Lessons Learned

Two female friends smiling

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.—2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-4 [NIV]

While taking care of my family, I’d find myself wishing for more time in my day to get things done. After being diagnosed with breast cancer, however, I prayed for more time to get anything done. I was accustomed to being a caregiver, not a care receiver.

When I couldn’t express how I was feeling, I read books by people who’d faced cancer. I would point to a passage and tell my husband, “This is how I feel.”

As a care receiver, I learned others have been in my shoes and could help me work through my emotions.

“What do you need?” friends asked, but often I didn’t know. One friend knocked on my door holding a box of Kleenex. For the next hour she passed me tissues as I cried. Neither of us spoke. When my tears slowed, she handed me the box, gave me a hug, then left.

As a care receiver, I learned words are not always needed.

My cancer journey helped me to be a better caregiver. I don’t always know what to say or do but just being available with a box of Kleenex can be a good place to start.

Today's Prayer:

Father, I pray the lessons I learned as a care receiver continue to help me be a better care provider.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts