Caregiver fatigue is something that can really deplete you to your core. Oftentimes, it's caught up in grief as the person that you've loved and known—whether it's a family member or friend—is declining and you're grieving their immediate loss and grieving the loss of what you recognize in them. Then, it's also exhausting to constantly be in a position of having to set aside what you might need to love another. It's depleting.
For someone going through this, there is still hope, joy, and merit to your service. First of all, it can be hard to watch people who are struggling with dementia, or declining in illness, where they almost seem like they're fading and you don't recognize parts of them anymore.
But it's a huge comfort to know that God sees them, who they are has not changed in his eyes, their identity is unchanged, and that—even now, while you might be scared for what the outcome will be—they're in his grip. God sees you too. What you are doing is kingdom work.
God sees you too. What you are doing is kingdom work.
While it's not glamorous—you don't have the freedoms you might have had before, you're so tired, and you're so overwhelmed—he sees what you do and how you are laying your life down out of love for another, just as your Savior did for you. During the moments when we are most brokenhearted and crushed, Psalm 34:18 tells us that's when God draws nearer to us.
Friend, thank you for your loving heart, and know that God is with you.
Kathryn Butler, MD is the author of Glimmers of Grace: A Doctor's Reflections on Faith, Suffering, and the Goodness of God.
Kathryn Butler, MD shares from her experiences working as a trauma surgeon in an ICU and offers biblical wisdom for walking alongside loved ones at the end of life.
Perhaps in the hospital bed, you try to pray but can’t find the words. The spiritual disciplines upon which you’ve depended seem oceans away.
It can be really hard to remember God's love when you're working in the hospital witnessing other people's suffering, or even in the hospital as a patient yourself.
Kathryn Butler discusses her work as a trauma surgeon working in the ICU, sharing what it was like to be inundated with life and death situations day in and day out.