Ever find yourself settling into bed and night and thinking, "I could have done better today?" Don't you hate it when that happens? It starts a whole internal rant of coulda-woulda-shoulda's and never leads to good sleep.
But that's what I thought the day I took my sister, Michelle, for a walk in her new transport chair and, yes, I lost some sleep that night.
We were at the nearby nature center, and she almost went off-road (literally), head over wheels into a big puddle of muddy water next to the nicely paved path. You know, the path we're supposed to stay on to avoid injury and poison ivy.
Here's how it happened. A beautiful Blue Jay landed on a branch near me, and I just had to snap that photo for Instagram. You know what I'm talking about, right?
But, in my haste to capture the moment, I forgot to set the brake, and Michelle started rolling toward that muddy puddle (new chair, what can I say?).
It's okay. God intervened, and I caught Michelle before she tipped. But after that close call, I thought, "I could have done better!" Talk about feeling guilty. Whew!
Guilt and Caregiving
The truth is guilt is quite common among family caregivers. We are able, but our care recipient is not. So, we feel guilty about our self-care, moments of happiness, and even enjoying an uninterrupted cup of coffee.
On the other hand, guilt is a waste of precious energy (and sleep), which we can't afford to waste.
My friend, caregiving is hard work and it takes guts to keep showing up. And you do, even when you don't feel like it. That's doing your best, and it's nothing to feel guilty about.
Perhaps you're caring for elderly parents, a disabled family member, a loved one with a terminal illness, or, like me, a sibling with Alzheimer's. Maybe your care recipient has passed, and you're still processing what you think you could have done better.
Please know that I feel for you, and I'm sorry you are going through this painful time.
One way to Stop Guilt in Its Tracks
There is good news. We don't have to walk this journey alone. We can trust God to care for us and our loved ones, whether here or in heaven.
Yes, I know it's easier said than done. But that's why I've included new TAKE-WITH-YOU verse cards to help. Use them to invite God into your situation. Just click the white button below.
- Print and clip the cards
- Take them with you
- Tape them to the car dashboard or bathroom mirror
- Meditate on the verses
- Pray them over your circumstances
Then you'll be ready to stop guilt in its tracks.
The caregiving load is a heavy one. So why not trust God to help you carry it?
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."