Since it will be January in just a couple of days, taking time to review this last year and look forward into the coming year is a natural occurrence. As caregivers, however, all too often we look at the year we’ve had and only see the times we might have fallen short of the mark in some way. How many of us look with uncertainty toward the coming year?
Some of that sort of review and anticipation is part and parcel of being a caregiver: being aware of ways we might need to improve, what we might learn in order to take better care of our loved one. Yet, rarely do we look back or ahead with a sense of God’s love and affirmation for the work of our hearts, Spirits, and hands involved in caring.
God does not expect us to get everything we think, say, or do perfect. God wants us to love ourselves and our care-receivers as God has first loved us. Simply. Holistically.
Holistically? Yes. Warts and all—that’s what I mean. Life shapes us; God holds us together. When both of those are taken together, we can see and acknowledge the warts without hating them. We can see and acknowledge the lessons we have learned as life has shaped us, and the enriching nature of what we have taken away from earning those warts.
Rarely is life pretty—for any one. In fact, life tends to be pretty messy. Yet, if we make it a habit to look at our lives through God’s eyes, seeing the tenderness which fills our hearts and overflows into the caring we provide, messy is just fine.
I woke this morning with the following ringing in my head and heart…I felt it appropriate for the New Year…”Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right Spirit within me; cast me not away from your Presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your Salvation and uphold me with Your free Spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12
Be well and look at your life through the eyes of God’s love.