Most of us in the Sandwich Generation know and appreciate the fact that there are plenty of sweet moments, hugs, and joys. Then again, we are also often aware of the more difficult issues we may have to face, such as
- our family having to deal with grief, loss, hospice, death…
- having to decide who to help on a day to day or week to week basis – children or grandchildren vs. elderly parents – depending on the biggest needs of the moment
- caring for a beloved parent who, due to dementia symptoms or medication issues, no longer knows us – sometimes even seems to hate us
- balancing and rebalancing and re-rebalancing the checkbook to make all the needs fit
- having to juggle the real estate needs for our aging parents as well as ourselves (especially in today's market!)
- figuring out how to visit our long distance loved ones, or take a much needed vacation, while not being able to leave the local loved ones alone
- maintaining a healthy marriage relationship in the midst of all the, sometimes overwhelming, needs around you
- and so much more……..
It ain't easy, is it! I am so grateful for all the comforting and encouraging Bible verses full of words of wisdom and inspiration to lift us up and help us know how to do what we do. Like these from Romans 12:8a-15:
Let…he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:8a-15
Caregivers definitely need to be merciful, but it's not always easy. Yet God has called us to do it cheerfully. Oyyy. I'm constantly praying about that one in my own life. Sometimes it's not hard – other times…..
And what about when a senior parent who is struggling with dementia symptoms says mean things to us? Even when we know it's the disease, it hurts so bad. But it really does help when we remind ourselves to bless those who persecute us.
My two favorite parts of this are in the middle – "serving the Lord" and "devoted to prayer." THERE is the POWER to enable us to do all the rest. Not always perfectly, of course. But praise God for His abundant grace and mercy.