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The Caregiver Journey (Part 2)

Recently, I began an article series sharing my experience on the six key areas of a caregiver’s journey. Next, I’ll discuss why making a decision is critical to unlocking the caregiver code. Understand - clarity, acceptance nor surrender to this divine assignment is a decision. When I speak of decision I am referring to making a judgement.

Deciding

In 2008 at an inkling that Alzheimer’s could be intruding in our lives I had doubts. With the exception of a few distant references, I knew very little about the disease, (except worse case examples) and much like some of you I had a whole lot of personal reasons to deny and avoid. In part 1, I shared the importance of gaining Spiritual clarity, and accepting/surrendering to the reality. Yet, a clear distinction and judgement about moving forward in a situation is not the same as deciding (pre-deciding) an outcome. Only God can determine outcomes.

But right on the heels of Spiritual clarity and acceptance was making a decision. Becoming a caregiver more often does not happen in this orderly, linear process. (i.e. step 1, then step 2, step 3 perfectly timed and planned) When a crisis happens it never asks our permission or follows our timetable. This is the case for why we can’t do anything including caregiving without deliberately and strategically placing Christ at the center. Without him we are incapable of setting our minds, thoughts and hearts in alignment.

According to Strong’s Concordance the word decision comes from the Greek word krisis which means making a judgment, a divine judgement that can apply either to a positive or negative verdict. Making a decision (krisis) also stresses that one decides to accept results that go with a particular judgment (of blessing or pain depending on the choice).

Becoming a caregiver (any type) requires the courage to make a decision based on the situation and the truth. I’ll give you an example: the situation was, I had a mother living alone, I was her only child, she was possibly facing early stages of Alzheimer’s, we lived hundreds of miles apart, both of us were afraid, etc. The truth was sacrificing on her behalf was right, and God had given me very clear instruction.

At a certain point in the process of assessing, crying, fussing and maneuvering I had to make a decision (mind and heart) – am I in or am I out? In the middle of all the realities in which none of the options seemed like good choices – I had to decide. No matter what it takes, no matter how scared I get, how inadequate I feel or how rough the waters rise. I will do everything I can, with leadership from the Lord to further my mom’s quality of living.

Making a decision is just the beginning. In part three we will discuss transitioning into the caregiving assignment.

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