Necessary Transitions

Colorful autumn leaves by a lake

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.—ECCLESIASTES 3:1 (NKJ)

“After two years, I was screaming inside my head. That’s when I finally knew it was time for a serious change,” my Aunt Jan told me about her season of caregiving for my grandmother. For the most part it had been a beautiful time, something she described as “an honor,” but after two years the emotional wear-and-tear was undeniable.

Just as the scripture says, there is a season for everything: a time to be born and to die, a time to plant and a time to harvest. And also time to care for another and a time to care for oneself. What fit well in one season can be ill-fitting in another, and there is no guilt or shame in recognizing your limits as a person and as a caregiver.

When my grandmother took a serious fall, Aunt Jan knew it was time to move her into an assisted living center where she could get full-time care. It was the best thing for both of them by that point. Aunt Jan visited often and also coordinated visits from friends and family. She helped Grandma write cards to those who lived far away, prompting lovely return cards, and kept her up with her church bulletins. These were sweet times in Grandma’s last year of life, even as the transition to a new season wasn’t easy.

Today's Prayer:

Dear Lord, help me recognize that the changes in the seasons of life are both necessary and inevitable, and to do everything I can to make those transitions smoothly.

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