(Note: These lies probably work against any person—especially parents or teachers. I learned them while caregiving so I know they apply there.)
When I left graduate school it was in a Ryder truck. Once I had my Master’s degree in hand, I sold my furniture and car (yep, that famous light blue Chevy Nova with the passenger door that would fly open without warning when I was hauling kids around).
What I didn’t want to sell joined me in the Ryder truck for the cross-country journey home to help my mom take care of my dad. His Alzheimers journey lasted about 4 years. During his last year before heaven, Mom was diagnosed with cancer. That began a 9 year journey that ended with 9 months on hospice.
I say I left graduate school, but really I just entered a new level of post graduate studies. The kind that would take me into doctor’s offices and hospitals throughout California, Mexico, and eventually South Carolina. Of course—in the caregiving form of post-graduate studies—no one waits at the end to award diplomas and applaud. The caregiving I did ended in funerals where I was a strange mix of devastation over loss and elation that my parents were pain free in heaven. It also left a level of desolation that is hard to describe to those who have never invested so completely in caring for another who is dying.
Lately, as I have prayed for friends who are earning their own advanced degrees in extended loving through caregiving, I’ve been thinking about lies Satan used on me during those years.
Lie 1—I’ve been benched from serving the Lord.
TRUTH: God selected me for a level of service that would showcase Christ more in-depth than anything I could have imagined. What was hard at first was that the serving truly was before the audience of Christ alone. Not even the one I was caring for was aware at times of how I was serving them.
Remember how God moved Philip from a big revival to the place where he could climb up in the chariot and talk to one Ethiopian eunuch? There are seasons for serving groups and seasons for serving individuals. Leaving the flock to hunt for and help the one is something the Good Shepherd is passionate about—no matter the age of the sheep needing care. He actually believes one is more important than many.
Lie 2—I’m not in the right place.
During my early years as a caregiver God gave me the unbelievable opportunity to also care for a group of inner city teens. For a time I was their only Sunday school teacher / Youth Leader. Yet I lived in another city and took care of my parents. God heard LOTS from me in those days as I felt such a desire to move to where the students were and dive into their lives at a deeper level than I could while caregiving.
TRUTH—As one delighting in God and following Him in the wisdom He gave—I was in exactly the right place. If God wanted a youth leader to be more available and fully invested—He would have given them that. But for that time in that place He wanted the teens to see someone who came when she could and cared for her parents the rest of the time.
God was graciously breaking me free from my Messiah complex. HE is the perfect Savior and caregiver. He may have wanted to use me on occasion, but He didn’t need me to meet the needs of the kids or of my parents. He is the need meeter. He is the Savior. I could trust Him to handle the work where I was and where I wasn’t. He taught me to be fully where I was with full confidence in His capability.
As we close Part 1 of this 2 part series—I’m curious.
Has Satan been trying to trip you up with either of these first two lies? Are there other lies the Enemy is using against you? What truths has God been teaching you?
Please feel free to comment below or email me through the Contact section of my blog or through my Esther Wilkison FB page. I would love to know more about your journey.