Sacred Space

Sunrise at a lake

After he had sent the crowds away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray; and when it was evening, he was there alone.—MATTHEW 14:23 (NIV)

It was a quaint house, less than two miles from our place. I pulled out my overnight bag and opened the front door. Immediately, a weight began to slide from my shoulders. I walked to the comfy couch and sat down. It felt like home. Except unlike home, there was no hospital bed, no wheelchair, no medical supplies.

When the progression of my husband’s Alzheimer’s made full-time care necessary, I retired to care for him. For two
years I declined all invitations for a solo night out. Over time, I experimented with volunteers, adult day centers and paid caregivers sporadically.

Fast-forward five years. My husband was now incontinent, essentially mute and losing mobility. I was exhausted. My social worker remarked, “Your home is like a hospital. It’s no longer your sanctuary.” She was right—I needed to find a space just for myself where I could unwind and commune with God. Maybe even read novels!

Then I discovered that local homes could be rented out from owners for even just a day! So rather than sending my husband away to be cared for, I began to take occasional days for myself just minutes from home. I reveled in that time with no deadlines or responsibilities. My social worker marveled at the difference it made in me. I marveled too.

Think you can’t get away? Think again.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, help me make sacred time and space for myself in my journey as a caregiver.

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