Words Of Strength for Caregivers

“I’m exhausted… I just want my mom to be my mom again.” “He wears me out…I don’t know what to do.” “I knew it was going to be hard but nothing like this.” “It is so hard…”

I have been on a journey with caregivers for twenty years. Some of those years I have been the caregiver. The remaining years I have accompanied men and women who have been placed in situations they never thought possible. They have cared for spouses, parents, siblings, and friends. The years of this journey have been an incredible education in resiliency and the power of God. Caregiving, as my friend Sharon Hall says, is NOT a sprint but a marathon. Caregiving is exhausting and depleting. All the people I have encountered, including me, have needed strength and assurance that we are not alone.

This summer, in the realm of my caregiving circles, God inspired an idea to write a devotion book just for caregivers. I have written seven side-by-side devotion books for caregivers to share with their loved ones. These books were birthed out of my time at Grace Arbor, a congregational respite program in Lawrenceville, Georgia. The new one would be just for caregivers. What do they need, I wondered? Over and over I heard strength. I began searching the scriptures for words of strength. For this book, God showed me thirty-one scriptures. As I prayed over them, He gave me reflections and stories that relate to those scriptures. I closed each reflection with a few questions to ponder and a prayer.

I humbly wrote this book praying for the caregivers I have known. My prayer was that God’s word would empower them for one more day: to be in the trenches and to know they were not alone! He gave me a brilliant editor, Linda Young. Linda owns Eagle Eye Editors, out of Pittsburgh, PA. She helped fine tune my manuscript to make it print-ready. Former caregiver, Sally Baker, was my Beta reader, offering great suggestions and encouragement. Writing a book isn’t just about the inside but what the outside would look like. A dear friend and former co-worker, Nancy Ford, told me about her daughter, Amanda Gaenssley. Amanda is getting her feet wet in photography and graphic design. She told me she’d talk to her and get back to me with some ideas for my cover design. I shared with them my idea done in Publisher. They took it to the next level and beyond. Amanda took a picture of an 1800’s brick wall and crafted exactly the image I hoped to portray in the title of this book! What a picture of strength. Today I sent my book to the printer. I did this with gratefulness and anticipation. I can’t wait to put it in some people’s hands who might need it! To God, alone, be the glory! Great things He has done!

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