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Can We Retrain Our Minds as Caregivers?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2021 2:30 am

Can We Retrain Our Minds as Caregivers?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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September 25, 2021 2:30 am

Of course we can retrain our minds! The only questions are:

  1. Do We Want To?
  2. How?

In this bonus monologue, we discussed this issue for family caregivers. 

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Do you see, do you see, all the people sinking down?

Don't you care, don't you care, are you gonna let them drown? How can you be so numb, not to care if they come? You close your eyes and pretend the job's done My caregiver, that is Keith Green and I did two Keith Green songs this morning so I've got a friend of mine who listens to the show and when I do two Keith Green songs I get a smiley face because she's a big Keith Green fan and I am as well and just had a profound impact on me as a musician and as a believer and so I love that song.

I love that there's a line that goes on there that says, Jesus rose from the dead and you, you can't even get out of bed and I thought, wow Keith. But it's a point of changing our focus. Are we deluding ourselves, are we thinking ourselves into misery? Or are we retraining our mind? Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind and this is what happens to us when we get involved in all this pain and all this sorrow and all this loss, all this trauma, all this heartache, all this bitterness, all this rancor.

It has a debilitating effect on our ability to think and when we retrain our mind, renew our mind and we focus on gratitude and the plight of others and being able to be a source of encouragement to others even in the midst of our heartache, you would be amazed what happens to you. And by the way, on this song that we did today, count your many blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done. The guy that wrote the lyrics for this, his name is Johnson Oatman Jr., I think he's a Methodist, Methodist, Episcopal, Methodist, Methodist, Episcopal, however they say that, Episcopal, Methodist, born in New Jersey. He also wrote another hymn that you may know, I'm pressing on the upward way, new heights I'm gaining every day, still praying as I onward bound, Lord plant my feet on, say it if you know it, higher ground. Do you know that hymn? And this is, Johnson Oatman wrote that, same guy wrote this, so obviously he had a theme going on in his life, Lord lift me up and let me stand by faith on Canaan's table land, a higher plane than I have found, Lord plant my feet on higher ground, lift my thoughts.

We've got two hymns that are embedded in our church history from the same guy saying the same thing basically, which is to retrain your mind, retrain my mind, Lord retrain my mind. And I love this second verse though, encounter many blessings, are you ever burdened with a load of care? How many of you today are burdened with a load of care?

Does the cross seem heavy, you are called to bear? Have you ever just put your head down on a table or against the wall and just said, oh Lord. I mean, if you have it as a caregiver, give it time, you will. Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly and you will be singing as the days go by, not singing as somebody who is checked out of reality that you're somehow ignoring the fact that this is going on in your life.

That's not what this is talking about, we're not talking about delusion. We're talking about retraining your mind to recognize, yes, this is painful. Yes, this is hard, but Lord lift me up and let me stand. A higher plane than I have found, Lord plant my feet on higher ground. My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and tears dismay. Though some may dwell where these abound, my prayer, my aim is higher ground.

Now, this is how we do it as caregivers. And you say, Peter, there's no way I could do it. Really? How do you know that? How do you know that? What makes you so sure of that?

Because this is where I am today. And I'm not dismissing how painful this is. You know, Gracie and I certainly understand it. You know, as she approaches the anniversary date of her wreck, it's 38 years ago this fall. And even scripture says 38 years is a long time. Look at the Gospel of John when Jesus goes to that pool with the guy there, he'd been there 38 years. It says 38 years and then scripture repeats.

He said he'd been there a long time. Anytime scripture doubles down on something, you might want to pay attention. Even scripture recognizes it's 38 years and it's a long time. Even scripture recognizes this. So I'm saying to you, yeah, we understand this.

We get it. So amid the conflict, whether great or small, do not be discouraged. God is over all. If he's Lord at all, then he's Lord of all. Even broken legs.

Even 81 surgeries. Even as a caller called in early today, her father just passed away. He is even Lord over that.

He has conquered death so that we may live. Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? And as a caregiver, it's okay for you to answer in the affirmative.

Yes, it is. And I know that what many of you are carrying right now is overpowering you. And I know that what many of you are carrying right now will overpower you as time goes on.

It's relentless sometimes. That's one of the more challenging aspects of the caregiving journey is that you can't get out in front of it. You just have to just sit in the canoe and ride down this river. And hopefully you don't hit too many rocks and capsize. Because you're not going to be paddling upstream.

You're not going to be getting out of this anytime soon or any easy way. And it's the relentlessness of never being able to say, okay, I'm done with this until you get to a funeral. And even then, you're dealing with the residual impact of this. I get all of this. And yet I would still say to you, does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?

Then count your many blessings. Every doubt will fly. And you will be singing as the days go by. When you see a lariat that says the cross you carry and then flip it just around and say you'll be singing.

Somebody spent some time with that. This pastor spent some time with that particular thought of contrasting cross with singing. And I get that. And that's why I love to listen to my wife sing. Because I know how difficult her life is. And as I tell her, when she sings, she's not broken.

The part of her that sings is not broken. And there's something that happens. It's transformative. I don't know how to explain it any better than that. But I've seen it and I've seen it so many times. I've witnessed it so many times that I cannot deny its reality. And so I'm just offering to you what I have seen. My opinion is irrelevant.

My experience is not. And so I say to you right now as caregivers, as fellow caregivers, those of you who are who are hanging your head in grief, beating your head up against the door. Frustrated, you're cussing and fussing and everything else. I would say to you. What this scripture, I mean what this verse says, so amid the conflict, whether great or small. Do not be discouraged. God is over all. He has not forgotten you.

He has not forgotten your name. And there are very, very difficult things that you find yourself in. And as I as I said in that emergency room.

Over in Billings, Montana, a couple of weeks ago, I'm looking at Gracie and I'm thinking, how many times have I seen her in this place? And you know, your heart just sinks. You think, Lord, how much more does this woman need to go through?

If you allow yourself, you could go down some very dark path. On another show, I'll tell you how I know this, because I've been there, done that. A friend asked me the other day, how have you done this?

Because she's taking care of aging parents and it's really, really wearing on her pretty hard. She said, how have you done this? I said, well, I've done it extremely well at times and I've crashed and burned a lot of times. But through this journey, I've learned that God is Lord regardless. And that his faithfulness is not contingent on my discomfort or my trauma or Gracie's trauma or anything else. And there's a point when you when you've had the ample time I've had, which is, you know, three to have decades. To work through this and to look at this mountain, you start to see things.

I have the benefit of experience. So I could see these things now that I couldn't see before when you're in the throes of it. But I still need to be reminded that I have people in my life who reminded me of these things.

I have caregiver amnesia. You know, I have to go back and listen to my own show sometimes. I have to read my own book. I've got I was doing that. I'll put this out on the podcast here later today. So please go take a listen to it. I put out a snippet from the audio book of Hope for the Caregiver because I forgot about this chapter. I wrote it there and it's chapter 39. It says they're going to fall.

And how appropriate is that for me in my life right now? And I wrote that some years ago. But they're going to fall. And Gracie did fall.

And she got hurt. And your loved ones may as well. But he is Lord of all in the midst of that. This is Hope for the Caregiver.

Hopeforthecaregiver.com. We'll see you next time. Some of you know the remarkable story of Peter's wife, Gracie. And recently Peter talked to Gracie about all the wonderful things that have emerged from her difficult journey. Take a listen. Gracie, when you envision doing a prosthetic limb outreach, did you ever think that inmates would help you do that?

Not in a million years. When you go to the facility run by CoreCivic and you see the faces of these inmates that are working on prosthetic limbs that you have helped collect from all over the country, that you put out the plea for, and they're disassembling. You see all these legs, like what you have, your own prosthetic legs. And arms, too.

And arms. When you see all this, what does that do to you? Makes me cry.

Because I see the smiles on their faces. And I know, I know what it is to be locked in some place where you can't get out without somebody else allowing you to get out. Of course, being in the hospital so much and so long. These men are so glad that they get to be doing, as one band said, something good finally with my hands. Did you know before you became an amputee that parts of prosthetic limbs could be recycled? No, I had no idea. You know, I thought of peg leg. I thought of wooden legs. I never thought of titanium and carbon legs and flex feet and sea legs and all that.

I never thought about that. As you watch these inmates participate in something like this, knowing that they're helping other people now walk, they're providing the means for these supplies to get over there, what does that do to you, just on a heart level? I wish I could explain to the world what I see in there. And I wish that I could be able to go and say, this guy right here, he needs to go to Africa with us. I never not feel that way.

Every time, you know, you always make me have to leave, I don't want to leave them. I feel like I'm at home with them. And I feel like that we have a common bond that I would have never expected that only God could put together. Now that you've had an experience with it, what do you think of the faith-based programs that CoreCivic offers? I think they're just absolutely awesome. And I think every prison out there should have faith-based programs like this, because the return rate of the men that are involved in this particular faith-based program and other ones like it, but I know about this one, is just an amazingly low rate compared to those who don't have them. And I think that that says so much.

That doesn't have anything to do with me. It just has something to do with God using somebody broken to help other broken people. If people want to donate a used prosthetic limb, whether from a loved one who passed away, or somebody who outgrew them, you've donated some of your own for them to do. How do they do that? Where do they find them? Oh, please go to standingwithhope.com slash recycle. Standingwithhope.com slash recycle. Thanks, Gracie.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-19 16:25:23 / 2023-08-19 16:31:04 / 6

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