. The secret was out of the bag. “What’s wrong, Mom?”

If I hadn’t had my secret meeting in my chair with God this morning, these battle wounds could’ve been another crushing blow of discouragement.  You know what I mean.

Beauty often hides in the ashes of suffering and frustration! I saw the mercy. I knew that God had heard my cries for help and mercy for THIS day.

Often we have to wait a month for a reschedule. Instead, we experienced a small miracle. Our specialist had an immediate opening for us that coincided with another appointment in the same city an hour’s drive each way.

See the blessing ? I shared this with my daughter.  “It’s okay, my girl! Really, it is!”

My kitchen soup pot saw my tears of relief and praise. Another secret place, ha! Only God and I and a pile of vegetables heard my cries. I wonder if heaven laughed to see the crazy woman with the knife chopping, crying, and praying?

Dear fellow Christian caregivers, hope is a fragile thing. It needs to be nourished by the Word and prayer wherever and whenever your secret place finds you, by day or by night.

The longer this caregiving journey gets, the more decidedly I know I can’t do this in my own strength. It’s more than I can bear. I’m not strong enough, wise enough, kind enough. I don’t have enough faith, hope, and love.

Christ bore all of our griefs and carried all of our sorrows in His body, wounded for our transgressions.

The magnitude of the awful crushing load of sorrows and griefs is more than I can imagine. ALL of those sorrows!

And so Christ has entered into our sufferings so that we can come boldly into His throne room.

No one fully walks this lonely journey beside you, except the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  No one else can.

Humans can’t put themselves fully into your shoes, even if they try. Most don’t bother. Some do.  Those are your truest friends and dearest earthly treasures.

Friend of a caregiver? Enter into your secret place and pray for your caregiving friend. Their burden is indescribably harder than they can possibly share with you.

As Jesus encouraged his disciples to pray in secret, he reminded them that our Father who sees in secret will reward such prayers openly.

So here’s to spending time in SECRET in 2019, whether it’s that early morning chair, the morning commute, the private vegetable chopping session, or the laundry room, or wherever…

Do you have a secret space, dear caregiver? Please share how you find a quiet secret space when life is noisy and overwhelming.