...In 2016, an estimated 1.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed. Spark the Way will absolutely help, encourage, support, and love on as many of those 1.7 million that we can reach, but lately, my heart has been aching for the caregivers. For every 1 new fighter, there is at least 1 new caregiver. That’s 1.7 million loved ones called forth to give of themselves more than they ever have before. I’ve heard it said, more than once, that the battle weighs more emotionally on the caregiver than the fighter. As a caregiver, it’s insanely hard to have to sit on the sidelines of a cancer battle, knowing there’s nothing you can do to fix the pain your loved one feels. So in order to love on you selfless and inspiring group of people, this post is for you:
To the Caregivers of the World,
I really can’t claim the “caregiver” title. When Grandpa was diagnosed in 2013, I wasn’t one of the family members that went to every appointment, every chemo, every doctor’s visit. But I went to some, and that was hard enough. I remember walking into this room at his oncologist’s office where there were rows of recliners filled with cancer patients connected to chemo poles. I remember seeing people who looked somewhat okay or normal and people who looked like their time was close. But then I saw Grandpa- Bible on his side table, talking to his neighbors, smiling like he was hanging out at a cool local old people place. I was blessed with a fighter who was fearless and Light-bearing. Are you? Maybe some of you reading this can relate and you have a fighter who’s just killin’ it in their chemo sessions and at their doctor’s appointments. Consider yourself blessed and learn from it for your own future struggles- fearless and Light-bearing is the best ammo in the face of any darkness. But maybe some of you can’t relate and your loved one more so fits in with the group of people in Grandpa’s chemo room whose time seemed close. To you, I wonder where you get your strength. To the young adult caregivers balancing college classes, new spouses, young kids, how do you strengthen yourself to handle it all? Towards the end of Grandpa’s time on Earth, watching him get worse became harder than anything I had ever experienced. But my strength was the spirit of Jesus in me; my peace was in the words of my Bible. Where does your strength and peace come from? As easy as it is to fall into the routine of your loved one’s chemo sessions and oncologist appointments, you cannot stop doing the things that make you who you are. Your loved one needs you. Now is not the time to lose yourself so stay strong, stay you! I hope you’ll truly think on this question- what makes you who you are? Is it your friends? Spend time with them. Is it Jesus? Pursue Him like never before. Is it art? Schedule a night to paint your heart out. Whatever it is, don’t stop doing it. Don’t stop being you.
And always remember that this loving, compassionate act of putting your life on hold to selflessly take care of your loved one is inspiring those around you.
You’re making an impact in the world. You’re making a stronger you. You’re making a brighter dark season or a peaceful end-time for the fighter you love.
I applaud you, I’m inspired by you.
You have all my love and all of my prayers tonight,
Ignite the Light, Unite to Fight,
"For when you see me (Jesus), you are seeing the one who sent me (God).
I have come as light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust
in me will no longer remain in the dark." John 13:45-46