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The Heart of The Caregiver

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
October 15, 2022 1:19 pm

The Heart of The Caregiver

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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October 15, 2022 1:19 pm

Mary Tutterow joined me today in a long-form interview exclusively for the podcast. Bringing more than 30 years of experience in caring for her daughter who suffers from an extreme seizure disorder, Mary offers hardwon insights into the deep and often troubled hearts of family caregivers. 

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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 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 it. Check out and be protected starting today. That's now.

All right. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver. After the show, we're going to have a great conversation today with my friend Mary Totoro and her wonderful insights of the journey of caregiving. She's taking care of her daughter, Mary Addison. She and her husband, Win, her son, William. And Mary Addison is 30 now?

30. And she understands the journey. Mary Addison has quite a few challenges over the years that have presented quite a few moments of heartache and struggles for the family.

And through this, Mary has learned amazing insights. And her book, her ministry, her focus, everything is called The Heart of the Caregiver. And is it the heart of the caregiver or the heart of a caregiver? Books are the heart of the caregiver, but you can find me at the other one too.

Okay. Well, either way, you're always talking about the caregiver's heart. And that's one of the things that initially connected us. And I'm so grateful, Mary. And thank you. We tried this the other day. And because of my ineptness, we're having to redo it, but that's okay.

We're not going to run out of stuff to talk about. Mary and I are both from South Carolina. She's from the coastal part of South Carolina. I'm from the Piedmont area.

They call it an upstate South Carolina. And we both like mustard based barbecue sauce as any good decent American would, fried okra, shrimp and grits. My sister came out here for Christmas a couple of years.

She's going to come again this year. She and her family come out and for Christmas dinner, we had shrimp and grits. Is that a South Carolina thing or what? That's awesome. But neither one of us have, you know, we don't, we don't talk Southern.

We lost it somewhere along the way. I can and I have, but, uh, but my wife has been very, um, encouraging of me to, uh, to get rid of that as I go on the air. So honey, I'd bring it on. I can, uh, you put down in the South, the part of where you're from, you have a whole different dialect than when we had an upstate South Carolina. I mean, I was cow on the porch country, you know, country with a K and you guys are down there and what we call the low country and down there by the water and the water.

That's right. You know, and we have that real low Island, low country Island, real flat. We, my, my, uh, in-laws all talk like this real flat. Well, they, they say I have a Southern accent out here in Montana and, uh, don't, you know, Oh, you betcha.

Um, but I, you know, I can't hide it. I was born there, raised there, then spent the last 30 something years in Nashville. So I'm a child of the South. And the one you and I talked about this many times before, one of the things I missed the most about living in Montana, which I love Montana, but I miss waffle house.

We ain't got a waffle house in the whole state out here. And, you know, and it's just, well, we, if I told him, I said, if I opened up one, we'd have them scattered, smothered, covered, chunked and branded, you know, but it's not Brandon, but branded. And I, um, you know, and I, and I tell them about boiled peanuts and they look at me, you know, aghast they're just, they're just stunned with revulsion over boil peanuts, or as we say down there ball peanuts.

And, um, and so they've, they've kind of adopted me out here, but they look at me kind of suspiciously every now and then on the way I thought, but I can't hip it. Um, Mary, you have, um, you have, uh, quite a journey. Give, bring us up to speed and kind of where you guys are so that people know your background, because when you speak, you're not speaking for this moment, you're speaking for decades of struggling with these challenges and then how you and your family have, have pushed through it, what you've learned through it and so forth.

So bring us up to speed on that. Well, um, Mary Addison is now 30, like you said, and she was born having a seizure disorder. She was having about 500 seizures a day. And, you know, we've been caring for her for 30 years and she's had seizures almost every single day of her life. And as people who deal with people who have seizures know that also means lots of falls and breaks and busted heads and, you know, all kinds of stuff. And we, she goes into status and we go to the hospital. So, you know, it's, it's, it's real different from just having a child who's mentally and physically challenged.

It's like waiting for bombs to go off all the time. And then during caring for her and caring for William, our typical son, my mother-in-law developed cancer and then dementia and my husband's an only child. So we were taking care of her on top of taking care of Mary Addison. And, uh, like I tell people, I lost myself. I just disappeared. I, I, you know, I gave up my career and gave up all my hobbies and we gave up our social life. Well, I had been an anchor woman, believe it or not.

And then after that, um, it morphed into kind of an international public relations firm. So I was, were you, were you angry down in South Carolina? Yeah. All right. Let me hear you say, we'll be right back. Oh, please come on now. Can't you hear the high quality of my Midwestern voice when I've been raised in the South, I don't pop my peas. Well, you're, you're further along this than I just barely muddle through it.

We'll be right back. I gave up a whole lot and it felt, uh, like I was stripped and somewhere in the middle of the journey, I finally, uh, cried out to God for help, which I had been a pew sitter, a frozen chosen, but I had never really been a follower of Jesus at all. And the first time I ever cried out to him, I said, how did Mary the mother of Jesus watch her son suffer and die? Like I'm having to watch my daughter suffer and die because at the time they'd sent her home as a baby to die in our arms.

She was having so many seizures. And, um, I heard him say, let her suffering be for my glory. And that just launched me on this. What does that mean? And drove me deep into the Bible.

And that's where I started hearing things like, um, the first will be last and the last will be first. And God uses the foolish to shame the wise and uses the weak to shame the strong. And I heard all kinds of wonderful things about serving, um, that Jesus stepped down from glory to serve. And I thought, I haven't known this Jesus.

Who is this? And I went deep in his word and the comfort that I got over the years, I journaled and then I started seeing other people in waiting rooms and on the floor in hospitals and at therapy and all the different places. And everyone was so burned out and sad by this caregiving experience. And we were learning how to love supernaturally and what it truly means to be human and the love that's available to us that we just need to learn to receive and all these marvelous messages through this incredibly deep and difficult journey. We were hearing a whole nother story and it was being, um, brought to light in us. And we clearly heard, share it with others. And that's how it all started.

How did this affect the network of friends and so forth that you had at the time, colleagues, everything else when you started down this particular path or had Mary Addison's disability already kind of isolated you from them or what, how did that, how did that, what did that morph into? Well, Peter, as you and I've talked about a lot, there's so many loving people who want to help and just don't know how, right. And they don't know what to say, and they don't know how to help.

And, you know, that's, that's something. And that's what happened with my social life is that people loved us and wanted to help but a probably number one is we wouldn't let them help. It was so chaotic and so confusing and so embarrassing. And we were full of so much shame and guilt over how we'd fallen apart. I mean, because our finances were falling apart.

Our marriage was falling apart. You know, we were a mess. And so there were people who tried to love us, but we wouldn't let them.

And we didn't know how to tell people to help us at all. So, yeah, we kind of already pushed our social circles away. But then when we went down the, we're going to choose to serve. We're going to choose to love. We're going to choose to see Christ in this. We're going to choose simplicity of life and give up all the hustle and bustle of job and keeping up with the Joneses in order to make loving Mary Addison no longer a burden or a problem.

It was the focus and center of our life because it was where we saw Christ the most. That blew a lot of people's minds that we would choose that. It sounds like you just got off. You just got off this freeway. You just found the exit ramp and you just said, we're going over here. Exactly. That's exactly what we did. And so that was the toughest. Let me interrupt you there.

Yeah. As hard as that was, any regrets? No, not regrets, but you and I both know it's a tough road. I mean, it's like you're swimming upstream constantly. When you choose to hang in there with someone and live as intimately as we do, as you do with suffering and the suffering of another person, people are always telling us, why don't you get more caregivers? Why don't you put her in a home?

Why isn't she in programs all day? It's hard to explain the lessons that choosing to love sacrificially have taught us. I talked about this recently for my program and I'm writing something about it because what happens to me, and I think it happens to you too, from what you tell me, what I'm gleaning is that people want to come up.

It's not that they're toxic people in the sense of, yeah, there are always those who criticize and tell you what you should be doing, but then there are those who come up and want to whiteboard the whole thing. Have you tried this? Have you tried this? Have you thought about this? Have you thought about it? And then I have to explain to them why I am so far beyond this.

And it's not that I don't appreciate good counsel from folks, I seek it out all the time, but until you've spent some time on the field, you're going to always want to interject your opinion from the cheap seats, or not you, but maybe people seem to want to do that. And this is one of those things, but unless you've actually done this or spent time in this world, or spent time in this world, it's very difficult to process what it's like to deal with relentless crises. This is not a situation where Mary Addison, your family, me, Gracie reach a homeostasis, if you will. It's every day is a new crisis. Absolutely. It's like you never come into port. You're always in a storm and you have to learn to make peace with the storm.

Absolutely. And you can't freak out. And some people come into that ancillary that they may swerve into our lives. And also the storm, they just hit it full frontal and they're like, what about, what do we do? But they were just like, just settle down. Because as I was taking Gracie, the emergency room, everybody was just, I was talking, they were just kind of panicky.

But I was writing an article while she was in the emergency room right there. I'm just sitting right there. I got one of the trays that they feed you with and so forth.

They put on their bed trays. I raised it up, put my laptop, and I was finishing an article I was writing because this is my life. And if I stopped my life, every time we had a crisis, I would have no life. You get us in the same way. You just learn to just, blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bit out of shape.

You just have to learn to just- I had to ride that. You'd write that down, Barry. I didn't come up with it, but I'll take credit.

I love it. But what it is, Peter, that I went on a two-year journey to write the second book, The Peaceful Caregiver with God, was that peace is a choice. God is always extending it. And so many people feel like with bombs going off and with crises happening with people, when you're caregivers, most of us are taking care of people who are getting worse every day. The Alzheimer's is getting worse. The cancer is getting worse. The dementia is getting worse.

Parkinson's is getting worse. You're usually not dealing with situations that are getting better. And the crisis, the disease, the disability seems to have taken over everything and you start feeling powerless. But when you realize that peace is a choice, that nothing can steal your peace, regardless of your circumstances, if you learn how to practice peace the way our Lord teaches us, now you feel that power again.

You have that power back because you realize it's all up to me. Mary Addison, we went on a family vacation with a bunch of other families and Mary Addison went into status one morning and were miles away from any hospital and no rescue meds, no nothing. And she was seizing so badly that we couldn't even pick her up and carry her down the stairs and get her out to the car. So, four men had to pick up the mattress she was on while she's flapping and seizing, bringing her down the stairs, putting her in the car and us taking off and getting to the hospital. And what all the other families still to this day comment on is, but y'all were so calm, but y'all were so calm.

And, you know, my husband said, well, what would getting hysterical have added to this at all? But most people say, but how do you maintain that level of peace and calmness? And, you know, that's what the peaceful caregiver is all about is how do you really learn to shift your perspective to know that everything really is okay and that you can choose peace and that you can take a deep breath and let the Holy Spirit guide you and that God can bring something really wonderful out of something that the rest of the world is freaking out about. And it's a fact. And it's just taken hold of our lives. And so, when you talk about the storm, we've gotten to the point where we can actually go, oh, yay, hold on tight because we're getting somewhere with this one, you know, that we're going to learn something and we've realized it's just not chaos.

There's treasure there if you can just maintain that peace about it and trust. You've had to give injections. Say what? You've had to give injections, shots. How many refresher courses do you need on giving shots? I don't. I'm giving so many. It's a one and done. Right. You got it. I got it. You got it. I got it. We both had to do it. And this is what I tell my fellow caregivers.

It is pointless for us to spend a lot of time on things that are one and done. Once you got it, you got it. I don't need to be to get a refresher course on how to deal with an insurance company.

I've been doing this now for a lifetime or with doctors, but I need a refresher course on a regular basis on how to deal with me and how to deal with my troubled heart and how to deal with my stress and all these things. I have not only caregiver amnesia, I have gospel amnesia. And I have to be reminded of these things because they're not one and done. And so when people ask, how do you keep calm? It's not that it's like you said, it's a choice.

I have to choose this. I cannot, I didn't choose to be calm 12 years ago and it's still holding. I have to choose to learn how to deal with this every day, every day.

And I put a song on my CD that says I need the every hour because they haven't written a song that says I need the every minute. And so, I mean, I have to do this every day, but I don't have to freak out about going to the emergency room because that's, I get that. I understand that what I struggle with, and I think I may struggle with this for the rest of my life is reminding myself that God is not absent from this, that he sees every seizure that Mary Addison has. He knows every tear that you've had in the dark places of the night as Watchman, he calls it the dark night of the soul. He sees the conversation I have with the ceiling fan, and he knows these things. He is ever present in them and I can trust it. Do I hold onto that every day?

And one of my favorite prayers in all of scripture is Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. That's kind of where I live, Mary. I think that that's, and I'm probably going to live that way for the rest of my life.

And I don't look at that as necessarily fatalistic or as an indictment. I think that's the human condition. Paul alluded to this as he grew in his relationship with Christ.

And he started off saying, I'm a student of this guy and I do this and I do this. And by the end of his life when he's writing, I think the book of Philippians, when he was like, none of this is worth anything. I'm just the chief of sinners kind of thing.

And I think that's the natural progression is that as we grow deeper in our relationship with Christ, we realize how utterly dependent we are on him. Yes. A lot of people don't like that. No, they don't. But that's reality.

I'm sorry. A lot of people don't like reality. They take a lot of drugs to get away from it, but that's the reality is that what do I have that I have not received?

What can I do that I do on my own? He even gives me the ability to trust him. My faith doesn't come because I screwed up my courage and squinted my eyes real tight and saying, just as I am six more times, it comes because he invaded my heart and says, trust me, I got you. I got you.

I got you. And this is what I hear. This is what would drew me to what you do in the books that you write and the teachings that you have is because you understand that, yes, we swerve into caregiving task. And we'll talk about that.

Both of us do on our respective programs and everything else that we do. But that's not where people live. That's not where the angst is, is how to, you know, once you figure out how to deal with cleaning up vomit from a seizure, you know, it's unpleasant, but, you know, right. It doesn't cause me to despair. No, you know, but what happened, Peter, for me was Romans eight, six. I read that scripture.

I mean, this now, now this is many years into this journey and I'd already started. I was like, my heart is yours, Lord. And I'm letting you love me first so that I can love other people from that complete and perfect love, knowing that you love me. So, I don't need other people to love me.

I mean, it's nice, but I don't. And I can let imperfect people love me with their imperfect love. Like I'm imperfect, but you are loving us through it all, Lord. And that has changed everything. But the second phase, that was the heart of the caregiver, but then the peaceful caregiver was, but I'm still a hot mess.

And I just don't understand why. And like, that's what you were talking about is that we still have these, you know, so just this daily thing where you're trying to get it right. But, but the, the mind led by flesh, led by, yeah, flesh is death. The mind controlled by spirit is life and peace. And I went on a huge journey. I just looked that up while you were referencing that the mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the spirit is life in peace.

That is, yeah. And I realized that what was governing my mind was my flesh. And it was this little voice, the father of lies that was constantly going, you didn't do that, right?

That's why she still has seizures. You didn't do this. And that's why your husband's mad at you. You know, it was all the lies of the flesh that I was listening to that had been jerking me around my whole life about, well, I need this and we need more money and I need more free time. And I need, and then I realized, but the spirit on the other hand was saying, all you need is me, just rest in trust, but you won't rest in trust. You keep jumping up, trying to figure it out, trying to reason through things and you won't just rest in trust.

And I began to see this huge, really like the cartoons with the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. And that I needed to learn how to choose to listen to the spirit instead of to my ego and allow the spirit to run my life. And… You know, you bring up something when you said, you know, I need more money. I need this and your money does help. But this, I learned a very important lesson one time when talking with some friends of mine and they had more money than I can imagine.

I mean, incredibly wealthy people, hundreds of millions of dollars. And he had some type of neurological event and was really going downhill, but his wife was nearly killing herself to take care of him. And I said, you have the money, call somebody to come in and help do this. And she couldn't, she was paralyzed because of guilt. And it was the guilt that was, she felt obligated, which was leading to resentment. And she felt so in bondage to this role that she would not make the appropriate call. And I pulled her aside and I've known her for a while. And I said, make the call. Here's the number, make the call. It's okay. Killing yourself is not going to make this any better.

And to their credit that she did, she did make the call. And all those words that you used and all the time, she, anybody says should have, and all that kind of stuff. It's your ego.

It's the father of lies. And that's what causes the shame. But I realized money is, if we're seeking after, if we just have more money, we can hire this. We do this.

We can do this. And it's never going to satisfy. And it starts right here, what you just said. And in the heart of the caregiver, which by the way is a great title that I wish I had thought of it before you did, but it's no, I'm just kidding. But it's, um, it is. And I think you're absolutely right, Mary, that, that you, you, you realize this, you, you get to a point where you realize, I have everything I need in Christ. And here's what that looks like.

Here's how to practice it. Yeah. And, and people say, well, I need better healthcare. Well, healthcare is one of those issues that are going to resolve itself.

If you have it, you got it. If you don't have it, you're going to end up becoming indigent and going on Medicaid. You're going to end up becoming indigent and going on Medicaid, or the worst is going to happen. And somebody's going to die, but it's, it's a, it is a finite problem.

It will resolve itself either for worse or better, but it will resolve itself. But if you are, have all these resources and all this money or all this, this, and that things that most people think they got to have, they got to have, you can still be absolutely in bondage and in misery while having some of the best healthcare you could have. Absolutely. And that's what I wanted my fellow caregivers to understand. There is a greater need.

Yes. These other things are important and we we've got to have them. I got to have gas in the car to be able to get to the hospital, all those kinds of things.

These are all important. But if I focus exclusively on that, that I'm going to miss living life in the midst of this. And I, and I, there was a, there was a defining point with me where I said, I refuse to do this anymore like this. This is, I'm not waiting for Gracie to get better.

I'm not waiting for Gracie to get worse. I'm going to live life right now today and be productive. This is our life. Yes, it is.

It's not a surgery. And she, she actually told me this yesterday. We were coming back from town and she had to do some stuff.

The doctor's visit over two days ago. And she said, I used to live that way. She said, okay, if I could just have this surgery, it'll fix this, have this surgery and fix this.

And then she came to that realization says, this is my life. And this is the way it's going to be. And I'm going to learn to make peace with this. Absolutely.

Yeah. That's because otherwise you're missing life. And once you choose to say, and this is the messages in the first book, the heart of the caregiver is I have been chosen for this. I've been called to this. I've been equipped by God.

He's right here with me. I, I am loved in doing this and I am able to give extraordinary love and I can have great peace, even though my life swims upstream to the rest of life. And it appears to be very difficult. It is taught me the most incredible lessons of how to let go of what I think is happening and allow God to walk me through what really is happening from a kingdom perspective. It's very, very powerful. And it overcomes, you know, you hear in the Bible, things like that we become overcomers and that you overcome evil with good and all those kinds of things. You think, yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. That was Jesus.

Not me. But when your mindset and your perspective gets like this, you're impenetrable. You're unshakable. You're on a firm foundation. There's nothing to be afraid of. There is, there is no hysteria and chaos. There is guidance. There's love. There's provision. There's miracles because you're walking with the one who says he uses the foolish to shame the wise and you're doing things in kingdom ways that are absolutely flabbergasted, the father of lies.

And he has no authority over it. It's just incredible. It's incredible.

It's real. There's a verse that was transformative to me, um, remains, you know, a real personal mission with me. I will spend the rest of my life again, trying to understand this verse, but it's Galatians 2 20.

And I want to read it to you. You know, the verse I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but the life I live, but Christ lives in me, but the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God. And when I, that verse has been heavy on me for, heavy on me for about 20 years.

And I realized the life I live as a caregiver, I live by faith in the son of God. Somebody asked me the other day, they said, do you think you're limiting your audience by having all this religious stuff you talk about that you preach about? And I said, number one, I don't preach it. I simply tell you, this is how I live in the midst of this craziness that Gracie and I live in. Um, I don't know any atheists that have done what I've done. Um, or, you know, I, I, there may be, I don't know.

I just don't know. I can't imagine doing this though, without anchoring faith, but I also have to, to recognize that this is, this is how I do it. When you have every day is a crisis. Every day is filled with something that is going to break your heart. And I know that Gracie wakes up knowing that as soon as she wakes up, she's facing a day filled with pain. She told me one time, she said, I even I'm in pain when I dream.

I mean, this is never going away for her. And, and so I go back to this verse, the life I live in the body as a caregiver with all the things that I do as a caregiver, I live by faith in the son of God. Now I would love to tell you, Mary, that I own this, but I do not. And I may not own this, this side of heaven.

In fact, I'm pretty sure I won't, but I'm not, I'm also not just starting out on this. I've been chewing on this verse for 20 years and it's something that helps me re-anchor because I get blown so hard around and I can easily just, you know, lose my cookies. And, and I said that kind of nice.

But I, a friend of mine once told me, if you put the bat on the ball, three out of 10 times in major league baseball, they'll put you in the hall of fame. He said, you don't have to do this perfectly. Perfection is God's business, but just you keep doing this and you watch and see what God does. You be obedient, believing obedience, not just obedient out of begrudgingness. I think I was doing that for a while. I was just being obedient out of, I don't even know why I was being obedient. I was just being, I don't know what the word is for it, but I was being, I guess compliant, but reluctantly compliant. I'm forced to do this, but there's a point where you shift and you say, I will do this knowing because of what scripture tells me, believing, trusting that he's in this. He's in this. I don't see it. I don't understand it.

I don't like it, but I will take him at his word and I will do this as unto him because he says this. There was that moment for me. And there, those moments now kind of permeate the top of my mind on a regular basis, because that's the only way I could get through this. Otherwise I had just descend into despair and frustration, resentment, anger, all of the above. Well, those are the words.

Okay. Those are the words that make you realize, okay, in Galatians 2, 20, you say the crucified life. Jesus tells us constantly to die to self. What does die to self mean? What does that, the Romans 8, 6 about the difference between flesh and spirit?

Okay. Flesh is self, so die to self. And when you start realizing that there's this voice, Peter, that is constantly telling you how terrible it is or how scary it is or how pitiful you are because you didn't get what you thought you were going to get and all your expectations and all these other things, suddenly you begin to see, I've been fed a ton of lies about what life is supposed to be like and what I'm meant to look like and how much money I'm meant to have and the things I'm meant to have and the relationships I'm meant to have. And suddenly you can begin to see, and this is, you know, practicing the five steps on the path to peace that I love to teach is there's a way to do it just like Jesus told us to do, where you just quiet those lies. And when you begin to understand that you have the power to quiet those lies, those lies, that flesh, that ego.

Okay. So that's almost easier than believing these unbelievably large promises in the Bible. But when you see that you can start quieting your flesh and you start going, that's a lie, or that was just a false expectation, or that was a bad word spoken over me by a really crummy teacher who told me I'd never succeed and I've believed it all these years or a parent who fussed at me and I've believed it. That's not who I am in Christ. And when you start understanding that there are two mindsets after your brain and you can choose which one to believe, now you can start finding that crucified life is not going through all the disasters and hardships of being a caregiver. That isn't what crucifixion is. Crucifixion is killing that little thing in your head that's constantly telling you how terrible stuff is. And all the words like shame and pity and exhaustion and loneliness, shut up.

That's not what this is about at all. And I have a choice to tell it to be quiet and to choose joy and to choose peace and to choose abundance and to choose love and to choose miracles. And then that world starts becoming your reality. It's real. It's true. I have so many people that finish our groups and by the end of the groups, they make posters and put them over the bed of the one they love that says, it is Christ I serve.

I love my husband because God loves me first and all these kind of truths and you can begin to really live it because you have the power over resentment, shame, envy, guilt, fear, anxiety, all those things. And then God's word starts to come to life and you go, it is true. All these promises are true when I tell the lies to shut up. Does that make any sense?

It makes a lot of sense. Catherine von Schlegel said that so beautifully as well. Be still my soul. The Lord is on the side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide. In every change he faithful will remain. Be still my soul. Thy best, thy heavenly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. And, uh, you ever feel like you're going through thorny ways? You know, but I love that.

I mean, that's, he's saying the same thing. Be quiet. Be still my soul. We have mastery over this because of Christ. We are not slaves to our spasticity. Right.

If that's a word. Um, that's, you know, we are, we are not in bondage to this. And this is part of what I think when Jesus said you preach Liberty to the captive, we, we feel like we, we must, we are compelled on these things, but in reality, we're set free to be able to say, I will trust him through these thorny ways. And I, uh, I think for me, I struggled for a long time because people kept saying, well, Jesus understand, Jesus understands, Jesus understand. And I would look through all the scripture and never found anywhere in scripture where a guy was taking care of his wife through what I do.

And then I stepped back and looked at the whole of scripture. And Jesus is, is the bridegroom. He's referred to as the bridegroom and the church is the bride of Christ. And it dawned on me that I have a savior who's in love with a wounded bride. Oh, beautiful.

Yes. It dawned on me about that. And I thought he does understand. And as I care for my wounded bride, I am not alone in these things. And I, I serve one who does this himself on a level that I can't even imagine because I think about how wounded we all are. And yet he cares for us and loves us. As Peter says, cast all your care on him for he cares for you.

And, and, um, and so these are things that I have anchored myself in. And so when that guy told me, he said, you know, are you losing your audience by preaching? I said, I don't, I don't think so. And I don't really care.

I'm not here to gain an audience. I'm here to offer the, as Paul says in Corinthians, the same comfort that I have received from the God of all comfort. Um, and that's what he does to do. We would comfort one another, just like you and when, and William are doing with others, you're comforting others with the same comfort that you yourself have received. And it is such a, um, and when I have conversations like I have with you here, that's why I wanted to do this long form for the podcast. And then, you know, we'll continue this conversations on air as well, but I want to just have this long form because I felt like you and I, as veteran caregivers can kind of stop for a moment in the middle of the battle and just say, cause you know, both of us are gonna be caregiving for the rest of the day. That's that's our life, not a bad life and, um, just a hard life, but it's, um, these are things that build me up, that strengthened me for the journey to hear what you're saying, because, Oh, Oh, okay.

So when you, when you see that commonality of what the Holy Spirit's doing, and it's anchored absolutely in scripture, then it just like, it allows me to breathe a little bit more and realize, okay. And so you asked me when we, you know, beforehand, you know, about, cause we live out in Montana. Now we moved away from Nashville and we live way out here in the middle of nowhere. And what about the isolations?

Yes. But, but I have seen people that are isolated on crowded pews. And here I am 10 miles from the paved road. And yet I'm not isolated because I'm talking to you in South Carolina now. And then there are people listening on the podcast who are now saying, Oh, I'm not alone in this. And that's what, and I say this to the audience listening. That's what Mary and I hope to accomplish here today is to communicate in a way that you can understand as a care.

People used to communicate to me all the time, great truths, but it didn't pierce to my heart because they weren't speaking the language of my heart, of what was going on in me. And I wanted to take this time today because Mary and I both speak fluent caregiver. And we're speaking in the language of caregivers in a way that makes sense to fellow caregivers. So that as you do these unpleasant tasks today, as a caregiver, know that you've got Mary in South Mary in South Carolina is doing it.

Peter's in Montana do it and millions more doing it. And we're leaning on this Christ that we're talking about to give us the strength, the grace, the peace, the calmness, the clarity of thought to continue these tasks. However unpleasant they are knowing that as Paul said, he who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it to the day of Christ Jesus. Mary, last thoughts. Well, just as you were saying that Peter, and I don't mean to start another conversation, but Jesus stepped down from glory to wrap a towel around his waist and to take care of his wounded bride, to touch leprosy, to wash feet, to wade into crowds of sick people and to bring us hope and to reconnect us to this divine love that can cure all things.

And for me, that's what I witness happening all the time in our groups. When you get people reconnected in God's word, be ministered to by his spirit, there is relief. He does heal us. He does touch our hearts. He does bring us peace. And it's the very work of Jesus.

It's not the work of you sitting there struggling with your Bible open, trying to make it make sense when you surrender and let him do this. It's real. The comfort is real. The power, the strength, the energy to get up and do it another day in love and joy is real. It's real, Peter. And that's my closing thought is I want people to know that transformation is possible. This doesn't have to hurt and be a horrific experience. What seems to be the death of you is an invitation to a new beginning.

Well said. Tell us how to get in touch with you, Mary. The website is the heart of the caregiver, the heart of the But you can get there even if you make a mistake typing, or you can find me on Facebook under the heart of the caregiver where we have groups and eventually join our newsletter where we announce retreats, workshops, seminars, all kinds of things like that.

And hopefully new books coming out. We're working on it, but also to connect with other caregivers who completely understand what you're going through. So that's how to get in touch with me. Well, I hope that the audience here, listeners, I hope you have found this to be a meaningful exchange. I know that I have every time I talk to Mary, I just, I get a little bit stronger and a little bit more clarity of thought. And these things that we're talking about, they did not come easily. Mary and I have a combined, well over 65 combined years of caregiving through some pretty rough, rough waters.

And yet here we are. And so we're going to do more of this. I like this form. I like the long form of just the interview on the radio show.

I have to stop for breaks and so forth. And that's part of the clock, but here we can take our time and unpack some ideas. And so we'd like to hear your thoughts. You can go out to and there's a little comment thing. You can send us a comment if you want to hear more, if there's a subject you want us to particularly talk about.

Mary's going to bring some friends into this. We're just going to keep doing it. We're just going to keep having conversations as much as we can, because I think this is how we're going to all walk through these things and build each other up. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. Mary, as always, thank you so very much, and we'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-04 10:52:58 / 2022-12-04 11:11:02 / 18

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