| Dealing With Physical Limitations|
This is a subject that has been on my mind a long time. I have never heard a sermon on it - that I recall - nor read an article on it. One is left guessing why this is not being addressed by Bible scholars or preachers. I am aware that people who are being schooled in counseling are taught about the problems inherent to this issue, but the general public is kept in the dark...
As I observe people becoming handicapped because of illness or injury I become very troubled by their responses to this tragic turn of events in their lives. Their entire life has been turned upside down, inside out - something for which they have made no preparations for. It was not even on their radar. When this happens the entire family - if they are fortunate to have one - will also find their lives being turned upside down, inside out. It was not even on their radar, either.
The family finds itself in a serious dilemma in how they will have to reorder their lifestyle, their mindset, their future plans. It is a traumatic time. It is a time of serious upheaval. One chaplain told me that many marriages end up in divorce when this happens to a family member because they cannot cope with the stress this imposes upon them. Why is this so?
The families I have witnessed in dealing with this kind of upheaval have gone the second, third and fourth mile in accommodating this affliction, to render assistance to the victim. But they are stressed to the point of breaking. Is there any way this can be avoided?
People who find themselves in which they become bed-fast experience anger and frustration, understandably so, but they are not alone: the extended family shares in these emotions. And therein lies a seedbed for selfishness to take root and destroy.
As I observed the victim I have witnessed a trait that troubles me to no end. Too many of them become selfish, demanding, expecting others to jump to satisfy their every whim. This puts a lot of stress on their caregivers. To confront the victim will impose guilt on them because they think they are not being loving! The victim will go into a pity-poor-me mode and therein lies an unresolved problem that will only further enhance the problem.
Also, too many of the victims will work to live out their ambitions in the lives of their family. The family may not share their interests nor are inclined to become an extension of the victim. They are individuals with a different calling. And this causes resentments in the caregivers.
I have seen victims make demands they expect to be fulfilled immediately. But the caregivers may be in the middle of doing something else that is important - they cannot always stop and jump to satisfy their every whim.
What can a body do to prepare for something like this? We do not want it to happen to me nor do we expect it to because after all I am healthy, young...
My concern? It appears as though this trying situation reveals the heart of all concerned. Is it not possible for the victim to become meek, quiet and patient in his expectations of his caregivers? When the victim allows this affliction to purify his attitudes he/she will find his/her caregivers to respond in kind. There will be peace...
I know one does not choose his affliction, they are imposed upon us by the devil but approved by God for our refining, for our discipline. How do we respond? is my question. The preparation begins now...
Any thoughts? I know Micaah is a counselor - am I off the wall in my concern?
| 2012/5/19 12:54||Profile|
| 2012/5/19 13:37|
| Re: |
The restministries.com speaks powerfully to this issue. Thanks for posting it.
Now, YOU take some rest! :-)
| 2012/5/19 14:06||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Dealing With Physical Limitations|
What can a body do to prepare for something like this? We do not want it to happen to me nor do we expect it to because after all I am healthy, young.
As I was reading your post I was reminded of a story that Corrie ten Boom told about when she was young and she had concerns that she would not make it through a very difficult trial such as having to decide between death or denying Christ. Her father asked a simple question, "when we go to Amsterdam on the train, when do I give you your ticket?" "Just before we get on the train", Corrie replied. Her father replied that in the same way God would give her the grace right at the moment of need.
In this way God keeps us very close to Himself as we trust Him for moment to moment grace to walk out this life. So in short I guess I'm saying that the best preparation for great affliction is to learn to receive from Him our spiritual life and bodily life every second. God loves us so much He wants us to come all the time, if He gave us some great supply we would just do without Him and not come so often.
A.B Simpson put it this way, "He gave me a great fortune, placed thousands and millions at credit, but He gave a checkbook with this one condition, you can never draw more than you need at the time. Every time a check was wanted, however, there was the name of Jesus upon it, and so it brought more glory to Him."
| 2012/5/19 20:53||Profile|
| Re: Dealing With Physical Limitations|
I have had to opportunity to live with two elderly friends. The first is blind and the second suffers from arthritis in her knees, rapidly decreasing strength and energy. What I have seen is that pride and saving face constitute the strongest forces in their lives. I have seen how they can be both unwilling to receive aid and unwilling to admit the condition they are in whether due to chronic pain or accident. I am currently living with an elderly widow and her daughter. I am always treated kindly and politely but have heard times where the widow isn't so patient or polite with her daughter. Externally, she maintains a 'good Christian' persona with non-family but her true character is revealed behind closed doors. This friend has much difficulty getting up and sitting down. It is visible how painful it is for her. She is still physically capable to do so most of the time though if she sits for too long her joints swell up and she needs a hand. With her ailments she is often in so much pain that it passes across her face with each step. Sitting and rising are much worse. When asked how she is doing, she brushes it off and changes the subject. Although of Scottish descent, she practices a stiff upper lip about what's wrong. It's a symptom of pride. I've seen it in other people who refuse help because they are very self reliant and unwilling to accept their current God given state. In the US, especially among the Depression generation, this is a universal sin. The source is pride and the solution the Cross.
| 2012/5/20 2:40||Profile|
| Re: Dealing With Physical Limitations|
My OP was a bit of a downer, so to balance it out I would like to share a story that is an inspiration. I would hope I am not misinterpreting what I am about to share that I have seen...
I have a friend, Esther, whom I have known since 1953 when we were first graders in school. Several years ago she was in a terrible car accident that almost took her life - in fact it was expected she would die from the injuries sustained in it. But she lived.
Esther has had many surgeries to repair what was broken, torn. Healing has been slow and today she still suffers from complications as a result from these injuries. She says she is in pain all the time and that it is something she will have to live with the rest of her life.
In the meantime, she stays as active as possible. Her mother is still alive and she helps her! To keep the mother's interest alive in life, she helps her cut out quilt blocks for church sewing circles to be sewn and quilted. Esther does what she can in spite of the pain. It is as though she challenges it and keeps right on going.
I love to visit Esther in her home. In no other house have I laughed as much and as long as at her home. This just is her nature. She spreads cheer with her humor, does not go into a pity-poor-me mode at all. I have witnessed her humor, her teasing the physical therapist who was trying to get her to do something - Esther just laughed but the therapist did not share her humor! She will admit to the existence of her difficulties which would defeat most, but not her. She will also talk about the LORD's sustaining work in her life.
One can wonder why the LORD chose to not heal her perfectly. But is her testimony not more powerful when one knows of the pain, the physical problems she has to live with day in and day out? And how about her husband? He is/was the head nurse in the surgery department at the local hospital who never "could leave his job" because of the situation with his wife. His patience, his care, his love for her is nothing short of phenomenal. And he stuck right with her. He did not divorce her because she got to be too troublesome. His love, concern for her is beautiful to observe.
What an amazing testimony of love, caring in face of extreme difficulty.
(Jeremy, I do not believe this situation is similar to the one you described in your post. I am aware of what you are talking about, that is the kind of situation I was addressing in my OP.)
| 2012/5/20 8:55||Profile|
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Esther, my Sister who had several mini strokes and then two major strokes last year now has the a mind of a 10 year old living in a 48 year old body. The adult comes out every once in awhile and it's nice to see the old Esther. Her limitations are in her brain. Some of her neuro-pathways have been severed and the brain is compensating and we were told that those connections that were severed will never heal, but new connections are being created via a detour, so her ability to speak what she would like to speak is limited. She sees what she wants to say in her mind but to speak it out is an entirely different matter. Her vision at the beginning of the stroke was fractured like looking through broken glass. After several months she can see straight forward but not the side as if she had horse blinders. She was in the hospital for several months to the point of getting used to being institutionalized. Esther worked in a care facility and there were times that she envied the clients because their meals were prepared and they got to rest whenever they wanted and she desired that. When she was in the hospital she got that. Now that she was coming home that all changed.
When she came home, she was coming home to an empty apartment. After Esther was carted off to the hospital the first time, her boyfriend of 15 years left her. Thankfully because of her state of mind she was not devastated, but she did mourn.
Because Esther was a worker here, I have to pick up her shift and work long hours and my Mother is doing the same thing but Esther is oblivious to the strain that she is putting on us, but I am more concerned about my Mother than myself because Esther, though an obese adult woman, has come off as one big baby and Mother gives into her probably to avoid added stress that she already has.
I am thankful of other peoples stories because of the hardships they endure with worse case situations.
I've painted a bleak picture of Esther and it's not all that bad. Esther is fun to be around. Before Esther would hardly give into a good laugh, but now just any silly thing will set her off. She was always serious, complaining all the time, everyone was wrong but her but now she is not like that at all. However, I do miss the old Esther because we were very much alike in taste, all that has changed. When we fellow-shipped we could talk reasonably, we cannot now. She wants to go back to church though, something that she would never have done before, she told me the other day, "it's time that I go back to church". And she likes to walk now, something she could never do before. A lot of these new things are a godsend, so don't get me wrong. It's the other side that is straining and again, I am more concerned about my Mother.
But I think as time goes on this load will lift and level out as she learns how to live all over again without having a mate.
Thanks for starting this thread, your first thread was A-1 and right on. I recognize all the pity parties that I have seen in Esther.
| 2012/5/20 9:46|