Coping With A Loved One With A Disability…
By DeAnna W.
Often when faced with obstacles that this life can provide us our feelings can go through stages from shock, disbelief, anger, blame, guilt, questioning why it happened to our family, jealousy, resentment, panic or fear that you will not be able to cope, to even anger towards God.
…”And now my heart is broken. Depression haunts my days” – Job 30:16
Many of us think that because we are Christians faced with a disabled love one that we are not allowed to have such feelings. The truth is we are still human and only through the Holy Spirit can we find rest in our deepest moments of despair.
…”Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.”- I Peter 5:7
Although many of these stages of feelings are very normal and most people going through similar situations have had them. We must realize that feelings can mislead us so it is important that we understand why we feel the way we do, how to cope with our feelings, and know that we are not alone.
Here are just four suggestions to help you.
Take care of YOU!
Make sure that you have time for yourself, even if it’s only for 10min at a time you will be no good for anyone if you are tired, cranky, and burned out.
Bathroom times are not just for using the toilet anymore. That sounds funny but many times the bathroom is the only place in the house where one can get solitude. Make your bathroom a place of refuge. With candles, beautiful whatnots and this is now your little corner of the world.
Being honest with self is sometimes harder than being honest with others. For example you have a spouse that is disabled and you are feeling that you would really like to be with someone else. Or you have a child with a disability they had never been born. Yes! These feelings are shocking but real. People have them everyday and lie to themselves and say they don’t. Satan works best when we as Christians are in denial in other words when we are in the dark. God is light bringing our true feelings to Him and asking Him to help us through them is really the only way to truly gain the victory over them.
…”I am disgusted with my life. Let me complain freely. I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.”-Job 10:1
Accept offers of help.
Realizing that we need help is something that we as women don’t like to admit somehow we think that we are to be superwoman. Caring for a loved one with special needs is a exhausting job within its self but couple that with the regular day to day activities that it takes to run a household not to mention if you work and wow you are on overload.
Many times others can see when we need help well before we can. If someone is offering to give you a little “you time” or just wants to share the load. Let them. God answers prayers but we have to allow Him. Remember taking care of you is just as important as taking care of others.
… “He gives power to those who are tired and worn our; He offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:29
I’ve Lost That Lovin Feeling
Often times caring for a disabled love one with its demanding duties, and thankless efforts can leave us feeling like this is a job instead of a loved one. If you have lost love for your loved one (this often happens when the spouse is the disabled person) It is important to seek help to work through your feelings. Christian counseling is a great way to work through many feelings that can occur in this situation.
Where Is God…
Keeping our spiritual-self healthy can be hard to do with our hectic schedules but it is essential in order to keep us strong. When our feelings are out of whack Satan uses them like planting seeds on fertile sole. He gets in and starts to help us heighten our worst feelings. Before long we have lost fellowship with God and feel isolated and completely alone. Read your bible continually. I even recommend reading it with your disabled loved one. Pray continually. God already knows what’s in our heart but prayer helps us focus on Him and allowing Him to work out our feelings. Even in those moments when we may feel our most anger with God, or deepest despair, complete exhaustion, He is waiting their for us to come to Him share our burdens with Him that He may pull us through the storm.
…”When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need.”- Psalm 138:3