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Perception Isn't Reality

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
September 26, 2022 3:30 am

Perception Isn't Reality

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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September 26, 2022 3:30 am

While in Ghana with our prosthetic limb outreach, Standing With Hope, Gracie and I visited a church in the port city of Tema. Following the service, I met a tall, impressive man wearing a flowing white traditional costume with gold trim. With a thick English/Ghanian accent, I heard him introduce himself as “…de King,’ Amos.”

Never meeting a king, I felt a bit tongue-tied and stammered, “Sir, I apologize – I don’t know how to properly address you.” 

With a huge smile, he offered in his deep voice, “Just call me “Amos.” 

“Sir, I can’t just call you that,” I replied – but he graciously continued chatting. Shortly after, while attending a reception with the pastor, I exclaimed, “I just met the King!” 

With a perplexed look, the pastor asked, “What King?”

“The King, Amos,” I replied.

Thinking for a minute, the pastor exploded in laughter and spoke in his native language to the room full of Ghanaians – who also started chuckling.

Sheepishly, I asked him to explain. 

With his equally thick Ghanian accent, the pastor laughed and shared. “You met a church officer, ‘Dea-con’ Amos – not ‘De King,’ Amos.”  

Perceptions often cloud hearing. The man looked regal – and perception allowed my ears to misinterpret. While my mistake only resulted in laughter, many misconstrued conversations can result in hurt feelings, resentment, and fractured relationships. 

Caregiving breeds isolation and isolation distorts perception – which leads to significant challenges. Asking for clarification, regardless of embarrassment, always trumps misunderstanding.

Studies have shown that 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception. - Edward de Bono

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As caregivers, we have so many things that hit us all the time, and we can't always nail these things down by ourselves. Who helps you?

What does that look like? I'm Peter Rosenberg, and I want to tell you about a program I've been a part of now for almost 10 years, and that's Legal Shield. For less than $30 a month, I have access to a full law firm that can handle all kinds of things.

If I get a contract put in front of me, if I got a dispute with something, doesn't matter. I've got a full law firm that can help me navigate through all the sticky wickets that we as caregivers have to deal with. Power of attorney, medical power of attorney, I will.

Every bit of it. As a caregiver, we need someone who advocates for us, and that's why I use Legal Shield. So go to caregiverlegal.com. Look on the left-hand side where it says Legal Shield. Just select it.

It turns purple. It says, pick a plan. It'll give you some options.

If you don't need any of those, don't select them. Check out and be protected starting today. That's caregiverlegal.com. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

I am Peter Rosenberg, and this is the program for you as a family caregiver. More than 65 million Americans right now are serving as a caregiver for a loved one. Maybe it's a child with special needs, somebody who's had a trauma or a disease or some type of neurological event.

Maybe it's somebody with addiction, with alcoholism or substance abuse. Whatever the chronic impairment, there's always a caregiver. And if those numbers are here in this country, imagine what they are worldwide. And thanks to you and thanks to American Family Radio, this program is available worldwide. People can access it streaming at afr.net. And then our podcast also goes into, we're downloaded in over a hundred countries now, and I'm stunned at the places where this program reaches in countries that I never dreamed would download a radio program for family caregivers.

So the need is great, and we are glad that you are here and being a part of this program. Speaking of around the world, many years ago, when we first went over to Ghana with our prosthetic limb outreach, Standing with Hope, this was like the first trip that Gracie and I took to Ghana. And I'd never been outside the United States at that point.

This was way back, almost 20 years ago. And we went to a large church in the port city of Tema, which is near the Togo border. And it is over in Eastern Ghana.

And it's right there on the Gulf of Guinea. It's a very large church. And Gracie and I spoke and performed there. And afterwards, this man, I was introduced to this man. He was waiting outside and with some others around him, and he was a striking man. I mean, tall. I'm six feet tall. And he was a good five or six inches taller than me.

Big guy. And he had what they call the national costume, the traditional custom they wear. And it's in his case, it was a long white tunic over pants that are kind of blousy. And he had gold trim around it.

And he was just, again, it was just a striking man. And he introduced himself. What I thought I heard him say was, and he's got that thick Ghanaian British accent.

And it says, I am the King Amos. And I was like stunned because I knew they had royalty there in Ghana. But I didn't think I would be meeting anybody that was royal.

And I didn't know what to say. I've never met a king before. I have met some heads of state. And after this event, I met, well, I met the president of the United States, a sitting president. And then I met the head of the Blackfoot Nation out here in Montana, who recently passed away.

He was last year or so. His name was Chief Earl Oldperson. And by that time I had a little bit more decorum. I knew what to say, but I didn't know what to say to this man. I said, sir, I don't even know what to call you. He said, well, just call me Amos.

And I was like, sir, I can't do that. But he was very gracious. He kept chatting. We talked for a bit.

And I sat there just kind of trying not to mess up, trying not to say something stupid, which is difficult for me, as you could imagine. And he was called away. And I went to a reception that the pastor of that church was throwing for Gracie and me. We went and met, and there was a room full of folks. And I was very excited. And I told the pastor, I just met the king. And he looked at me kind of funny. The pastor looked at me and said, what king? And I said, the king, Amos.

And I was just exuberant. And the pastor thought for money and just this real puzzled look on his face. And he thought for a moment. And then he exploded in laughter. And he looked around at the group there and he said something to them in their native language.

I think it was Aowa or tree. I don't know which one it was, but he spoke in his native language and then they started laughing. And I'm sitting there just getting a little bit more embarrassed by the moment. And I asked him, I said, what's going on? And he kept laughing. And he looked at me, he said, you met a church officer. You met deacon Amos, not the king Amos.

But I could have sworn. He said, the king. He was deacon.

He was a deacon. And they all were just laughing. And I had to laugh as well. And I'm sure you are as well because it was kind of a moment.

But you know, I thought about that over the years, you know, perceptions, clouds are hearing. And I allowed my eyes and my mind to affect my hearing because there was nobody around him that was like security or anything like that, but he looked so impressive. He looked regal.

He was, you know, just really a striking individual. And what I heard matched up with what I thought I was looking at. And so I went with it, the king. And I've been over to Ghana many times since then. And so I've learned how to better understand the dialect just as they've had to understand my Southern accent. And I've also had to ask them on a side note, please stop me if I'm saying things that don't make sense to you all.

Cause they're very polite and you don't realize how much you speak in the vernacular until you go to a foreign country and you have to work at being understood. But I've thought about this over the years and, you know, my mistake only resulted in laughter. I mean, it was, it's a funny story, but many misconstrued conversations can result in hurt feelings, resentment, and fractured relationships.

I think about that as a caregiver. How many times did we respond to something when it, that's not what was really going on, but nevertheless, or not actually respond. How many times did we react to it? And we react with way too much because we thought we understood something. We thought we heard something and it was filtered through our strain and our stress and our discomfort or our weariness or whatever else.

I cannot be the only one. You know, caregiving breeds isolation and isolation distorts our perception. And it's something we got to fight against all the time as caregivers. If you're not fighting against this now, give it some time.

You will. And when our isolation distorts our perception, it always, always, always leads to significant challenges. You know, we can ask for clarification. We may feel stupid, but there's really no stupid questions. We could always ask for clarification regardless of the embarrassment. Ask for clarification because that always trumps misunderstanding.

I'd rather risk being embarrassed and make sure I clearly understood than let my ego or my reluctance to be embarrassed allow a great misunderstanding to happen and then a relationship gets fractured. Now think about that in your life. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you heard something?

Turns out that wasn't what was going on. And we allowed ourselves to run with that. I mean, I've been there many times and we allow ourselves to run with that and it can create some real problems. There's a there was a psychologist, Edward Debono, not related to Cher or Sonny, but he, uh, he said that studies show that 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception. 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception.

And that's what he said. He's a trained psychologist, a very famous individual. Think about how we get it wrong, our perception. Romans 12 2, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by what? The renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God and what is good and acceptable and perfect. The whole point of that is for us to train our mind, be renewed in our mind. Don't believe everything you think. Don't always run with perception. There may be more going on than you think. You may be meeting a deacon instead of the king.

So in all fairness, they're very striking deacons over there. This is Peter Rozenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver, hopeforthecaregiver.com.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio. This is Peter Rozenberger.

This is the program for you as a family caregiver. Are your feet on the rock? That is My Feet Are on the Rock by I Am They.

And that's a great lyric. When I feel my hope about to break, I will cling to your unchanging grace. Let the waters come and earth give way. I'll be dancing in the rain. My feet are on the rock. That is a place that I'd like for all of us to be as family caregivers, that our feet are on the rock because we are going to have the storms breaking over us. We are going to be assailed when we're at our weakest.

And if we're not anchored, how are we going to hold up? What's going to happen? Speaking of feet, I was talking to my doctor this week.

What a segue. I was talking to my doctor this week because my left foot really hurts, and I'm not sure what's going on. Now, some of you have heard the foot saga going on with me over the years with my bunion.

I named him Paul. And I've heard horror stories about people who hadn't operated on it. Let me know what you think. I don't know that I want to do that, and I can't think of a good time for me to be on crutches for six weeks. And I've heard that the success rate with that type of surgery is a little bit sketchy.

But that's it. I went to the doctor the other day just because I had to get this looked at. This was very painful. And this is a wonderful doctor out here in Montana, just loving the pieces. And he's been around a long time. He's seen a lot of things. And he said, oh, I know exactly what's going on. He said, does this happen at this time of day, and this happen, this, this?

I said, yes. It's like he was right there with me on it for every painful step. And he said, oh yeah, this is what's going on.

And he had me stand barefoot. And he said, as you get older, you're losing that springiness, that bow, that tendon that keeps that arch going. And you're getting flat feet. I mean, that's just the way it is. Congratulations on getting older. He said, you're getting flat feet.

And that left one is really taking the brunt. And he said, there's a special type of arches. And he showed me, because he said, I have it. And you get these, and you just order them and put them in all your shoes. Make sure you get the right size, that it fits right on the money there. And it's going to give you that relief that you need. And you're going to get wider shoes, bigger shoes, whatever, that kind of thing.

But he knew what to do. But as he explained the process and talked about how the foot has changed with age and wear and tear. And the things he described are exactly what happens to us as caregivers. That we lose that ability to spring back. We are stretched so thin. We are pushed so hard that we become brittle and feel a great deal of pain. We're in a lot of pain as caregivers. And things are hurting as a result of this in other areas of our lives. For example, if you're feeling the pinch financially, is it just money that is causing this?

Or is there something else? I understand that money can be a real problem. Believe me, I've been there.

I am there. But is that the real problem? Sometimes the pain we're feeling in one area is because of a dysfunction going on in another area. And this was driven home to me by my podiatrist back in Nashville.

I've told you this story. I went in there and I had this really sharp pain on the left side of my foot. And he said, well, it's because your walking gait is thrown off because of this deformity of this bunion. He said, I bet your left knee hurts too.

And I said, yeah, it does. He said, the pain you're feeling is coming from a different area. You're wanting me to treat where that pain is, but there's more going on here.

And I thought, wow, what a lesson for me as a caregiver. We feel the pinch of a certain acute pain, something that's happening right now, but it's happening because of something else that's going on, some type of deformity, some type of dysfunction. And it all has to do with balance in our life. Where are we standing? How are we standing?

What are we standing upon? These are all issues that are worthy of our time as caregivers to explore. If we don't ask these questions, then we're just going to keep stumbling around in pain and be ignorant and not knowing what's going on with us. And we keep treating the symptoms, but we don't go to the root cause. Is the root cause of your distress, the behavior of your loved one? Really?

Is that really it? Or is there something more going on? Is it the way you're reacting to it? Is it the emotional attachments that you're putting to it? Is it the way you're getting hooked into these things and it affects your self-worth, your peace of mind, your understanding of life, your understanding of life, your understanding of God's provisions, whatever. Because as long as there's something that pushes against us, there will be friction.

And if all we're doing is treating the pressure, we're not getting the root source of why is there friction? What's going on here? What is happening to us? Why do we get so mad? Why do we get so irritated?

Why do we act so resentfully and with such bitterness? And I go back to this chorus of the song, when I feel my hope about to break, I will cling to your unchanging grace. Let the waters come and the earth give way.

I'll be dancing in the rain. My feet are on the rock. Well, what does that mean as a caregiver?

How do we apply that principle? Which kind of goes back to one of my favorite hymns, one of those 25 hymns everybody ought to know. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

Let me step over to the caregiver. I love this hymn. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. Now sing it with me. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

Why is that? Because on Christ the solid, rock I stand, on other ground is sinking sand. Here's where we live.

On other ground is sinking sand. That's just one of those great hymns, 25 hymns that every Christian ought to know. And I love that hymn. What does that mean to us as a caregiver today? What does that mean when I go to see the doctor about my foot? What does that mean about all the things that we deal with in our day-to-day walk as caregivers? My journey has been, where is solid ground?

What's solid footing for me? For me as a caregiver, I would find myself floundering, and I didn't know where to go, what to do, how to function. And I was so filled with fear or rage or despair. And again, what was causing this? The problem with my foot was caused by something else. I mean, the source of the problem was not where the source of the pain was. The source of the pain was over on the other side of my foot. The source of the problem was in the middle of my foot.

And I have to shore that up so that it takes the pressure off that side of my foot. So what's the problem for us as caregivers? Because it's very easy to say, well, if our loved one would just do this, I cannot tell you how many times I have said it or heard it from people. Well, if mama would just not, Gracie, if you just wouldn't, you know, and I cringe over those things, but I'd be lying to you if I tried to tell you anything different. I mean, I am what I am. I mean, I've had ample time to make every kind of mistake you can make. I, through a painful series of events and a lot of work, I've come to understand the deeper issue.

The problem is me. And in the pressure cooker of caregiving, those problems become extremely apparent. I think that's probably the best way to say that because everything gets pushed to the surface. What may take a lifetime to manifest itself in some people in the caregiving world? It can come out pretty quick because there's so much pressure. And when you have this relentless pressure over time, like I've had, you have to deal with this stuff. You cannot just sweep it under the rug. You cannot just, well, take a respite from it. I'll go, you know, be distracted with something else.

There is no distraction. It's every day because the pressure's every day. And you've got to find solid footing, solid ground.

You've got to make peace with these things and learn to stand calmly in it. Otherwise it'll break you. Which in some respects, breaking you is kind of the point because until we are broken, we can't be reassembled.

The goal is not for us to stay broken. The goal is for us to be resurrected, to be regenerated, to be reestablished in Christ. Galatians, Paul says, you know, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God. All right, let's go a little deeper. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live.

The life I live as a caregiver, I live by faith in the Son of God. See, it gets kind of real there, doesn't it? And this is where I've had to learn to walk and where I still am learning. I'm not, I don't own this.

I don't think I'm going to own it until I go home to glory. And I think that the advantage I have over most is that I've had to look at this for so long. I've had to wrestle with these same issues for so long.

There's no respite for it. Every day. All day. Into the night. And I've got to see myself under this pressure cooker, under the hot lights, since Ronald Reagan was president.

So I've had ample time to stare at this, to weigh it out. What is the core issue? Where is it really malfunctioning for me? And to avoid that temptation of saying, okay, this is where it hurts, so therefore that must be the problem. It's pinching me over here, but is that the real problem? Another person's behavior may pinch me, but is that the real problem? So I'm grateful that I got to go to the doctor's office and see this kind of modeled for me in a different way that I could understand the concept better. And now hopefully apply that standing firm on the foundation of Christ, knowing that the caregiving things that I do and live with may pinch me, but they're not the real problem.

There's a much deeper problem. And that is what Christ is working out in me. That is what that journey about trusting Him for everything, standing firm on Him is all about.

It's called sanctification. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver.

We'll be right back. Peter Rosenberger. He's not a preacher, but he's got great care. You've heard me talk about standing with hope over the years. This is the prosthetic limb ministry that Gracie envisioned after losing both of her legs. Part of that outreach is our prosthetic limb recycling program. Did you know that prosthetic limbs can be recycled?

No kidding. There is a correctional facility in Arizona that helps us recycle prosthetic limbs. And this facility is run by a group out of Nashville called CoreCivic, and we met them over 11 years ago. And they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks, all these things we can reuse and inmates help us do it. Before CoreCivic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage when we lived in Nashville and I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere, and feet, boxes of them and so forth. And I was doing all this myself and I'd make the kids help me.

And it got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that CoreCivic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction. And we'd love to be a part of this.

And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb.

And that's where the focus of Standing With Hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prostheses. And she's just a great person. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prostheses. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. I mean, she's been an amputee for over 30 years.

So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking. And it goes to this prison in Arizona where it's such an extraordinary ministry. Think with that, it's volunteering for this. They want to do it.

And they've had amazing times with it. And I've had very moving conversation with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see again, all of that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises and they need it badly in Ghana. So please go out to standingwithhope.com slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there.

We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be, and we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to a savior. And that's the whole point of all this. And that's why we are standing with hope. Thanks so much. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

I'm Peter Rosenberger. Glad to have you with us. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. And while you're there, take a look at all the things that we offer. The podcast is free and there are like almost 700 episodes out there. We have the largest podcast for caregivers in the world, and we would love for you to share it with others. Take advantage of it. Listen to it. Books, CDs, music, streaming, blogs.

There's all kinds of things out there. And also at Facebook, you could go out to our Facebook group, Hope for the Caregiver. You could join that group. It's a private group that I'm the administrator. I'm the sole administrator of this. And I put special things in there, ask questions, talk about things, whatever. If you've got questions or comments, that's the place to do it. I want to talk about burnout and something that is near and dear to all our hearts, isn't it?

Here are some thoughts that I've had on this. Again, the context is I've been a caregiver for 36 plus years through a relentless medical nightmare. We've had seasons where it wasn't as bad, but when you have the surgery count that Gracie's had and the orthopedic challenges, I listened to a top orthopedic surgeon in Denver just a couple of weeks ago look at her and says, orthopedically, you're about as challenging as it comes.

And he wasn't saying that to win, you know, for her to win a prize or anything. He was saying that because he was acknowledging just how difficult her challenges are and they are. So what does that mean for me as a caregiver? What is burnout?

What does that look like for you? I was doing some research on this and Psychology Today says, burnout is not simply a result of working long hours or juggling too many tasks, though those both play a role. The cynicism, depression, and lethargy that are characteristic of burnout most often occur when a person is not in control of how a job is carried out at work or at home or is asked to complete tasks that conflict with their sense of self. Equally pressing is working toward a goal that doesn't resonate or when a person lacks support.

Don't get ahead of me now. If a person doesn't tailor responsibilities to match a true calling, or at least take a break once in a while, they could face burnout as well as the mountain of mental and physical health problems that often come along with it, including headaches. You might want to write these down.

No, I'm just kidding. You don't need to write them to help me live it. Headaches, fatigues, heartburn, and other gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as increased potential for alcohol, drug, or food misuse. So how do you know if you burned out?

They go on to say in this article there, you get physical and mental exhaustion, a sense of dread about work, frequent feelings of cynicism, anger, and irritability are key signs of burnout. How many of you resonate with this right this moment? Let me repeat this line again. Equally pressing is working toward a goal that doesn't resonate or when a person lacks support. How many of you all feel like, as caregivers, a goal that doesn't resonate describes our life? What is the goal here? Where are we going with this? What are we trying to achieve here? And part of the journey for us as caregivers is that we have to re-establish those goals for ourselves and possibly for our loved one, but mostly for ourselves. Because so many of us are in custodial mode, it's not going to go towards a happy goal. There's no place where we plant our flag and say, success, we've done it.

And now we move on to the next thing. The best that many caregivers can hope for is a funeral. I just went to a memorial service last week for such an event where my friend's father was elderly, his mind was gone, and there's no hope that it's going to be a better life. They just want to keep him comfortable until he dies. And when he did, there's a sense of, okay, I kept him comfortable and did the best I could.

But there was no victory in the sense where, hey, look at what we accomplished, other than just keeping somebody comfortable and not dying. That's a bleak set of circumstances. And when you work under those kinds of parameters, it's easy to see why so many of us are in a situation where we're not able to do that.

And when you work under those parameters, it's easy to see why so many become discouraged and burned out. Where is this going? When you have somebody with mental health issues, where's this going?

It's not necessarily terminal. Is it going to have a goal that resonates, as about a child with autism or Down syndrome? You have to adjust the way you look at life and the parameters that you judge success by.

And these are things that Gracie and I have had to have serious conversations about. What does life look like with this type of debilitating set of challenges? Can you live life joyfully and excitingly? Is there, as again, this quote says, a goal that resonates, that keeps you energized and keeps us from going down in this despair and burnout?

I think there is. This is why I do this program. This is why I write books.

This is why I write articles. This is why I do all the things that I do to remind myself and as many others as I possibly can, that there is a way to live life in the midst of this without it tearing you apart. It doesn't mean it won't be difficult because it is, and it will be. It doesn't mean that you're not going to have great sadness and sorrow and struggles and all of the above, because you will. But you're going to have that regardless, okay?

There is no way around that. If you're a caregiver of any kind, you're going to have discouraging things. You're going to have painful, painful circumstances in your life.

You're going to have it no matter what. The question is, can you live productively? Can you dig deeper? Can you find that goal that resonates? Can you find that place where you're feeling satisfied in who you are and in what you're doing, even in the midst of being a caregiver, full-time caregiver? No matter what the other person does, no matter what the other circumstances are, can you find meaning in this for yourself? And I suggest to you that you can.

And the reason I can say that is because I have, and I do. I love what I get to do, and I have worked hard to find a way to be productive and to be purpose-driven, if you will, in this. Not just reeling from one setback after another and hoping that if we get through this, then I can get on with my life. Once I made that acceptance that this is my life, and it's not going to change outside of death, this is my life. That conversation with myself about acceptance was a game changer for me. And I realized that and I realized that there were opportunities to me if I was willing to be creative, ask for help, push myself, and release a lot of bitterness. Those things did not come easy, and they really don't come very naturally to me.

They may come naturally to you, but they don't come naturally to me. And I had to struggle with that. And this is why I talk about my faith a lot on this program. I had a friend of mine tell me, he said, are you limiting your audience by talking about Christianity so much and about religion? And what he meant was by talking so much about Jesus. Because let's face it, you could talk about God all day long, and people don't really get that worked up about it.

But you talk about Jesus, and it's a flashpoint. So why do I do it? Well, this is how I function as a caregiver. And I feel a responsibility and a privilege to be able to tell others, okay, this is how I am finding strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow, as the hymn says, this is how I do it. I don't have any tricks or tips or great cleverness on the function of caregiver. I reached the end of all of my abilities on every level.

I could basically be the poster child for burnout that psychology and other people use. And at that point, instead of just laying there, just giving up, I was invited to trust God that the redemptive work of Christ meant something to me as a caregiver. I was invited to go on this journey of saying, okay, I've tried it my way. And I had to ask myself, how's that working out for you? Not too good. It didn't work out too well at all.

What have I got to lose? And I listened and believed, and I started incorporating these biblical principles that I share with you on this program. Day in and day out, I started thinking about what it meant to trust Christ in this. What it meant when Paul says, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live the life I live in the body. I live my faith in the son of God.

What I just shared in the last block, what does that mean as a caregiver? As a caregiver, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. You know, and I've heard all the God talk, all the God words that people said, you know, all these things, trust Jesus, trust Jesus. You just need to trust Jesus. Trust Jesus. You just need to trust Jesus. It is so sweet to trust Jesus.

And I've heard this over and over and over again. I heard the words. I could repeat them back to you backwards and forwards, but I didn't understand what it meant to me as a caregiver, what it meant to trust Christ with this. I looked through all of scripture. People said, Jesus knows, Jesus knows. I looked through all of scripture.

I never saw anywhere where there was a man taking care of a woman through 80 something surgeries and both legs amputated. But then I stepped back and saw the whole of scripture. Did you know that Jesus is referred to as the bridegroom and that the church is referred to as the bride of Christ, but we're a messed up group of people, aren't we?

I mean, think about it. Think about every church, you know, everybody in church, you know, wherever two or three are gathered, there's problems. We're a messed up, broken, wounded bunch of people. And Jesus is the bridegroom for that bride, for us. You know what that means? It means I have a savior who's in love with a wounded bride, just like me. I have a savior that understands everything I struggle with.

That's what that means. And that's why I have hope. This is hope for the caregiver.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio. This is Peter Rosenberger.

This is the program for you as a family caregiver. That is Keith Green. And I love that song.

It encapsulates what this show is all about and why I do it. Do you see? Do you see? And I'm not asking you that question.

I'm asking that of myself. Do I see? And when I do this program, and when I write books, and when I write articles, I'm doing these things with a sense of urgency, because I recognize the plight that so many find themselves in right now. Remember that passage in Matthew chapter 9, where Jesus, and I'm going to read this from the message. This is from the message.

This is from the message. Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. This is verse 35. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke, so confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. What a huge harvest, He said to his disciples.

How few workers. On your knees and pray for harvest hands. Do you see the harvest? Do you see it around you?

Do you see the distress? It's easy, I think, to draw lines in the sand and say, okay, well, they believe this, so therefore they're bad. I did something I shouldn't have done, probably. Well, I don't know. But there was a political figure on Twitter who posted something out about being a, you know, not going to be afraid or such and such. And I just simply posted a scripture there. I said, I love this scripture in Isaiah, where the Lord talks about, don't be afraid.

I will guard you with my right hand. That's all I did. I just said, I just posted a scripture. I love this scripture. And I looked at all the vitriolic comments because people evidently hated this individual. Actually, more specifically, this individual's father.

And they hated him. And they wrote, tweeted back to me, that scripture is only for the righteous. That scripture doesn't apply to anybody in this guy's orbit. And I simply made one statement. That scripture applies to every orbit.

And who is righteous that doesn't need a savior? That's it. I'm not, Twitter is a place where basically it's a cage match for people that don't want to get hit. I don't particularly like going out there much.

I do sometimes, but I try to avoid it and just post pictures of horses, you know, just simply because social media has just become such a sewer. But every now and then, you kind of have to see it. You have to see the sewer. You have to see it for what it is.

And as Jesus said, pray on your knees and pray for harvest hands. And do we do that? Do we know what to say? Do we know how to respond? Do we know how to ask better questions?

With that in mind, I want to have a discussion with you in this last block about something that's been troubling me and things I've been seeing on the news, if you'll indulge me. Gracie's a double amputee, both legs below the knee. And I remember the struggles that she and I had together as she wrestled with that decision to give those legs up. They were so damaged and they were so broken and they were truly causing her enormous amount of pain and were going to only get worse. And there's no coming back from amputation.

You know, once you make that decision, that's it. Imagine, if you will, that one of our sons, while she was wrestling with that decision and they were, Parker was a little boy, Grayson wasn't born yet. And then she gave up her remaining leg after Grayson was born when he was a toddler. Imagine, if you will, if either of our children had said, I want to identify as an amputee like mom. I want to be inclusive with mom and I want to have my leg taken off so that I can be like mom. And imagine, however horrifyingly it may be that either Gracie or me had given consent to that, parental consent. What would you think of a physician, of a surgeon who accommodated that desire?

Would you think that would be appropriate? Would you look at that surgeon with respect and feel that surgeon is doing a good thing or would you be horrified? Does the surgeon have any culpability, even with parental consent, to have treatment like that on a minor who says, I want to do this. In fact, I ask you, if anybody that you knew seriously said, even as an adult, I want to amputate my left hand or my right hand or my left leg or my left right leg so that I can identify as an amputee. Would you think that they were okay? Would you think that they were mentally impaired?

Would you try to point them to help or would you affirm that decision? Maybe they really want to identify as an amputee. Maybe that's something that's important to them. Maybe they feel more included if they were an amputee.

How would you respond to this? This is what's happening in our culture right now with minors. And they call it things like gender affirming care. But in reality, there are physicians who, under the cloak of parental consent, are doing this to children. It's bad enough to do it to adult, but to do it to children and say, we're going to amputate part of your body. We're going to surgically change you. And there's no going back from this.

Gracie and I know there's no going back from amputation. Once it's gone, it's gone. How do we respond to this? How do we respond to this? I'm asking the question, and I'm framing the conversation differently than all of the gobbledygook that you hear. There's a word salad that people use when they don't really want to speak plainly. And that's why you see in Scripture where Jesus said, let your yes be yes, let your no be no.

You don't need to use verbal linguine. When you're just speaking the truth. You see, we don't know what truth is anymore, do we?

As a society, we can't agree on this. If you go back and look at, you know, Pilate asking Jesus, what is truth? Jesus said, I am the truth. He didn't say, here's the truth. He said, I am the truth and the way and the life. And as I said in the last block, it's very offensive to the world to talk about Jesus.

He said it would be. They hate me, they're going to hate you. It's very offensive. You can talk about God all day long.

You could say things about the universe and everything else, but you say something about Jesus and it causes people to absolutely become enraged. And yet we have a responsibility to proclaim this great redemption that reaches into these places where people are troubled, so troubled that they want to do things that are horrific, mutilate themselves. Now, before you think this is theory that I'm just kind of throwing out hypothetical, I have been around a lot of amputees in my life and there are groups of people out there who want to amputate parts of their bodies. I have met some of these individuals who actually did this and it's gruesome.

They would saw off fingers. I've seen it. Okay. I'm not making this up because they wanted to identify a certain way. There are a lot of people who are hurting in this world and they will go to extreme measures to do anything they could possibly think of to ease that pain, to stop that pain, to medicate that pain. As caregivers, we understand that, don't we? Because we know what it's like to feel desperate, what it's like to feel hurting, and that's why it is, to me, this is the urgency I have with this group of people. To me, this is the urgency I have with this program because I know what this is like, to push yourself to go into, I got to do something to stop hurting. I look with great compassion at people who are troubled in this manner. It's hard because sometimes they're so filled with rage that all you see is the rage, but if you can ever just kind of push that aside and ask the Lord to give you ears to hear and eyes to see so that you can see beyond it and speak to the pain that they have. There's such a thing as called an angry wound.

When you have an angry wound, it's all inflamed and festering and everything else, but there's a real wound. I don't have the answers and I would never proclaim that I do, but I do sense the urgency that we have as believers to be bold and to be forthright and to speak plainly to people in their distress, in their heartache. This isn't happening out there. This is happening right beside each of us. We're all faced with all kinds of things, right up close and personal with us. We don't have to go looking for dysfunction. It's all around us.

The question is, are we going to be a source of light, direction, clarity, compassion, and truth, or are we going to just be passive, enabling, and apathetic? I can't do that. We're going to talk about this more in coming shows, but I wanted to introduce the concept today. Thank you for your time. Thank you for trusting me with this hour. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. We'll see you next time. Bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-08 17:47:32 / 2023-01-08 18:06:34 / 19

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