for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6:34 reminds us that we are not to be anxious and troubled with cares about tomorrow. Tomorrow will be what it will be...we have no promise that we will even be here to see and experience the evils of the next day. And, there is plenty of evil for the day tomorrow.
To be anxious is to be full of mental stress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune. Oh, I have been there. And, honestly, it usually hits me fast and furiously. Like receiving a large bill in the mail that you were not expecting. Having a vehicle break down and having no money to repair it. Or maybe having the one we care for take a sudden downward spiral. It's terrifying.
Sometimes though, the mental stress and uneasiness comes when we are feeling overwhelmed by the daily responsibilities we face. Finances, isolation, loss, the physical work involved in caregiving, the inability to discuss things with your loved one because they just aren't understanding, the unknown future, the endless bad endings that we can imagine and the fear of being alone.
It wears on a caregiver. Knowing that you are responsible for it all. Finances, household chores, emergency decisions, short term decisions, long term decisions, taking care of the children, repairs, medical appointments, and knowing when you need to contact the Dr. and when it's time to make the trip to the ER. Family responsibilities, work responsibilities, lots of responsibilities.
How do we get through the days without feeling anxious, without being troubled, and distressed?? It's certainly not easy and it's something that most of us in this role battle on a daily basis.
I think preparation is necessary to deal with all the things that we know may be a future stress or problem that we will be called on to handle. In other words, instead of stressing and worrying about tomorrow let's make some plans to deal with the possibilities.
If you know that your spouse's health is fragile and there is the very real possibility that you will have to make an emergency trip to the ER in the near future, prepare for that eventuality.
- Have a travel case packed with things you will need, in the short term, to be comfortable in the ER. Coins for vending machines, a book, maybe even an extra toothbrush and travel toothpaste.
- Have a printed list of medications and dosages for your loved one tucked inside your bag. And know where your care recipients insurance card and ID are at all times.
- Have another list of all his/her doctors and their phone numbers, etc.
- Have the telephone numbers of two of your closest friends ready to call for support and prayer.
- Have a plan for your children and who will fill in for you in getting them to school, picking them up, taking them to private lessons, etc.
- Have a plan for your pets.
- Make sure that you keep things done. Things like laundry, keeping the fridge cleaned out, dishes washed, house straightened etc. You never know how long you'll be at the hospital. And, you never know if this will be the time that the entire family will be called in.
If you are concerned and worried about your future: what will happen if scenarios, make a list of possibilities and write some of your thoughts and ideas of what you can do.
Logically think these things through, write your ideas in a notebook, make plans, talk with people you trust and get advice. Be prepared. Pack your bag, open your savings account, get your documents in order, write out your plans.
And, after all of that is done, close your notebook. Place your hands on top of it and pray. Give your plans to the Lord Jesus Christ. Don't have confidence in your plans but transfer that confidence over to your Father in Heaven.
Say in an audible voice something along these lines, "Lord Jesus, I have made my plans and preparations. I have been a good steward of the things you have given me. I have sought advice from people I trust, I have packed our bags, I have contacted people and have things organized and planned. But, I know that what honors You is not my thoughtful plans, my organization, my abilities and performance. I know that what honors You and brings a smile to Your face is faith in YOU. So Lord Jesus, Creator of all things, Savior of my soul, my Strong Tower, my Shield and defense, I place everything in Your hands. I trust You for my future. I know that nothing happens that You do not allow, and I trust You to work all things together for my good. I give You my plans and I trust in You."
We should make plans, we should be prepared, but ultimately, if we want to overcome our distress and panic, if we want to overcome our anxieties and fears, we must turn every aspect of our lives into His care. We must trust Him...for everything.