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Friendly Fire and the Family Caregiver

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
November 9, 2019 6:49 pm

Friendly Fire and the Family Caregiver

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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November 9, 2019 6:49 pm

During one of our many visits to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to meet with wounded warriors, we met a bitter young soldier struggling with wounds he received from friendly fire.  In a terrible mistake, he suffered injuries from his own country’s military.

As my wife, Gracie, walked over to greet him, he rudely snapped at her. Lying on his back while working out on a physical therapy table, he could only see Gracie from the waist up. This young man had no idea of her seventy plus operations, or the loss of both of her own legs.  The physical therapist working with him looked embarrassed, and quickly tried to cover for Gracie by telling the young man that she was welcome there–and had a lot of practical advice worth hearing. 

Disbelieving the therapist, he snarled back hatefully. Momentarily stunned, she regained her composure, and, while holding on to a railing, propped her right prosthetic leg near where his head rested on the low workout table.

He not only noticed her state-of-the-art metal leg beside him (encased in a beautiful shoe, I might add), but his eyes turned to watch her balancing on her other artificial leg, as well. 

“You’re not the only amputee in here, big guy.” Gracie said, while looking him squarely in the eye. 

The soldier in him quietly nodded at her, and he didn’t say anything else. 

Ten feet away, I listened to a man who, although he lost both legs, cracked jokes with a contagious sense of humor. His face clouded over, however, when I pointedly asked him how things were back home. 

Looking down at his new prosthetic legs, he whispered out, “My marriage is on the rocks, and it doesn’t look good.”

The loss of his legs didn’t keep him from joking, but the wounds of his heart silenced the laughter.

Friendly fire.

I asked another mother in the PT room if her son’s father had been up to the hospital. Looking over at her son’s newly amputated left leg, as well as the halo device holding the pins piercing his right leg, her jaw tightened as she flatly said, “He left years ago, and good riddance.”

Friendly fire.

How many of us deal with deep wounds caused by those closest to us? How many of us have caused damage to the ones we love and swore to protect? Sometimes “friendly fire” wounds are compounded with the shame of the wound itself—we feel our wounds come with dishonor, and our fists clench with a rage that wants to choke the one(s) who hurt us.  Other times, we realize with horror how poorly we treated those counting on us, and the guilt and shame fill us with despair.

It’s easy to recall those things that cause hot tears to pour out of our eyes—the things driving us to lash out at the ones who hit us with “friendly fire.” In our pain, we might even strike at people who are simply trying to encourage us. 

Gracie propped an artificial limb on a physical therapy table to help a hurting young man gain perspective and, hopefully, see that he can move past this horrific life-altering injury. 

Christ is the wounded warrior who presents His own wounds, not only to communicate perspective, but also demonstrate His love for each of us.  He didn’t just prop a metal leg on the table; He laid down His life and was Himself wounded—for our sins. His wounds made it possible for ours to be healed. He never clenched His fists, but rather stretched out his hands and received the nails.

When we look at our wounds, even those inflicted by our loved ones …or even self-inflicted, it’s all too easy to despair.  But when we lift our eyes to look at HIS wounds, we are strengthened to know that HE redeemed our souls—and is redeeming our wounds. 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

 

 

Sponsored by STANDING WITH HOPE

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Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver on American Family Radio. This is Peter Rosenberg and this is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver, for those who are putting themselves between a vulnerable loved one and even worse, disaster. Maybe it's Alzheimer's. Maybe it's autism.

Maybe it's an addiction. Whatever the chronic impairment, there's always a caregiver and that's why we do this show. 888-589-8840.

888-589-8840. If you want to be a part of the show, you can also follow along on Facebook Live at Hope for the Caregiver and also our website is hopeforthecaregiver.com. The podcast is out there. It's free. Please take advantage of it. We will podcast the show as soon as my crack staff gets on it right after the show. That would be me. But we would just take advantage of it.

It's free and you could share it around with other folks. Hey listen, some years ago, Gracie and I were at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and we went up there a lot when she was a little bit stronger and we would visit with Wounded Warriors. She sang for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Amputee Training Center. Gracie's a double amputee for those who don't know, my wife, and we did a lot of events with the military. And I was talking to several soldiers in the PT room and their families and Gracie was over to the side. She went up to see a young man who was working out on a table. Now he was laying down on the table and he was missing his leg, his right leg. She went over there to say, how are you doing? She just wanted to go over there and greet him and just say, how are you doing, soldier? And he was incredibly rude to her. Now he was just laying on the table and he looked up and he saw this beautiful woman standing next to him and he could just see her basically from the waist up. Gracie wears her prosthetic legs uncovered.

She doesn't have any skin covering on them, but he couldn't see them. And this man was just really rude. I mean, he was just ugly. And we've met a lot, a lot of soldiers, a lot of Wounded Warriors over the years and never had any of them be this ugly to Gracie. And she was a little bit taken aback and he snapped at her and said, what do you know?

What are you doing here? He was just really ugly to her. And she stopped for a moment and then she kind of regained her composure and the PT guy that was working with her said, hey, you might, working with this guy, he said, hey, you might want to listen to her. And he's like, yeah, what does she know? And then Gracie propped her foot, her prosthetic foot onto the table beside his head right there. And she held onto a bar while she was doing that. And she looked at him straight in the eye and he sees this prosthetic foot sitting right beside his head. And she looked at him right in the eye and she said, hey, you're not the only one in here that's missing the leg, big boy.

And she was wearing, by the way, a beautiful shoe as she was doing it. And, uh, he looked at this prosthetic foot right beside his head and then he looked down and he saw her other prosthetic leg and then the soldier in him manned up and he nodded to her and, uh, and they were able to have a conversation. He had been hurt over in Afghanistan, I believe by his own troops and he got hurt in friendly fire, what they call friendly fire. His own team basically in his mind is, is the way he looked at it.

His own team hurt him and wounded him. Friendly fire. While she was talking to that guy, I was across the PT room and I was talking to a family. Uh, the young man was in a halo. He was wearing, uh, he had all kinds of stuff in his head and his neck and then he was missing his right leg and he, you know, the mother was with him and you know, they were, they were in pretty good spirits. And I said, um, where's his dad? And his mother's face clouded over and she said, he's gone.

Good riddance. Friendly fire. Getting hurt by your own team. I was talking to another fellow that the same kind of thing, he, both legs were gone above the knee and he'd lost him in an IED. And it was one of those things that it just, uh, it was pretty graphic wounds.

And if you haven't seen those things, it's, it's, it's hard to see it. And, uh, you know, Gracie and I've been around a lot of amputees over the years, but it was still hard to see, but he was joking and he was laughing and he was cutting up and all that kind of stuff. And then I asked him, I said, how are things at home?

And that's when his face clouded over and it looked like he and his wife weren't going to make it and she was going to leave him. Friendly fire. You ever feel like you're getting hurt by your own team as a caregiver? You ever feel like the people that you're supposed to lean on and care for end up hurting you?

Friendly fire. This is the journey for a lot of caregivers. The person that they're caring for hurts them. And a lot of you are dealing with that right now. 888-589-8840.

If you are, this is the place for you. I watched these soldiers struggle with that reality, whether it was their own unit and it was just a mistake and this guy lost his leg, but he was so bitter. He couldn't even brag about his injuries in his mind because they were not sustained from the enemy. He didn't take one for the team.

He took one because of the team in his mind. This mother who was taking care of her son with devastating wounds and her husband just left him to hang out. This man who lost both legs for his country fighting and his wife's leaving him. These are hard realities that are not unique to soldiers. They are consistent with the family caregiver and many of you are dealing with this reality right now.

Friendly fire. You're taking care of a parent that has been a rock for you and all of a sudden now they're cursing at you and swearing at you and saying all kinds of demoralizing things to you. The dementia or whatever else has gripped them and grabbed hold of them and who knows. Or you're in a relationship with somebody who has an addiction and the alcohol or the drugs is devastating to you and you're taking it on the chin. Or your church has all but abandoned you because of what you're going through.

Because your child with special needs acts out sometimes and it's kind of weird. Friendly fire. We're going to talk about that. We're going to talk about the ultimate recipient of friendly fire when we come back. We're going to talk about how you can navigate through this and make peace with this and stand strong in this.

How about it? 888-589-8840. 888-589-8840. This is hope for the caregiver. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver. We're here for you and we're live.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver on American Family Radio. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver. 888-589-8840.

888-589-8840. If you want to be a part of the show, I am Peter Rosenberger and bringing you more than three decades of experience to help you stay strong and healthy as you take care of someone who is not. We're talking about friendly fire. Friendly fire. And I'm going to go back and repeat that story because it was such a powerful moment when we were at Walter Reed. I was over there at the PT Center and I watched Gracie walk over to meet with a young soldier who was laying on a physical therapy table. And the physical therapist was at his head.

And the young man was working out and he was missing his right leg below the knee. And Gracie walked over there and she had performed that day at Walter Reed at a pretty big event. And she looked fabulous. And he could just see her from the waist up and didn't know that she was a double amputee herself. And she walked over and said, how you doing, soldier? And he snarled at her. I mean, he was so ugly and she had never had any soldier talk to her this way. And she was a little bit taken aback by this thing. And the PT guy felt real embarrassed for her because he could see Gracie and he knew who she was. And he told the soldier, he said, you might want to listen to her.

And he was just really hateful. I think he was swearing and, you know, what does she know and yada, yada, yada. And that's when Gracie propped her, one of her prosthetic legs, she held onto a bar and propped it right by his head. And she was wearing a lovely shoe and she had these metal legs and so forth. And she looked straight in his eyes and she said, you're not the only amputee in here, big fella. And then he looked over and he saw that she was balancing on her remaining prosthetic leg. And that's when the soldier and him manned up and they were able to have a conversation. He had been hurt by his own team. It was an accident. There's just one of those things, friendly fire.

That's what they call it. And he in his mind couldn't even rejoice in the fact that he had taken one for his country. He had taken one because of his country and he didn't feel honor in the wound or anything like that. And he was bitter and he was angry.

How about you? Have you been hurt by your own team? Have you been hurt by those that you trusted? We've all hurt the ones closest to us, but as caregivers, sometimes you can take devastating wounds from the very person you're caring for. And I've known way too many people who were changing the bed and adult diapers while being cussed at by the very person that they were caring for. I've known way too many people who've had their parents in a state of dementia or whatever take swings at them. Very close friend of mine, who's a big guy and his father, he's trying to take care of his father.

He took a swing at him. Another friend, her father tried to choke her. I remember speaking to a group of caregivers at a conference in Alaska one time and there's a bunch of nurses, but they were also caregivers. And I said, how many of you all been grabbed by your loved one? 100%.

100%. And I asked how many have been choked and nearly 100% of them had been choked by a loved one, friendly fire. How do you deal with this?

What does that mean to you as a caregiver? How many of you all have been in that situation? How many of you all have been hurt by the one you're caring for physically or emotionally?

I would pretty much imagine that about 100% of you have. Those are hard wounds, aren't they? And if you need to talk about it, 888-589-8840. You don't have to have any kind of glib words or anything if you just need to call and cry about it. It's okay.

888-589-8840. But I want to read a scripture to you, okay? Isaiah 53, verse six through 10. All we like sheep have gone astray.

We have turned everyone to his own way. And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Now who do you think he's talking about? He's talking about Christ. The Lord put all of this iniquity on Christ. And listen to this, he was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. He Christ is brought as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment and who shall declare his generation for he was cut off from the land of the living for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death because he had no violence. Neither was there any deceit in his mouth.

Now I want you to listen very carefully to what I'm getting ready to read here. Verse 10, yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him. He has put him to grief when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin. It pleased the Lord to bruise him. Christ, on your behalf. You see we have a Savior who is the ultimate recipient of friendly fire. He took one for the team, by the team, and because of the team.

And he took it all. So when you have a loved one that you're caring for who is treating you so hatefully and is breaking your heart because whatever the sin, the disease, whatever the impairment has caused them to do these things. And when you have that please understand that you have a Savior that gets what that's like. He knew, he knew that ultimately what was happening to him on the cross pleased his father that this was the will of the father that he do this. He even cried out about it. Why have you abandoned me? Why have you forsaken me? He understood friendly fire in ways that you and I will never have to. But he did it for you. He did it for me. He did it for each of us. He did it for all of us. It's hard when we care for those who are not treating us well. It's hard when we do this.

In fact the very people that our Savior was dying for were mocking him. So as a caregiver when you're caring for someone who is deriding you, abusing you, all these things you don't have to sit there and take it. You don't have to be just a punching bag for these folks. You don't have to do that. But you also don't have to take it into your spirit that somehow they get a vote on your worth. What you can do is identify with the sufferings of Christ on that and understand that Christ himself gets what this is all about and bore that too.

That you can do. And you share in his sufferings with this. You do not have to be in bondage to whatever comes out of the mouth of that loved one you're caring for.

You tracking with me on that one? But I think so many caregivers tend to take that in and they're looking at a face of someone that should love them, should talk to them in a loving way or a face that they've grown up and a voice that they've known for their entire lives and all of a sudden things are coming out of there that are just awful. And it's heartbreaking. Or they've been going to a church for a long time and then all of a sudden they show up with a special needs child and they have this situation or their daughter goes off the rails and gets into a drug addiction issue and you can just almost feel the judging eyes on you as you go to church and say, well what did you do wrong as a parent?

Or your son is an alcoholic or whatever or gets involved in all kinds of things. There's no limit to the kind of messes that we can get into because of sin. And you can just feel the ostracizing of the church on you as you go through that. That's friendly fire. And those wounds are just as devastating. That young man that Gracie saw at Walter Reed, his leg was just as amputated as if somebody from the Taliban or whatever had taken it off. It was just as amputated.

Friendly fire wounds are devastating. How are you doing? 888-589-8840. Phil in Spring, Texas. Phil, good morning. How are you feeling? This morning I'm feeling rather great. Thank you, sir. All right, what you got on your mind? Well, I tuned in this morning and heard you speaking.

You're one of the main reasons why I tuned in. I am a caregiver to a lady I've known for some time. She has just overcome cancer for the fourth time. They've declared her cancer-free again. And praise God, this time they have her on a med that is supposed to keep it away and keep it at bay so that it doesn't return. But yes, I've experienced what you were just speaking about where there's judgments based upon what you're doing.

There's accusations based upon what you're doing. This lady is two years younger than me, but due to the cancer, she appears to be in her 90s. It's aged her?

Yes, it's aged her terribly. Well, Phil, listen, we've got to run to the break real quick. Gather your thoughts and tell me what we can help you with and talk about, and we'll be right back. Don't go anywhere, but we'll be right back, okay? This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. Don't go away. Welcome back to the show for caregivers, about caregivers, hosted by a caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver.

This is Hope for the Caregiver, 888-589-8840, 888-589-8840. We're talking about friendly fire. I want to talk to real quick before I go back to Phil, I want to do a shout out to a lady in Ohio who just sent me a message over the break, and she is struggling to forgive herself because she caused friendly fire to her son. I hurt with you, and I understand the trauma that is in your soul. I too have caused my share of friendly fire, and she's struggling to forgive herself. I tell you what, it's a hard thing to walk through that because you cringe over the guilt, and you cringe over the horrific choices of things that you've done.

I get it. There's a reason I'm the crash test dummy of caregivers, because if you could fail at it I failed at it. But every time you do that, and every time you think about that, and every time those things come and they just almost cause you to go into the fetal position and just despair, I want you to understand that every bit of that has been plunged into the very blood of Christ. And you hang on to that, that He will redeem every bit of that. He is the greatest junk collector in the universe. I'm counting on it.

And He's a carpenter and He doesn't even waste the sawdust. And the things that you meant for evil, the things that you meant for bad, the things that you did out of your own anger and out of your own selfishness or demandingness or sin or whatever, fill in the blank. All those things that you did that were not in accordance with the will of God, guess what? He will weave every bit of that into His purposes and He will get the glory for it. And we'll be able to rejoice together in it. Okay? Spend a little bit of time going back and look at Joseph with his brothers.

And when they came before him, when he was ruling there in Egypt, just second under Pharaoh, and he looked at his brothers and said, what you meant for evil, he meant for good. And I know that your son has passed away and you can't undo this. And there are some things that we do in our journeys that we just cannot undo. I get that. I get that in ways that I hope none of you ever understand.

I get that. But what's done is done and we accept where it is and we trust that in Christ we are forgiven and in Christ we are perfect. And if you can't somehow work up the wherewithal to release that in your own life, then stand on the fact that He's done that on your behalf and you walk in it. And as He said to the woman caught in adultery, which I never understood why they didn't bring the man either, but that's a different segment. And He said, go and sin no more.

So how about that? So hang on to that in those dark moments when you want to grieve so hard that you can't even, you're afraid of it. Recognize that He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it to the day of Christ Jesus. He's working that out and you can trust Him. The scars that you caused to yourself and to your son, please understand this, those are temporary. The scars that Gracie has from her wreck, those are temporary. But the scars that He has, those are permanent. And that means something. And those scars were taken for you and what you are struggling with right now. Okay? Thanks for reaching out to me on that and texting me on that and letting me know. And I want you to keep listening to the show and then I want you to get the podcast and listen to this again and again and again until it gets so far down in your spirit that you're willing to take a tiny step of faith and believe it.

This is what I do. When I look back at the scars that I've caused, it's almost too much. And there's a reason that our windshield is a lot bigger than our rearview mirror. Okay? We're going to keep our eyes focused on Christ and where He's taken us. All right, back to Phil. Phil, I wanted just to circle back to you and ask you, okay, tell me about your friend with cancer you're taking care of. Tell me where again are you in this process? Well, right at the moment, I myself in this process, right now I am amazed at how my Lord can take someone who is hurting and ailing such deep pain and heal her and bring her back time and time again. Yeah, but how are you in this process, Phil?

I appreciate the fact that God is working in your friend with cancer, but I really want to hear as you as the caregiver, hope for the caregivers to show. Well, how I am doing is not all that good. I got married to a girl that I courted for several years, not realizing that she religiously worshipped her deceased husband in September every year. And her failure to launch boys have just reclaimed her, and she's filed for divorce on me. That's where I'm at. And I am a veteran, and I was poisoned while I was in service, so I'm on all kinds of meds.

When we married, we went to live in her home, and now that I'm out, nine months later, she booted me right out on the street. I'm sick and ailing, but I'm still doing the Lord's will. I'm still zealous for good deeds.

I still do what He commands me to do. Are you getting some counseling at the VA or through some other organizations? There is a marriage counselor that I've been speaking to, and there's also a very good friend of mine who went with me and two million bikers to DC.

He operates Brothers Keepers Ministries up in Marshall, Texas. But are you getting any kind of professional counseling right now? Well, I'm getting some professional counseling. There's a marriage counselor that I set up for me and my wife.

I'm attending it alone. What about stepping it up a little bit and not worrying about marriage counseling because it looks like the marriage is pretty much torched right now. How about just some regular counseling from somebody there at the VA who could walk with you through some other things? I'm not going to do harm to myself or to anybody else. I'm not worried about you doing harm to yourself in that sense, but what I am thinking is these are some heavy blows, and I think you would benefit greatly from having someone navigate you through not only the emotional trauma of dealing with your sickness, with your friend with cancer, and now your marriage falling apart.

These are big things to carry, and I know that it would benefit you greatly to have some professional help just to talk with you, just to kind of give you some strategies to kind of finding your way back to solid ground on some of these issues. Would you consider that? Well, the expense out of pocket would not be possible.

I have to come up with $1,500 for the divorce attorney, which I'm working on now. How much is the expense out of pocket to go to the VA and talk with a professional counselor or chaplain at the VA? I can talk to the chaplain at the VA. I can also speak with many of my, not just my friends, but many pastors and what have you that I know. I am the singles minister at this church that I attend. Have you thought about stepping back away from being the singles ministry for a while and let yourself heal up a little bit from your own marriage falling apart? That's what I'm doing.

I had to step away from it because I got terribly sick just before I got married, and I had to just shut it down except for talking to people, small groups and what have you. I think it'd probably be good to spend a lot of time healing right now. I think that'd be beneficial to you.

Why don't you do this? Why don't you go to the VA and talk to a chaplain that you can trust and maybe even let that chaplain help you kind of navigate through some things. My dad's a military chaplain. Let that chaplain help you navigate through some things and maybe get into a point where you can have some regular support groups and counseling and so forth and see if they can't help you get to a better place of healing on your own life here so that you can kind of reorient from this. These are some pretty big body blows you've taken, all right? Yeah.

Pretty big body blows. It's going to be about two weeks before I have another VA appointment, but running down there all the time for appointments for counseling, it's going to be difficult. Why don't you shift from the marriage counseling to just counseling for Phil right now? Because whatever's going to happen, you need to be in a healthier place no matter how this thing plays out with your wife, with your friend, with cancer, with you.

Why don't you shift from marriage counseling and getting some professional counseling and some support groups and get to a healthier place for you as an individual before you involve any other people in your lives, whether it's through ministry, whether it's through this. The healthier you are, the better off you're going to be able to offer to other people. How about that? Is that a fair place to start? Yes, sir. I'd say that's an excellent place to start. We'll try that, and I want you to know how much I appreciate the fact that you stepped out of line and joined and served our country.

You took some injuries because of it with poisons and so forth, and let the country return the favor by stepping in and helping you get to a place of safe ground, okay? Okay. Well, I thank you very much. I thank my wife for probably doing it for me. Phil, I thank you.

Phil, I thank you for calling in the show, taking the time to call, and I thank you for being a part of this show. Let us know your progress, okay? Will you check back in with us?

Absolutely. Isn't it wonderful if the Lord can take us in a whisper of an instant? He can transform us and heal us. He does indeed, and I'm counting on it. Hey, Phil, thanks so much for the call, and let us know your progress, okay?

We're pulling for you. Yes, sir. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger.

This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver, 888-589-8840, 888-589-8840. We'll be right back. Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you? I'm Gracie Rosenberger, and in 1983, I experienced a horrific car accident leading to 80 surgeries and both legs amputated. I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me, but over time, my questions changed, and I discovered courage to trust God. That understanding, along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs, led me to establish standing with hope. For more than a dozen years, we've been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people.

On a regular basis, we purchase and ship equipment and supplies, and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison, we also recycle parts from donated limbs. All of this is to point others to Christ, the source of my hope and strength. Please visit standingwithhope.com to learn more and participate in lifting others up. That's standingwithhope.com.

I'm Gracie, and I am standing with hope. We collect used limbs from around the country. They go to a prison in Tennessee where inmates volunteer to disassemble them.

You just heard Gracie's ad. We have a lot of need over there and we need to get these in so that we can disassemble them, take all the usable parts, buy more supplies, and send it over. Standingwithhope.com and take a look at what we do, spend some time looking at the story and the work behind this. We have two ministries, the Prosthetic Limb and then the Radio Shove and the Outreach to Caregivers. It's for the wounded and those who care for them. We invite you to be a part of what we're doing.

You can support it financially, you can share it with others, you can put it on your Facebook page, whatever you want to do. Standingwithhope.com. Let's go to Kyle in Arkansas. Kyle, good morning. How are you feeling? Kyle, good morning. Yeah, good morning. How are you?

Well, I'm just delightful. How are you feeling, Kyle? Good. Good. I'm doing good. I'm heading into work. Well, I see a note here that says you've been bitter as a caregiver. Yeah. Are you still bitter?

No, I'm doing good. So, just a little back story on myself is I was a paratrooper. I served in Iraq.

I was actually stationed in Alaska, whatever you're talking about, Alaska earlier. And my unit, we lost three guys over there. One of my best friends is missing. He's a triple amputee. Both of his legs and his right arm. I got injured.

I still have all of my limbs, but I ended up having to have surgery. By the way, tell your buddy that's a triple amputee, don't throw away his old limbs. We'll take them. Yeah, I definitely will not.

Okay, yeah. We call that operation footloose. Turn that footloose so we can recycle it. Please tell him when he goes through his, when he gets new limbs, send them to us.

We'll take them and we'll disassemble and use them. But tell me what you got on your mind right now as a caregiver because we don't have a whole lot of time. Okay, so now, make a long story short, through a long process, life of the Lord, I now, I practice primary care for a living. And so, now my role has shifted as a caregiver, but also, I've been wounded and it wasn't until, I had all this bitterness and like a chip on my shoulder. And truthfully, it wasn't until I was being, I started being discipled by a guy and, you know, he reinforced and really helped me find my identity in Christ and what Christ says about me and it's not the scars of the past and everything. That has shifted my whole, I guess, my whole paradigm, you know.

And so, now, as a caregiver, I have patients that come see me and I have amputees and, you know, I just, I remind them, you know, that they don't have, this doesn't have to be their marker, this doesn't have to be their life. I used to be like, everybody knew me that I was a veteran, that I served, I went to Iraq, I kicked in doors, I did all this stuff. And since my relationship with Jesus Christ has grown, now, that's like, I did that one time, but I want people to know that I love Jesus, but that I'm a good dad, I'm a good husband. And so, I definitely want to encourage the caregiver, you know, to be speaking truth over these people because it wasn't until I had that, that that shifted my whole outlook and, I mean, I graduated second to last in high school and then now I practice medicine, you know.

Well, I graduated, thank you, Laudy. Yeah, me too. So, it wasn't until I had somebody, you know, caring for me enough to really speak the truth into my life, that that's whenever it shifted. And so, and it's a paradigm shift and my buddy Everly with the triple amputee, like, it's until his mind shifted, it was kind of the same thing, you're stuck in this like root of bitterness. It's like, at least for me and some other people that I know, that's what it was and it was having this chip on our shoulder. Well, that's what Hebrews, that's what the book of Hebrews calls it.

That's what the book of Hebrews calls it, Kyle, root of bitterness. My dad, dad's listening right now and, dad, does that resonate? And he, but we get into these things and it's not necessarily all the wounds, the amputations and all these physical things that we can take, it's what happens in our heart, we become train wrecks in our heart and you get that. And we've got to speak life to each other.

That's why I do the show. And that's why this, that's why we're here is because if we're not speaking life to each other, if we're not listening to words of life, then what are we listening to? And you know, as well as I do the number 22 and why that's important because these veterans that are taking their life every day, because who are they listening to?

And they're listening to dark thoughts and isolation and they don't see any other path but eating a gun or taking pills or whatever. And so what we're committed to doing is to speaking life. And what I'm hearing you say is that it's important to speak life to those in your charge as well. But my thing is if I'm not speaking life to Gracie, what is she listening to? Because I'm the loudest voice around her usually.

And if I'm not listening to words of life, then how am I going to be able to offer words of life? Correct. And this is, this is why I do the show.

Right. And then from a caregiver's perspective, I have, um, you know, different reasons, but I've got a amputee patient that, uh, kind of came to me like that. And, um, I mean, the clinic that I'm at, we were very open with our face. And so I kind of just, I basically, I just shared my testimony with him. Um, but you know, I was like, this doesn't have to be your marker, you know, like I don't see you as a person without a leg. Um, you know, I see you as a person and, and, um, and so, and also since speaking that truth, the guy, um, he's got more compliant with his medication.

It's just a much more pleasant experience overall for me being the, the quote unquote, um, not necessarily the caregiver daily, but you know, somebody managing his medications and, and things like that. Um, and so I, I do feel and his wife, you know, they both started getting active in church and, um, you know, I think that's all good, but I want to keep the focus back on you feel on, on Kyle. Oh, I'm sorry. Uh, Kyle. Sorry.

I've had Phil on the phone for so long. Sorry about that. But I want to keep the focus on you because what I do here on this show is all about the caregiver. And, uh, and I think that I was, um, when I saw the notes here it says you were getting over bitterness as a caregiver. So no, I used to be better. Um, and it wasn't until I found Jesus Christ that that's whenever that started going away. Um, and so I, I am, there is no, I, I used to have a, um, you know, a bitterness in my heart. I used to, um, I mean, I, I used to have rage and murder there too. Like I that's, that's not me, you know?

Um, I've, I have moved on. Well, I think there are a lot of people out there who are professing believers in Christ who still struggle with bitterness. And I don't think in, in my opinion, in my experience, more importantly, not my opinion, but my experience, I don't think that we find Christ. I think Christ finds us and he finds us wallowing around in whatever we're wallowing around in. And the bitterness thing, I think we're going to deal with that for a long time and probably for the rest of our lives on some level where it's always going to kind of be there lurking around ready to, to rob us of a sense of peace and, and, uh, and wellbeing and calmness and joy because they're always, we can, we can choose to, to react to people or we can just choose to respond to people. And if, if, if you're like me, you probably end up reacting more.

Um, I wish I didn't, but I do. I think that, uh, we, we, we were going to wrestle with this, but every time that we do wrestle with it, we, we work hard to wrench ourselves back into the will of Christ. And I go back to what I read earlier today from, um, Isaiah, you know, he, he did this, he went like a lamb to the slaughter. He was not bitter about it. He, he put his will into the father's will and didn't even say a word, did not even open his mouth. And it pleased God for this to happen.

And we're talking about friendly fire on this today. And a lot of people deal with this. And, and I, I would just encourage you for yourself and then for the patients that you treat to recognize that that bitterness is going to be more devastating than an amputation. I've lived with an amputee now for a very long time. My wife's a bilateral amputee and, and she's had 80 surgeries and lives with severe pain.

And I can tell you that the afflictions of the heart can be more devastating than afflictions of the body. I've seen it. I've seen it.

And I saw it there at Walter Reed when I was with these guys. I mean, I'm watching a guy that's missing both legs above the knee, laughing and cutting up and telling jokes. And then when I asked him about his marriage, his whole face clouds up. And so keep speaking life to these people, let them know that we're more than the sum of our parts, that God is doing something in it that's extraordinary and that we can't even possibly understand all that he can weave in and out of this. But that's what this is about.

He's the ultimate recipient of friendly fire. And he did that on our behalf. Kyle, thanks so much for the conversation. Kyle, thanks for taking the time to call. Thank you for your service and appreciate you listening. Keep us posted on how you're doing. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Go check it out. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-23 00:05:56 / 2024-01-23 00:22:20 / 16

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