Sunday, September 29, 2013
This past week I lost my pet, Miss Nina. She was a gentle, beautiful, loving boxer bulldog who loyally loved and served my family for almost 8 years. We received Nina into our home months before she turned 4 and spoiled her until last day with us this past Thursday. On September 26th, our family decided to release her from cancer and the pain she was enduring. My husband and I took her to our vet's office where we were greeted with compassion and love. I held my sweet baby girl as she peacefully and quietly took her last breath with us. I actually felt her leave but it was a beautiful moment. My tears were those of relief because her pain had finally ended. The healing I had prayed for her so many times happened right before my eyes.
Her love for me was unconditional in the truest sense of the word. For some reason Nina became my shadow. Everywhere I went she was close behind. If I got up, she got up. If I left the room, she followed me. When I came home from anywhere she acted as if it were the best thing in the world. She made me feel special and loved no matter what else was going on in my world. She was the best listener I've ever known, too. Maybe it was because she couldn't talk! At the same time, she could have walked away, but never did.
What I will miss most is Nina's love for me. No one else loved me like Nina did except for my Lord. I believe He loved me through my Nina. Don't get me wrong. My husband and daughter love me. My parents and sister love me. My family and friends love me, but this love was different. It was UNCONDITIONAL. Nina had no expectations of me. Nina did not get mad at me. Nina didn't care what I said or did. Nina didn't care what function I attended or what I did for a living. Nina didn't care what I looked like or even if my hair looked good. Nina didn't expect me to always make the right decision or be perfect. Nina never hurt me or showed contempt against me. Nina was never ugly to me.
Nina just loved me no matter what. Even though my heart is broken and I miss her so much that tears are now a constant for me, I would do it all again to experience that kind of love. God knew that I would need her over the past seven years of my life and He knew the kind of love I would need could only come from a beautiful boxer named Miss Nina Daly.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7 NIV
In the past few months of my life as a caregiver, I have listened to the voice of God more attentively than ever before. At the very same time, I have met some of the hardest opposition from those who do not accept me nor what I was being told to do by the Lord. God tells us very clearly in the scripture above that we are to accept one another just as Christ accepted us and when we do it is a way in which to praise Him.
I want to make it clear that when you accept someone it doesn't always mean that you agree or fully understand what they are doing. What it does mean is that if they tell you that God is leading them and you can see the doors God is opening in their life, you should not discourage them or hinder them. It means praying over them even if what they have been called to do doesn't fit into your plan for them. Accepting someone means that you are okay with being different and you ask God to give you peace about what is happening.
Those who cannot accept me or what God is doing in my life cannot be a hindrance or worry to me. This may seem cold, but it is not in my control to change their minds or actions. I can only pray for their eyes to be opened to see all that God is doing in my life for my good and hope that one day they can learn to accept me. If I worry and become upset each time someone lashes out or says something hurtful to me because they cannot accept me or God's plan for my life, I would stay worried and upset which is not a part of God's plan. God's Word tells me not to worry and to trust Him. I am sharing my heart with you today for I know I am not alone.
Monday, September 2, 2013
I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.
BUT, at the same time, I was rarely ever asked how I was doing or feeling. Not many ever asked me how all this had affected me or told me they were specifically praying for me. When prayer requests were given in worship service, my husband's name was announced but never mine. When names for prayer were written in the bulletin for people to pray over during the week, my husband's always appeared but never mine.
My church wasn't being insensitive they just didn't know any better. They had never stopped and thought about me as the caregiver or my spiritual needs. Because of this, it has become a personal mission of mine through MDO Ministries to make churches aware of the needs of the caregivers within their congregations. Just like women, men, children, teens, young adults, singles, married couples, and the elderly, caregivers deserve and need their own group and support from the church. I know that pastors and church boards would be amazed if they only polled their congregation during one Sunday morning worship service to see how many sitting in the pews consider themselves to be caregivers. I also believe that when pastors and staff members visit people in hospitals, rest homes, and even homes, they should be aware of the needs of the caregivers along with those they are going to visit. What if a caregiver they encounter is NOT a Christian? What an amazing way to witness and bring another person to the Savior!
Do not think for a moment I am beating up the church. I just know that unless we make it our goal to bring awareness to leaders in the church, it will never change. I want to send a shout out to a church that has greatly inspired me in this which is Mount Olive P. H. Church in Mt. Olive, NC. This church as a caregiver support group that not only meets to support one another in the Word of God and in prayer for one another but they also pray for other caregivers! Another amazing outreach they participate in is providing care packages to caregivers. I was invited to be their guest speaker for a meeting and I left more blessed and inspired than when I arrived thinking I would do that for them!
If your church does not provide support for caregivers, speak up today and propose that something can be started. Caregivers are searching and longing for support. Let's make the church of God the place they can go to find the One who cares for them.