When you are a caregiver, burnout happens and compassion fatigue is real. Giving and giving and giving with not much in return leads to frustration and exhaustion.
But let this be an encouragement to you: God sees you!
by Debra DesCarpentrie
When you’re in the middle of trials and pain, it can be easy to fall prey to Satan’s lie that God doesn’t see you. Or if God sees you, He doesn’t care about you. This is Satan’s go-to lie, because nothing can separate us from a loved one like feeling uncared for can. Satan’s only goal is to separate us from God. Once he has accomplished that, he has plenty of room to run in our minds.
When you’re a caregiver, burnout happens and compassion fatigue is real. Giving and giving and giving with not much in return leads to frustration and exhaustion.
But let this be an encouragement to you: God sees you! You are not beyond His help or His listening ear. He never changes, He never grows tired of your prayers or questions or groanings. In fact, He delights to hear from His children.
These verses in Psalm 66 describe God’s ability to listen to us: “Come & listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”
According to the RAND Military Caregivers Study, there are 5.5 million spouses, parents and friends caring for U.S. veterans (https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR499.html). Notably, this study only covers military caregivers and does not include first responders – so the actual number of people caring for service-related trauma sufferers is even higher. Statistically, military caregivers are younger than in generations before, which means that they are not only in their working years but also in their child-raising years.
Many of today’s caregivers carry a substantial burden. The natural progression, then, is that there are record numbers of caregivers needing assistance and advice.
This is where the REBOOT Alliance steps in as an organization that encourages spiritual healing in Jesus Christ. If minds and bodies can be wounded by trauma, then so can our souls. Healing soul wounds is essential to total healing. And while physical wounds can’t always be fully healed, spiritual wounds can be.
God says in Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
God is capable of giving the dry things new life!
He sees you when you’re tired. He sees you when you’re ready to give up on your marriage and call the lawyer. He sees your frustration. He sees your confusion and pain. He sees when you’re trying to help and you’re met with anger. He sees you when you take care of that “one more thing” and make that “one more call.” He sees you in your quest for answers and help. He sees you when you remember when things didn’t used to be this way. He sees you when you rail against your unmet expectations. He sees you when you grieve the life you thought you would have. He sees you when you grieve the spouse you thought you would have. In all things, God sees you!
Jesus knows all about hard things because He is the ultimate caregiver. He spoke to his disciples about this when He said,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33).
So, don’t give up. Don’t give in to despair. Hold your head up high even in the struggle.
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
This means that you can admit your pain to God and He cares. Your circumstances are not beyond His loving heart.
God has called you to a tremendous responsibility in your role as a caregiver, and He offers tremendous grace to you through your unique challenges. So take heart – the Lord is with you!
Debra DesCarpentrie is a REBOOT course leader and co-host of Renewal Hour, a caregiver resource provided by REBOOT Alliance.