I often think that the act of caregiving is an art. Some of us have been so intricately designed with a talent that exudes nurturing others. And for some, it's an art form that slowly begins to fill each crevice as it leaks and runs across the pages of their lives until it becomes a beautiful portrait.
I have always enjoyed taking care of others and being there to encourage and pick them up. But, it wasn’t until I was thrown into it day in and day out that I realized how much of a blessing it is.
To pour your life out and lay it down for another is the greatest gift you can offer someone. To change your perspective from yourself and what you can gain in this life to seeing to the needs of others shows incredible character.
In the beginning of my mom’s battle with ALS I was so angry. I would look around at those with “seemingly perfect lives” and fill my head with bitter thoughts. I was consumed with an attitude of “why her,” “why my family,” “why are we struggling in every area while others are getting so far ahead in life.” It has taken many nights of crying out and laying down every expectation and goal I had for this life to realize that this trial may be the greatest thing that has ever happened to my soul.
I’m learning that the art of caregiving has opened me up to the beauty of life more than any other experience I have had in the past 29 years.
I see the heart cries of my friends and family, and I begin to love them deeper. I see the battles each one faces and realize that ALS or not, their souls need protection. Though our challenges look different, they are all equally as hard and unique.
The comparison of war-trenched lives and heartache has stopped and in the midst of letting that go, the most incredible amount of peace has filled each ounce of my being.
If you are struggling with your role as a caregiver, if you are exhausted from the biggest fight of your life or if you are looking for answers, I encourage you to dive into this book, Beautiful Battlefields. [Author] Bo Stern has so carefully crafted her family's struggle with ALS through her book. It is full of scripture, encouragement and tools to fight any battle. I carefully inhaled, prayed, studied and highlighted so many aspects of this book, and I know it's a tool that will help anchor me in any battle I will face on this earth.
This blog was posted originally on Aug. 9, 2013.
About the Author
I am a twenty-something, vibrant and creative new mommy to the most handsome and charming little boy! I live a life of passion and find joy in God's creation. I have created this blog in honor of my beautiful mom Linda! She is my inspiration and my best friend! On Nov. 30, 2010, she was diagnosed with ALS, a devastating and heartbreaking disease. My desire is for this blog to bring encouragement and hope to other families who are suffering with a terminal illness. Grab a cup of coffee or some lemonade, and join us as we laugh, cry and celebrate this incredible life we have been given!
Tara Turner lives in Gilbert, Ariz. Check out her blog, A Beautiful Life.