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Health & Fitness

With Peter Rosenberger

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TRANSCRIPT:  

Alright, we're talking about resentment today, and a lot of folks deal with this issue. It is a brutal issue that affects caregivers; it cripples us; it really does.

A lot of people think if I could just get so-and-so to stop acting this way, then I can be okay, and it's all going to be good. But the problem is not the person we're taking care of, the problem is ourselves, and it starts with us.

We can learn to be at peace no matter what's going on around us, and scripture confirms that throughout all of Scripture. Paul and Silas ...never forget... they were in prison around midnight it says.They were been beaten, I think they were stripped naked and beaten, and around midnight they were singing hymns in prison. (Acts 16:23-26) 

Alright?

Wrap your mind around that for a minute. Many of us as caregivers are up around midnight, dealing with all kinds of stuff, and I doubt we've been beaten and I kind of doubt we've been singing hymns. What do they know about Christ, that we need to know, that's going to sustain us?

 

Peter:                 Rebecca in Georgia, Rebecca good morning, how are you feeling?

Rebecca:            Good morning. I'm pretty good.

Peter:                  Tell me what's going on with you.

Rebecca:            Okay, I'm kind of on the fringes. My boyfriend has a brother, who has been an alcoholic slug all of his adult life. He hasn't worked in 20 years, he's been living off his mother for, and he lived off of her for about 15 until she died. The money in the will was given to my boyfriend to dole out amongst the siblings, especially for his brother. Because he can't handle the money, it would have been gone in a month. So when the mother died, he was about to be put out on the street.

And so we went up to get his brother and brought him down to Florida where we live. We put him in a room at my house; I'm living with my boyfriend two miles away. So we put his brother in a room in my house, he still has no responsibilities. He's 59 years old, and my concern is not for the brother as much as my boyfriend. Because my boyfriend will often say I hope he dies, I can't wait till he dies. And I know that's really not true, I mean we went all the way up to Massachusetts to get him so that he wouldn't be out on the street.

But he has this resentment, because his brother will not help himself, and he does give us a hard time. And he costs my boyfriend money as well. And his brother's money from the trust is about to run out, and I think that resentment is just possibly going to push my boyfriend over the top. Because then he will be supporting his alcoholic brother completely. I don't know what to do for them.

 

Peter:                  Well, I don't know that you can do anything for them, but what I can ask you is a couple of questions. One of them is, is your boyfriend's brother still drinking?

Rebecca:            Oh, yes.

Peter:                  Okay. When your boyfriend, and there's a couple of things too went on here. First off you're living with your boyfriend, right?

Rebecca:            Correct.

Peter:                  All right, so let's put that in a box that we will deal with in just a minute. But your boyfriend is enabling his brother, okay. Why should your boyfriend's brother stop drinking? He's got somebody who's taking care of him, he's got resources, and alcohol is more important to him than your boyfriend.

Rebecca:            Because his mother made him promise to take care of his brother.

Peter:                  His mother's no longer a factor here, she's not doing it. And those promises, those are artificial restraints.

Rebecca:            This was actually in the will; they had a certain amount of money. And he's giving him his money slowly, because of his mother...

Peter:                  Right, but does he have to live with him?

Rebecca:            What do you mean?

Peter:                  Is it in the will that he has to live with your boyfriend?

Rebecca:            Oh no, he doesn't live with us, we have provided a shelter for him. He is in a different house, but he has shelter. He was about to be put out on the street, so my boyfriend took him in so that he wouldn't be out on the street.

Peter:                  When you say, take him in, where is he?

Rebecca:            He is living in my house, which is like two and a half miles away. I have a house, but I'm not living there anymore.

Peter :                 Okay. So you and your boyfriend are living together, and your house then is being used by your boyfriend to house his drunk brother.

Rebecca:            Correct.

Peter:                  What part of that do you think sounds really good and normal?

Rebecca:            Only the fact that his brother is not out on the street, and he would probably be gone by now.

Peter:                  Well, is it okay for him to be on the streets?

Rebecca:            He wouldn't be able to survive.

Peter:                  Well, sometimes you're going to have to let go of somebody, and trust that they have a savior and you're not that Savior. Why should he stop drinking? Why should he stop this lifestyle of his as long as he keeps having a place to stay and food and money?

Rebecca:            Exactly. But even when he didn't have those things, he was on the street.

Peter:                  So here's the picture you've painted for me this morning, Rebecca. You've got a guy who is enabling his drunk brother, who's living in a relationship with his girlfriend, but he's not willing to commit to a marriage with her. And you're the same way with him; you've got a lot of dynamics going here.

And all of this is going to get into one big enabling mess, and it's affecting your relationship with your boyfriend, which is not on really great grounds as it is right now anyway. I mean you guys are participating in a relationship that's not a healthy relationship, living together that's not biblical and that's not a healthy relationship. If you listen to this station enough, you know this.

But we'll put that over here on this side of the table, and on this side of the table, you've got a situation where you've allowed this is your house. I'm not one to give out a lot of advice on the show, because what I try to do is trying to point people to safety and say here's what safety looks like.

And in your case, safety is going to look a lot like you going back to your house, kicking that guy out and letting your boyfriend deal with him. And when your boyfriend deals with that in a healthy manner, and he's ready to come back and have a healthy, spiritual, godly relationship with you then you guys can talk. But in the meantime, you're embroiled in something that is not yours to be embroiled in. You have no commitment from this guy, or to this guy; you're letting a drunk guy stay in your house.

 

Rebecca:            Well we do, there is a commitment, but there are circumstances why we are not actually by paper married.

Peter:                  Well, there may be, but the point is by paper ..that's your house that a drunk guy is staying in, right?

Rebecca:            Yes. But that's not the resentment part of it; the resentment is not mine.

Peter:                  I understand that I get that, Rebecca. My question is still that, why are you giving up your house to go live with the guy, so that his drunk brother can stay in your house?

Rebecca:            I moved in with him two years ago, we just went to get him. He lived in a whole different part of the country, but he was being put out, and he was going to be on the street. No money and on the street, and my boyfriend didn't want him to have to deal with that, so he went up to get him and brought him down.

Peter:                  But it seems awful convenient that he could stay in your house.

Rebecca:            Well, that's because his money is not going to last much longer.

Peter:                  How long will his money last?

 Rebecca:            It was put into the will that my boyfriend was to dole out the inheritance to his brother because they knew it would be you know gone in a couple of months.

Peter:                  Yes, I get all that.

Rebecca:            About another year and a half left.

Peter:                  So what would your boyfriend do if you didn't have a house?

Rebecca:            He'd have him in our house, where we're living now.

Peter R.:             And is that your house, or is it your boyfriend's house?

Rebecca:            I'm living in my boyfriend's house.

Peter:                  Right. So it's not our house, it's his house. Right, I understand, I want you to hear the concept here. You're not staying in our house; you're staying in his house. Do you own any part of your boyfriend's home?

Rebecca:            Okay, this is kind of judgmental to me.

Peter:                  I understand, you called me, though. You called me and told me that you got a drunk boyfriend's brother living in your house, and you're calling you and your boyfriend's house our house. But your house is actually over in another part of town, I understand. But you're in a very vulnerable position that is depending upon the goodwill of your boyfriend, correct?

Rebecca:            It depends on what?

Peter:                  The goodwill of your boyfriend. What if you guys break up, what happens?

Rebecca:            No, the brother will be put in, my boyfriend would take his brother out of my house and put him in his house with him, and I would go back to my house.

Peter:                  Okay, then you go back to your house?

BREAK

Peter:                  Welcome back the show for caregivers, about caregivers, hosted by a caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger, bringing you 33 years now 34 starting today, of experience to help you stay healthy as you take care of someone who is not. And I want to go back; we lost the caller. But sorry right into the break, I was trying to unpack a lot of things here, but I want to go back and touch on something.

You've got somebody who is an alcoholic, because of the way the mother set this thing up basically because this guy has been enabled, he's 59 years old. And he is dragging down his brother, who is causing all kinds of frustration for his brother who is dealing resentment. Well his brother's girlfriend, who lives with him, is concerned about the resentment eating up her boyfriend. And yet what's happened is this guy's alcoholism has created its own vortex if you will, it's sucking everybody into the sickness.

Whereas a healthy relationship would be, this girl and this guy, this man, and this woman choosing to be committed to each other, getting married and living a healthy life together. Instead, she's let her house go to the drunk brother of her boyfriend, and she's living over here with her boyfriend, calling it our house but it's not our house. It's his house, she has her house, and this drunk brother is in the midst of it. Do you see how sickness can do this, and it can distort our thinking?

The problem is not just necessarily her boyfriend's resentment, which I'm sure he has. Most people who are involved in any kind of relationship with an alcoholic are filled with resentment. But the problem has gotten so exasperated, exacerbated, it's exasperating, but it got exacerbated because they've chosen to come up with a solution, a workaround if you will, to deal with the drunk brother by letting her own home go to this guy, and she just moves in with her boyfriend.

But if she and her boyfriend break up, if their relationship goes south or something happens with them …then you've got this drunk brother over here in her home, and this guy his sickness is pulling both of them [his brother and his brother’s girlfriend] into two very dangerous places.

And she heard judgmental.

But I'm saying, “You're in danger.”

 “You can call that judgmental if you want, but you're in danger because you're at the goodwill of your boyfriend. And if something goes south between the two of you guys, you're going to have to kick this guy out of your house, and you're going to hope he'll leave without causing a lot of problems.”

And then you see how convoluted this can get? Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. And this brother is not healthy, and this brother's drunk brother is going to continue going this way because he doesn't have any reason to stop.

Nobody's putting any kind of barrier to this guy; he's not going to be desperate enough to stop. And you can resent him all you want, but he's not going to change. The only thing that's going to change is the one brother who is watching all this, is going to get more resentful, and it's going to affect him more. And it's going to affect this relationship he has with this woman, who obviously he has a great deal of feelings for. And she obviously has a great deal of feelings for him.  And they've got some kind of arrangement. They've kind of figured out to do a workaround instead of just looking at this drunk brother and said “Hey! “Enough is enough, you're a drunk, we'll put some money towards rehab and that's it!”

But this mother set up the will somewhere and everybody's thinking they got to do this and this and this, no. And sometimes you're just going to have to let people fall down and get hurt so that they can start asking for help. And then the two of them can get their relationship back on a healthier plane.

Let me just ask you all this question; I want to ask you, women, a question:  

When is it a good time for you to walk away from your own house …this is YOUR house …to move in with a guy when you do not own that house so that his drunk brother can stay in your house?

And when does that make sense?

What are you looking for out of a guy when you think, “Hey, I got an idea let's do this: ‘Let me take your house, and put my drunk brother in, then you come over here to shack up with me!?’”

 Is that something … is that a thing now for women that you think that's okay?

Maybe I'm just too old; now I guess I don't know.

But is that a thing?

Is this working for people now?

When you have somebody that is a drunk, that can't handle money, and so you say, “Hey, I really like this guy, but his brother is just a slug (that was her word). I’ll let him come live in my house while I go shack up with his brother, and this will work out.”

888-589-8840. When I point this out, all she hears is judgmentalism, and I'm saying, “Whoa, do you not see how dangerous this is for you?”

This is a dangerous place for this woman. And I'm asking you guys to step back a little bit and think, “Is this a good thing?”

I'm not telling you how to live your life, I'm just asking you, “Is this a good thing?”

And when she refers to our house, it's not our house; it's his house. She has her house, and now she's got a drunk guy living there.

This is what happens when we allow sickness and all these things in it to distort our thinking. We can get incredibly disoriented in this, and we'll start making business decisions, financial decisions, emotional decisions, physical decisions, and we're trying to work around a sickness.

The brother is sick; he is not healthy.

Guess what?

His brother that's taking care of him is also unhealthy, and it will keep doing this, it will keep going.

Alcoholism has no mercy; it will consume your home; it will consume your finances; it will consume your health, it will consume your spiritual health, it will consume everything about you. Alcoholism …addiction… has no mercy, and you have to treat it as such. And you have to be ruthless with it.  

You tracking with me? 888-589-8840.

Evidently, there's a lot of people that want to weigh into this kind of stuff, that's just lit up. Greg in Louisiana, Greg, how are you feeling?

Greg:                   I'm doing well. How are you doing?

Peter:                  Well, for a man of my age, and limited abilities, I think I'm okay. Tell me what's on your heart and mind?

Greg:                   I have 15 years clean, a little better than 15 years clean and sober, and enjoyed the conversation that I heard. I agree that the alcoholic brother is being enabled. And I heard a little bit, I mean I'm driving I caught a little piece of it, so I didn't get the beginning so I can't pretend like I know the whole story.

But I did catch the part about there was a will, and so they feel as though they have to continually pay this brother, and they might not see it, but that's enabling him. It would be a better situation; I think that you referred to this; I was kind of in the middle of other things going on also. But if they were to withhold the money, not take it, but withhold it, it's still the brother’s money.

But withhold it, and say after you get in recovery and get your life turned around, then the money is still there it's yours, but I can't give it to you right now to kill yourself. Because you know alcohol will lead to jail, to mental institutions and death.

 

Peter:                  Well, that would be the normal thing, I mean that would be the healthy thing to do, but I don't think they're making a lot of healthy decisions at this point. And again there's a lot of enabling, and you're right on the money. And Greg by the way, congrats on 15 years of this all right.

Greg:                   All right, well, it's all about Jesus Christ, there's no way I could have done it on my own. Tried that, been there done that didn’t work.

Peter:                  You are absolutely right! Buddy, I appreciate you calling in, and thank you so much. This is Hope for the Caregiver; this is Peter Rosenberger. We'll be right back.

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That understanding, along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs, led me to establish standing with hope. For more than a dozen years, we've been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people. Regularly, we purchase and ship equipment and supplies.

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Peter:                  Welcome back to the show for caregivers, about caregivers, hosted by a caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger, bringing you three-plus decades of experience to help you stay strong and healthy as you take care of someone who is not.

We've been talking about resentment, but it led us all into these convoluted messes that we can get into as caregivers. And they can …because we will make all kinds of decisions that make sense to us in the middle of it.  But we're not getting an objective clarification about where exactly are we “in time and space.”

I go back to what happened with JFK Jr., I think it was you know it was 20-something years ago this month. I think it was, but it's been I think it's around this time of year. And he was in his plane flying his wife and his sister-in-law, and they were going up to Martha's Vineyard, I think. And he was flying visual but not instrument; he wasn't instrument rated on this plane.

And so, he was looking out the window and just seeing the horizon, and that's fine in the daytime on a clear day, but this was at night. And I think there was a lot of cloud cover.

And you could get very disoriented on a plane, for those who've been up in planes you know this, in small planes and so forth. (In large plane you get disoriented!) And if you look out and trust your eyes, and what your senses are telling you, you could become disoriented, and it turns out that's exactly what happened.

And he flew into the ocean and killed himself and his wife and his sister-in-law.

And this is what happens to us as caregivers when we're in the relationship with somebody who is chronically impaired, particularly if there's addiction or alcoholism involved. It leads us into bad decisions.  I mean really bad decisions! Because we're not listening to an objective voice that says “Hey, are you sure you're in the right place here?”

And we get all bent out of shape about it, and then we start resenting people who are telling us …like the lady said to me, “I'm starting to hear a lot of judgmentalism.”

I'm not being judgmental!  “How is this a good thing? “Are you sure you're in the right place here?”

And if you're in the orbit of an addict, I promise you this thing will go just coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. And you will get so disoriented, and you will make horrible decisions.

Financial decisions, moral decisions, business decisions, personal decisions, health decisions every part of your life will be affected by this because it disorients you, you get lost in this thing. And you don't know which way is up, which way is down and next thing you know you're flying right into the ocean, and taking everybody, you love with you. This guy somehow convinced this woman to move in with him so that he could use her home to house his drunk brother.

Raise your hand if you think that is a good scenario!

Who here thinks that's a good scenario? Particularly for this woman, who I don't doubt genuinely loves this guy. But is she looking for her best health interest in this thing, is she really thinking of herself healthy-wise? Not selfish wise, just healthy wise. Is this a healthy decision?

This is what happens when addiction comes into our stuff, and we get all convoluted.

And somewhere in all this thing, at the bottom of it you have to kind of dig through it, right at the bottom of this thing, right at the foundation there's sin, and that's the reality of it.

So again, I'm the crash-test dummy of caregivers, I have made some of the most horrible, boneheaded, awful decisions in my life. And I smell dead ends, cul-de-sacs, and catastrophes quickly because I'm very familiar with the territory.

All right, Jim in Texas, Jim good morning. How are you feeling?

Jim:                     Good morning. I'm doing good. How are you feeling?

Peter:                  I'm just precious!

Jim:                     I worked 22 years of mental health; the Lord saved me when I was eight years old, that's around seven years old. I was baptized at 9; I was brought up in a pastor's family. So I know, I know exactly what these people were going through when they're talking about this. Enabling is one of the most diabolical factors that handles a person's life. I see that I saw it every day with the people I worked with at hospitals I worked in. I saw it firsthand in the people that I dealt with.

There are many phases of enabling; there are six different roles in the enabling process. But the primary one is the chief enabler. This is the one that makes sure everything is in order, for the alcoholic to continue his drinking, his or her drinking. Alcoholic to continue his drinking, the drug user to continue their abuse.

Peter:                  Well, and that's exactly what happened in this case, this guy he has no impediment whatsoever to stop. Until he runs out of money, and then maybe he'll stop.

Jim:                     He'll find another user or he'll find another enabler.

Peter:                  Of course, he would. When they run out of enablers, they usually ask for help, or they die, or they get locked up. Well, Jim, I appreciate very much the call and thank you for sharing your long experience and wisdom on this thing.

You're absolutely right, let me go quickly to Paula in Oklahoma, and we'll try to squeeze this in here before the end of the hour. But Jim's actually right on the money there, and they will go through enablers.

His addiction is driving this thing, and this is why I've included this in the whole caregiver conversation. Because when you're taking care of somebody, for example, which has you know physical disabilities, or even you know Alzheimer's or any kind of thing. Where people look at okay, we understand that diagnosis, we get it. When you take care of somebody like that, there's a little clearer-cut path even though it's still kind of murky.

But when you're dealing with addiction, man it is absolutely mind-numbing what it does to people and their decisions. And there's a lot of shame, and there's a lot of guilt, there's a lot of obligation. I talk about the fog of caregivers fear, obligation, and guilt; every caregiver gets lost in this fog. This caregiver’s boyfriend is lost in the fog; he is obligated and guilty fear, obligations, and guilt.

He's afraid the guys going to lose his money, he's obligated to his mother, and he feels guilty if he does something different. Fear, obligation, guilt and he gets lost in that, and somehow he has wrapped this woman into his life and said okay here, let's just use your house to put my drunk brother over here, and we'll do this, that's what happens we make this kind of decisions.

Paula in Oklahoma, I'm going to squeeze you in real quick at the end. Paula, how are you feeling?

Paula:                 Well I'm doing better, we talked. I think it was last year. I told you about my brother and my mother, and I do have bitterness sometimes, but I keep your book right beside my bed. And I think you said it's not obligated to do it, that's not helpful it's that we want to love the person. Is that what it is? I can't remember.

Peter:                  Its stewardship.

Paula:                 It's stewardship, that's it. Because I just gave the book to another lady that I work with, her father died, and now she's caring for her mother. And I said I want it back, and I'm going to buy her asset, but I just wanted to give it to her.

But I just wanted to say that I do still have a little bitterness, but I say that prayer almost every morning in the front of your book, and that helps me so much.

Peter:                  Well, that prayer is the caregiver’s prayer. But you know what Paula; you know we're always going to deal with this probably until Jesus takes us home. It's not a situation where it's one and done, and so don't beat yourself up for it. That's why we go to Christ; we need a Savior. And I am so proud of you, Paula, you made my day.

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Paula:                 I just wanted to let you know that I'm doing so much better, but I do kind of fall back. You know I take two steps forward and fall back.

Peter:                  You know, hey welcome to the club.

Paula:                 And where is that caregivers, I didn't catch it, but I do have you on my email. But where is it at?

Peter:                  Which one, the podcast?

Paula:                 No, the caregiver convention or conference?

Peter:                  Oh, that's going to be in Richmond, Virginia next Friday in Richmond, Virginia. It's going to be a special conference there; I'll be speaking at. But if you can get to Richmond, that's great, but you may not be able to make it to Richmond. But Paula let me just say, I remember your call, and after I hung up with you my heart hurts so much for you.

And I can't tell you how great it is to hear you and to hear just the pep in your step. And I know it's not everything you want it to be, and I know you still go

t difficult days ahead of you, but you sound so much stronger. And this is what we do as believers; we keep building each other up so that we can be stronger. We're never going to feel better about this, but we could be better, and it sounds like you are in a much better place than you were a year ago.

Paula:                 I am better. And I also to have a sister who is addicted to pills and her husband is continuously enabling her. And I used to fight that and thinking I could save her until I just was like I give her to her husband and to Jesus.

It's not my job to save her; they're going to fall and bleed I have it posted on my mirrors, quotes that you put in my bathroom mirrors are posted almost everywhere. White water walk, I mean I'm out walking, I exercise every day. And I take trips; I live your book.

Peter_COVER1.jpgPeter:                  Well, Paula, so do I, and I have to go back and read it myself. You've made my day Paula! And I tell you what I'm going to do, don't hang up just going to get your information. I want to send you a copy of our CD too, okay?

Paula:                 Okay, thank you.

Peter:                  Just because you made my day. So don't hang up, we're going to get your stuff here.

Hey, listen, everybody look down at your hands, if you don't see nail prints this isn’t yours to fix, okay? If you don't see nail prints, this isn't yours to fix; we have a Savior.

Hopeforthecaregiver.com.

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Portion of HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER Monologue 8/10

 

"...The whole point of this is to speak clarity to a caregiver so that we're not floundering around wondering, you know, where do we go next? What do we do? What's going on? And I go back to this whole thing with gun safety.

 I think a lot of people rush to push their political ideology and very few people are rushing to push this in a ministry capacity, and if you think about this, with all of our [United States’] clergy combined, even those from different faith, we can still ask the same question, are the firearms secured?

Think about praying with the mother in despair over her addicted child. You don't have to wait for legislation. You could go ahead and ask the question now, hey, does this kid have access to guns? 

And you know, you're not going to stop it. I mean, somebody just went on a rampage with a knife. I mean, we can't exactly go out there and pass legislation to get to knives.

Well, we can, but legislation doesn't do anything, y'all know that and even if it does, it's still not going to do anything until they pass it—I'm talking about something today, right now that you could do.

Think about, think about if this man yesterday who shot and killed his wife and then killed himself over healthcare issues down in Florida.  If somebody spoke life to this man, what a different outcome that would be. You can't insure it. You can't make it happen that way, but you give them a fighting chance and you know, results are in God's department, but we have a responsibility to be stewards of this message. Are we just glad we got our salvation, glad we got our knowledge —and then everybody else is just on their own. 

I mean, don't we have to be responsible with the information that God has entrusted to us to be the light of the world? And if we're not going to speak light into these situations, who, who are they going to listen to? You know, when you've got states passing medically assisted death and they're all just gung-ho to, to pass that so that you know, physicians could provide drugs that go ahead and take a patient out. How big a leap is it for a caregiver to go ahead and just take matters in their own hand and say, okay, let's just be done with this? When you got a governor of Virginia who is a doctor himself saying that if a child with special needs is born and it's severely deformed, we're going to put the child aside and make it comfortable and then we'll let the mother make the decision on whether or not we'll execute the child. 

How big a leap is it for a family with a special needs child that has pushed him to the breaking point to go ahead and just end that child's life? Don't tell me it doesn't happen, it just happened in Oregon a year ago this month. Well, the 28-year-old girl who took a gun and shot her child and then turned the gun on herself.  Over in Dixon, Tennessee, a father of a special needs boy, if nonverbal Autistic boy, beat him to death and the mother watched. Then he told the community that child ran off, which happens with Autism. There's a lot of problems with elopement. 

There are dark thoughts that that get into these people's minds, to all our minds. [It] is scary. It gets into all our minds and if we're not hearing words of life on a regular basis, who are we listening to? What are we listening to?

The world is increasingly throwing death as a solution to us. Think about it. Look at all the headlines. Don't just take my word for it. Look at it yourself. The world is throwing death as a solution. Medically assisted death, abortion.  When Roe versus Wade was passed and set up as the law of the land …and I watched Bill de Blasio this week argue about it— and he was asked point blank by Sean Hannity, "Do you believe that an abortion, that a woman can have an abortion all the way to the moment of birth … and he wouldn't answer the question, he would just simply say, "I believe in Roe versus Wade."

Well, I don't believe in Roe versus Wade! I believe that our Savior bore the penalty of death and we don't need to use death as a solution. But these people are not going to be content until they can eliminate by killing anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or in any way unpleasant. 

Don't take my word for it. Look at the media every single day. “Well, I wouldn't want to live with this and this and this.”

Well, you don't know what you want to live with! My wife lives with more pain than anybody I know; her body is so broken and yet she has value with what she does, and she trusts God with her pain, and He speaks to her in it.

C.S Lewis said that you don't, suffering is God's megaphone to us. and the world is going to continue to reinforce this [Death] over and over and over, until we get rid of people with disabilities, people who are aging, who have outlived their usefulness according to the world, [or] children that we do not want.

You look at Barack Obama, he said some years ago that if his daughter makes a mistake, he doesn't want her to be punished with a baby. These were his words, they're not my words, they are his words. 

And "anything that is undesirable, we need to get rid of." That's what the world says, the scripture tells us something far different ...that we trust God with these things that come along in our lives that are, that are challenging, that are painful. 

We hang on to Him in this—not just look for some way to just go ahead and pull the trigger and be done with it. But our natural inclination is to want to be free of all this pain and sorrow and suffering and unpleasantness or fear, whatever it is we got to deal with. So, let's just kill it. We don't have any more money for, to, you know, healthcare, whatever but let's just go ahead and take our own lives and be done with it.

 This is happening now. It happened yesterday in Florida. Go look at the news.

So, what are we doing about it? What are we doing about it? 

This show is dedicated to speaking to those people who are watching this unfold, who are so discouraged as they watch someone else suffer—to go into that heartbreaking place, and point them to a path of safety.

I get it. I truly get it, but God has not abandoned you. God is not forsaking you. This is not some kind of goofy punishment. He's not arbitrary. He is not reckless. He is not whimsical. He is God all by himself, and He alone is working in ways that we cannot possibly fathom …and so, we learned to trust Him. A lady wrote me last week on her Facebook page. Her husband has seizures all the time, and their nine-year-old boys said, “Why would God do this to us?” 

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I remember our nine-year-old asked when his mother (Gracie) just kept going through surgery, after surgery—losing legs and everything else. He said, “How can I trust God with my hurts … when I see what He allows mom to go through?”

And I answered him with wisdom that I didn't know, it wasn't my wisdom and I said, “You know what, I don't understand all these things, but I know that He stretched out his arms and gave his life for us.  If he loves us that much, I'm going to trust Him.

This is Hope for the Caregiver; we'll be right back.

Hope for the Caregiver is the family caregiver outreach of Standing With Hope - a ministry committed to the wounded and those who care for them. 

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Statistically speaking, someone orbiting an impaired or hate-filled individual attends a church, temple, or mosque. Rather than waiting and debating over what to do, can we not appeal to our clergy who collectively interact and influence a massive number of citizens?

While politicians and pundits speak to and from green screens and platforms, pastors speak to families in dire circumstances.  Parents, siblings, spouses, or children struggling with the behavior of someone they love fill pews and kneeling benches across America. As their spiritual needs receive ministering, why not encourage clergy to quietly and privately ask if that loved one or a distressed caregiver has access to firearms?

Gentle guidance from a priest, pastor, rabbi, or cleric connects far greater than a politician running for office.

In 2008, a debate moderator asked two-term Governor, Mike Huckabee, why he felt qualified to run for President.  Governor Huckabee’s answered surprised many.  “As a pastor, I’ve had a front-row seat to virtually every social dynamic families encounter.”

He went on to relate ministering to families struggling with sickness, unemployment, disability, addiction, and death.

Politicians talk about all those things, but pastors touch them.

Clergy remain an important, but untapped resource in our country’s struggle with gun violence and hate.  Sometimes that violence enters the house of worship itself. Yet, congregants heroically return to pews and clergy bravely return to pulpits to stand for something greater.

In our houses of worship, the opportunity arises to not only communicate hope, but safety. If a firearm lies within reach of an impaired loved one, does the caregiver know how to safety and secure the weapon? If not, plenty of others do. Clergy (if unfamiliar themselves) can help connect the proper assistance.

Waiting on Washington to fix or even address issues is rarely timely. Special interests on both sides of this debate consistently wrangle while lives hang in the balance.

“Are the firearms secured?”  With that simple question, a Rabbi praying with a mother in despair over her addicted child can offer help immediately.  One small question, and a priest can help a caregiving husband seek counseling before taking a gun and doing the unthinkable to his wife, and then himself. With a caring and practical word,  a pastor can intercept a single mother at the breaking point with a special needs child. Right now, a caring clergy member can provide a path to safety for a family struggling with an out of control and rage-filled son. 

Elected officials answer to donors and often pander. Clergy answer to a higher authority. In the failure of political leadership, spiritual leadership can prevail—while providing  better model of caring for all of us.

One small question framed in compassion and wisdom, while collectively asked by an untapped cadre: “Are the firearms secured?” 

In the space of seconds, lives can be saved. Maybe more lives saved than by all the media’s outrage or a stack of laws from Congress.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”  - Proverbs 27:12

 

Peter Rosenberger is the president of Standing With Hope which sponsors HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER. Your support helps make this broadcast possible. Please consider a tax-deductible gift to this ministry today!

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Peter: Hank in Virginia. Hey Hank, how are you feeling? 
Hank: Oh, I'm confused. My mother moved in here almost five years ago now. But then she died November 5th. Okay. My sisters all say I'm building castles in heaven because of what I did. But my problem is that now that she's gone, I feel incredibly guilty because I didn't …I wasn't nice enough to her.

I just, I didn't like my mother, but she was my mother. You know, my sisters called me and said, all these religious holy rollers that you live with, now that you become reborn,  …what do they do with their parents when they have to put them in a nursing home? I just laughed at them because they "put them in their basement," they don't send them anywhere.

So, my mother moved in with me and my sisters, I mean, they helped, you know, they all live on the left coast. They're all …nobody's near me. Well, my one little sister is in Maryland and she's up in Baltimore, but I saw her like every other weekend. We had a woman who did the woman's stuff a couple of times a week, but other than that it was me, 24/7.

Peter: Well Hank, I tell you what, can you hang on through the break?

Hank: Sure.

Peter:  Listen, don't go away because I want to talk about this with you. We want to

unpack this a little bit more for you. 

Hank: I don't know if I called the right place.

Peter: You absolutely called the right place. This is the place for you to call and we're going to spend as much time as we can with you. All right? 

Hank: Okay, sorry.

Peter: You got people here that are pulling for you. We're going to talk about this. Don't go away. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. We'll be right back. 

 

[Music]

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Gracie: Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you? I'm Gracie Rosenberger and in 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident leading to 80 surgeries and both legs amputated. I questioned, why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me, but over time my questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God. That understanding, along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish, Standing with Hope.

For more than a dozen years, we've been working with the government of Gannon, West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people. On a regular basis we purchase and ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison, we also recycled parts from donated limbs. All of this is to point others to Christ, the source of my hope and strength. Please visit standingwithhope.com to learn more and participate in lifting others up, that's standingwithhope.com. I'm Gracie and I am standing with hope. 

Peter: Welcome back to the show for caregivers about caregivers hosted by a caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger and we are glad that you are with us. We're talking with Hank and Virginia. Um, Hank let me go back to some things that you were talking about earlier. It sounds like you

are struggling with a lot of different conflicting feelings. If you had to just sum up one thing that you're feeling right now, what would that be? 

Hank: Um, huh. I thank Jesus and I live in West Virginia, West by God, Virginia [Laughing] 

Peter: West by God, Virginia. 

 Hank: Yes. Uh, and I found the Lord here were, I let him in anyway. I never knew who he was. I always knew there was a God. I always knew there was something greater than me, but I never understood the Jesus thing. And when I did, I mean, I didn't even believe he was talking to me, you know, like, but... 

Peter: But, but how, how are you feeling today Hank? 

Hank: Uh, depressed. Um, worthless. Look, um, I'm pretty busted up. I'm pretty disabled in my own right. I have a hard time getting around, walking, doing whatever. At least when my mother was here, I had a purpose. You know, I was doing something, and I thought, she's going to be here for the next 20 years. I really did. I thought I was doing penance for being in the child that I was but uh...

Peter: Well let's unpack it a little bit cause we only, I want to spend as much time as I have with you, but I want to go back ...you were not doing penance. Okay?

Hank: I know, it's a joke. It's a joke. 

Peter: Okay, well I'd say I'd, it's radio so I can't see you. So I don't know for sure, but I want to make sure you know that and the audience knows that this is not penance because there are a lot of people that do feel like it's penance. 

Hank: Um, okay. I apologize. 

Peter: No, no, don't apologize. Look, we're caregivers here, all right?

Hank: I know this is serious. I know this is serious and I know, I mean I found you guys, I've listened to you for the last few years, you know, so I know what you do and I, I just never thought it applied to me. I just thought because my heart wasn't in it.

Peter: And yet, and yet you still did it. 

Hank: Yeah. Now, you're sound like my sisters.

Peter: Well, maybe they had some good words for you, but the point is you still did it and a lot of caregivers tend to beat themselves up for their job performance while completely overlooking their job attendance record. 

Hank: Okay. 

Peter: And you kept showing up, you kept doing it and, and I also want to tackle that issue that you said that you felt like, you know, you had a purpose. You have a purpose period.

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. That's catechism number one in the shorter catechism, the chief end of man that is, that is our purpose, is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Now, some of that may be involved and may be manifest in us being a caregiver for someone. We may have some conflicting feelings. We may not even do it very well, but our chief purpose is not to be a caregiver. Our chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever and he may call us for a season to do certain things. Now that season may be a lifetime. I mean, I'm 33 years into this. That season may be how long did you take care of your mother? 

Hank: About four and a half years. 

Peter: Okay, so for four and a half years, you had an intense situation where you were doing this and you felt like you were kind of in the zone of what your purpose was doing to get up and do these things. All right, but that doesn't mean that that, that your life is over just because your mother passed away. God has things for you to do as well and things to, to reveal to you about you and more importantly about him and he hasn't forgotten about you, he hasn't abandoned you. Your life is not over. Are you involved in church? 

Hank: I have a church that they, yeah, I'm, I'm like the black sheep. They love me very much. Yeah. I came to the Lord. Most of them, most, most all of them gave thanks. 

Peter: Well, actually the day that you came to the Lord Hank, all of Heaven rejoiced. (Luke 15:10)

Hank: Well, yeah, I know. I know. 

 

Peter: Do you really? Do you really know that? Do you really know how important you are to Christ?

Hank: I believe I truly do. I don't know why, but I truly do. 

Peter: Well, we don't need to know why 

Hank: He knew me like this, you know? Before you know, before he, before my father knew my mother, he knew me. He knew I'd be here. 

Peter: Yeah, he did and he knows 

Hank: I feel kind of lost.

Peter: Well, you sound kind of lost, you know, but that's okay. That's just where we are today. He has known you before the foundations of the earth. 

Hank: Amen. 

Peter: All right. And he stretched out his arms and died for you and he took all that on for you. You know, he died for all of us, but he died for each of us. 

Hank: Amen. All right. 

Peter: These are words that mean something, Hank. They mean something. They mean something to a caregiver to know that, “…wait a minute, this is not the end of the story!”

 That your mother's funeral was not the end of your purpose, that your disability, that things that you're struggling with just to get around. All the sins that you committed; he knew all of that. Every bit of it, Hank. There was nothing hidden from him. And as I said at the beginning of the show, all you need is need and he understands what you're going through right now. And so, you're calling the show on Saturday morning just to have a conversation with somebody who can speak back to you. These, there's an old hymn that I love, it's called a “Wonderful Words of Life.”

 “Beautiful Words, Wonderful Words, Wonderful Words of Life…”

And if you don't hear that on a regular basis, hey, if I don't hear that on a regular basis, we both have Gospel Amnesia and we'll forget it. And we need to be reminded of it daily, hourly, you know, that old hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour?”

Hank: Amen.

 

Peter: You know that hymn?

 

Hank: I do not, but I know...

 

Peter: There's a wonderful hymn called, I Need Thee Every Hour” and you know why it was written because nobody had written, “I Need Thee Every Minute” yet. I think I'm gonna write that one.

 

It's okay to feel that way because now your prayers change. Now we're getting serious about this thing with God and He wants to speak to those things …and He does speak to those things with you  …and there's no need for you to continue to just beat yourself up about being the black sheep. There is nobody, there is nobody, I promise you there's nobody that has ever lived on this planet that is somehow earned the grace of God. 

Hank: Amen. I get that part.

Peter: Okay, do you really get it because it doesn't sound like you do? 

 

Hank: No, no. It's a gift. It's a gift that you have to accept. 

Peter: No, you don't have to accept it. No, no. You're, you're, you're parroting back words to me …that I know that you know …but in your heart, I could just sense that you have just been so beaten down and I don't want you to feel that way anymore. I want you to, I want you to see yourself as God sees you. When He looks at you. He sees Christ. 

Hank: Oh man. [Choking up]

Peter: Yeah, he does. He doesn't see all that nonsense because you were covered under that. It's the called the great exchange. He took on all of your filth, all of your brokenness, all of your sin, and he swapped it for all of his righteousness. He looked at Christ and saw all of that stuff that you're struggling with right now. That's what Christ has done on the cross …so that He could just wrap his arms around you and say, “Hank, dude, glad you're here! Come to the table. Sit down right here.” 

Hank: “Well done. Faithful, servant.”

 

Peter: And He will say that to you, but I'm asking you. I'm giving you an invitation here to stop parroting these words back and just listen to what they really mean. I know you know a lot of the words, but your heart is just torn apart for whatever reason. 

Hank: The truth, the truth really, really is. It's that Jesus is what changed my mind. I knew all the words. I knew all the stories; I'd heard it all. I'd been baptized, confirmed, all that stuff. I just didn't get it but once I understood than it is very simple. You just accept the gift that he's offered you. 

Peter: Well, I know that. I know that. 

Hank: I just don't want to sound like a parrot. 

Peter: Well, that's why. That's why I'm asking you to....

Hank: I really truly believe; I really truly do. 

Peter: I don't doubt that you do, but I think that there's so much brokenness in your own heart that you're standing on the sidelines looking in and trying to convince yourself of these things, …and I know that you believe it, but do you really believe it in all the broken places?

 [Do you really believe ] that none of that escaped God's sovereignty in his hand … and He was there watching all of these things happen and still weaving out his purposes in your life?

He watched my wife slam into that concrete abutment. He watched it. God allows what He hates in order to achieve what he loves. 

 

If you, if you get nothing out of this conversation today, Hank, God allows what He hates to achieve what he loves. Can you hang onto that? I'm sorry, we're up against the end of the show on the clock, but I wanted to make sure you had something tangible you could hang on to is, is that okay? Can you hang on to that for me? 

 

Hank: You have done more for me than you understand. 

Peter: Well, listen, it's a privilege because people have done more for me …and I'm going to be a good steward of it. 

CaregiverPodcast.jpgHey, this is Hope for the Caregiver and we're out of time, but we'll see you next week. Go to hopeforthecaregiver.com for more and you can get this podcast.

 

Peter Rosenberger is the president of Standing With Hope which sponsors HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER. Your support helps make this broadcast possible. Please consider a tax-deductible gift to this ministry today!

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With a rampant drug culture and the disintegration of the family, more and more grandparents find themselves caregiving, parenting, and struggling with enabling as well as their own marriages and health.  Norma and her husband are a family in crisis. We discussed that while there's no solution ...there is a path. But it's not going to easy. 

[Transcript]

Peter:                 Norma in Indiana. Norma? Good morning Norma. How you feeling?

Norma:              Not very well this morning.

Peter:                 Not too well?

Norma:              No. What I have a problem with is I have two grandchildren that I'm taking care of due to their mother who has mental illness; schizophrenic mental illness and one of her children...Well, they both have different fathers and the one father is dead, the other father never had anything to do with his son at all. And so the children were taken away by DCS two years ago and I took them into my home and I didn't ask my husband when they called. I just, out of frustration and hurt I said, "Just bring them here".

And so I didn't know, you know, what all the circumstances were, but there was drugs involved. She was living with her sister who had also lost her husband, which is my youngest daughter. And they had got into drugs and everything was a mess. And so this is two years later, I still have the children and my husband, which would be the children's step... I mean it's not their biological grandfather. I'm sorry. I'm so nervous. I'm hearing things. But...

Peter:                 By the way, let me stop you just for a minute Norma. Do you have your radio on?

Norma:              Yes. Should I turn it off?

Peter:                 Can you turn that off for me?

Norma:              Yes. Hold on. Okay, that's better.

Peter:                 That's good. Cause what happens, it picks up an echo and...

 

Norma:              Yeah. Alright. I couldn't hear myself.

Peter:                 That's alright. Let me make sure. I just want to catch up here with you and make sure that I'm tracking with you. Okay?

Norma:              Okay.

Peter:                 So you've got a daughter who had a drug problem. She had two different children, by two different men. And because...

Norma:              I'll backup. She's not the one that's the mother of these children. My daughter that's paranoid schizophrenic is the one that has the children. And when her husband died with cancer and she had the little girl by him. My youngest daughter, when her first child was born, he was about 18 months old... My youngest daughter and her husband took him and got guardianship of him. Well, then her husband passed away and that's when the drugs began. And then...

Peter:                 All right, so you got... Hold on a second cause I'm trying to just get right down to... I can't do the whole biographical story on the family, but I just want to understand. You got two children. Are they siblings or they're cousins?

Norma:              No, they're siblings.

Peter:                 Okay, two children...

Norma:              And the problem is my husband... I can't say that he hasn't tried to be good, but he just doesn't have the patience that I have. I've been to caregiver basically all my life for other things. And the boy will soon be 14, a teenager and the little girl is 11. And of course, you know how 14 year olds start to get teenage sloppiness and mouthy. And he's been that way with my husband. And my husband says, I can't take much more this. If something doesn't change, you're going to have to make a choice between me or them because he says I cannot handle this emotionally. And every day and every night I wake up with this on my mind and I cry about it and I think I don't know what to do.

 

Peter:                 All right, look, I know this is painful. So let's get right down to the brass tacks here, what we got to do. Your husband, what he's going through is understandable, but he's going to have to just step up. And part of that is going to involve both of you guys and maybe the whole family. Is anybody getting any counseling at all?

 

Norma:              Yes, I've got both of the children are in counseling. They're in individual counseling and behavior counseling. And I myself started in counseling. I kind of backed off here lately because my insurance wouldn't pick it up. I've had to pay for it and you know, the extra expenses that come along with it. My husband's never been in counseling.

Peter:                 Alright. Is he opposed to it?

Norma:              No. We have talked about it and our church has a hope counseling center and he said that he would go there with me. That's a good step.

Peter:                 Counseling is going to be kind of a must for all of you guys. You got so many different moving pieces here. The kids are going to continue acting out. That's not going to change.

 

Norma:              Right.

Peter:                 But you can change, and your husband can change. But you're not going to be able to do it on your own very easy. It's going to take a lot of work. Divorce is going to be a lot more expensive than counseling.

Norma:              Right.

Peter:                 Does he know this?

Norma:              I've been through one. I don't want to go there again. Yes, we both have been through divorce. He was married 27 years. I was married 21 and we've both been married now 27 years to each other.

 

Peter:                 All right, let me just be blunt Norma. You all got a whole boxcar full of baggage in this situation.

Norma:              Right.

Peter:                 And it's been piling up for a very, very long time and now it's getting to the point where it's just crushing. You are not going to get out of this overnight. You're not going to maybe get out of this at all. But what you can do is you can rearrange some of these things. You can organize a little bit better so that it's easier to manage and you can get a little stronger and a little healthier as you do it.

These kids are going to continue to act out because they've come from just really tough situations. And we don't know a lot of the dynamics that are going to manifest themselves in these children as they continue to go through their teenage years. It's not going to get any easier.
So, if you guys are trying to white knuckle this thing by yourself, it's going to crush you. So what I'm asking you to do is for you and your husband to sit down at the kitchen table and look at each other and just have a real honest conversation. And don't be afraid to say,

"Hey, you know what? This is absolutely a dumpster fire. But it's our dumpster fire and we're going to have to deal with it. And for us to just split up and go our separate ways is not going to be the solution. We love each other. We care for each other. We care about these kids. We're trying to do the best we can, but this is beyond us. This is bigger than us. And us falling apart is not going to help them and it's not going to help us."

 

Norma:              Right.

 

Peter:                 And that's the starting point for the conversation. And it's going to be a painful conversation with some tears … and it's okay to listen to him. Okay? You brought this to him. He loves you, but now he's got to hook up all of his box car to your box car and man, you've got all kinds of stuff going on. It's going to take a lot of patience, a lot of work and a lot of help to detangle some of this mess.

 

Norma:              Okay.

Peter:                 And if you guys are not looking at it honestly from the front end it's going to overwhelm you. When you get into it, you're going to get mad— you're going to get angry—all these things are going to happen. [You’re going to be] resentful. All this stuff's going to happen.
And I don't want to see that happen with you all, but it's going to start with an honest conversation between the two of you. And then you're going to start to have to reach out to get some good people involved with this. It's probably going to take more than just one or two. It's going to take more than maybe even what your church can offer.

Norma:              Okay.

Peter:                 And you're going to need to get some social workers involved in this. This thing with your grandchildren is going to probably get a little bit more gnarly. When you have teenagers in general, it can get weird. But when you have teenagers that are coming from the kind of train wrecks that these kids have come from, it's going to get even weirder. Okay?

And so that's why it's going to be very helpful to get some people involved and some family. People that really know this kind of stuff, not amateurs. You're going to have to get some people with some real experience in this to help you kind of chart a path of what this looks like.

You don't go to counseling just to emote. You go there to be able to say, "Okay, what does safety look like? What is a path towards this thing not crushing us?" And you have to come out with real action steps. By the way, are you seeing your doctor regularly?

Norma:              Yes, I do. Every three months I have... Unfortunately, I have an anxiety disorder and a heart condition.

Peter:                 Well, I can only imagine you would have an anxiety disorder. I would have an anxiety disorder dealing with what you're dealing with. I'll tell you what, hold on through the break Norma. Hold on through the break.
This is “Hope for the Caregiver”. We'll be right back. Don't go away Norma.

 

[Music]

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Peter:                 Hey, this is Peter Rosenberger. Have you ever helped somebody walk for the first time? I've had that privilege many times through our organization; Standing With Hope. When my wife Gracie gave up both of her legs following this horrible wreck that she had as a teenager and she tried to save them for years and it just wouldn't work out. And finally she relinquished them and thought, "Wow, this is it. I don't have any legs anymore. What can God do with that?" And then she had this vision for using prosthetic limbs as a means of sharing the gospel to put legs on her fellow amputees. 

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And that's what we've been doing now since 2005 with Standing With Hope. We work in the West African country of Ghana and you can be a part of that; through suppliers, through supporting team members, through supporting the work that we're doing over there. You could designate a limb. There's all kinds of ways that you could be a part of giving the gift that keeps on walking at www.standingwithhope.com. Would you take a moment and go onto www.standingwithhope.com.and see how you can give and they go walking and leaping and praising God. You could be a part of that at www.standingwithhope.com.  

 

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Peter:                 Welcome back to the show for caregivers, about caregivers, hosted by a caregiver. I am Peter Rosenberger. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver. We're on American family radio. We are live; (888) 589-8840, (888) 589-8840 for those of you holding on the phone lines, we'll get to you in just a minute. I want to finish up a little bit with Norma in Indiana. Norma, you still with me?

 

Norma:              Yes, I am.

Peter:                 Norma, a couple things that I was thinking about over the break. I would recommend also for your husband and you both to involve yourself into some type of 12 step recovery program for family members of addicts or alcoholics.

Norma:              Okay.

Peter:                 Even though that's not always applicable in every case. The concept is still helpful. Like Al-Anon and things like that because it is a group of people who are struggling with their dysfunction and trying to control something that can't be controlled.

Norma:              Okay.

Peter:                 Those are helpful things. You guys have had a lot of trauma to you and you're going to have to respect the trauma. You've got death, you've got paranoid schizophrenic, you've got drug use. You got a lot of trauma and you've got multiple marriages. You got a lot of trauma. I've been caring for somebody who's endured the aftermath of a lot of trauma and you have to respect the trauma and recognize that this may not get better. Okay? It just may not.

There's some things that just not going to be fixed this side of heaven. My wife's legs are not going to grow back. Her pain is not going to go away. Not unless some kind of direct intervention from God. And she's been like this for 36 years and that's a long time.

Norma:              Yes.

Peter:                 And so in this particular case, the things that are going on with you, there's not going to be a point where you say; "Okay, we're just going to get through this and then we can get on with our life."

Nope, this is your life now. And these children are part of your life and they're going to be a part of your life for the rest of your life. And your husband is in a position now where he's going to have to make a decision. Does he want to be a part of that? And he can't hold that over your head every time he gets just upset about something. He's going to have to man up and say; "Okay, am I in this or am I not in this?" And man up …and do it. Now that's the blunt force truth.

 

Norma:              Right.

Peter:                 All right. Here's the compassionate truth. There are people out there that can help you with this. But it's gonna take a lot of work and it's going to take some money and you're going to have to make financial decisions and spend some money with some counsel. Now, when you go to a 12 step recovery program that doesn't cost any money, those are free. You can go to those anywhere and you go every day if you want to, and I would recommend it because I think it's going to strengthen you for the journey and that's what's necessary.

There's not a solution for this. There's only a path towards you being stronger and him being stronger and you all being able to better navigate through this. There's not any kind of switch that somebody's going to flip and all of a sudden your grandchildren going to be okay. Everything's going to be okay. You know, there is nothing. You know, my wife doesn't have a switch that's going to make her legs stop being amputated and grow back. You know, it doesn't work that way. But, she does wear prosthetic legs. She has adaptive equipment that can help her function in a healthier manner in life. And those are things that are going to be necessary for you and your husband and these children. You're going to need some adaptive equipment. You're going to need emotionally adaptive equipment and that's not going to come from you guys just trying to muscle your way through this.

You're going to have to seek out some help, some real, no kidding professional help. And so I don't know who you're going to see as a counselor, but makes sure that you really are dealing with a pro here who can give you good solid counsel- "Okay, here's the action steps you need". If all you do is go through a box of Kleenex every time you go to counseling, that's not helpful. You're going to need action plans.

 

You're going to need no kidding... There's a movie, it's a tough movie to see. It is a tough movie, but it's a very good movie. And it's called, "We Were Soldiers", Mel Gibson stars in it and it's based on the true story of Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore who ended up becoming a general. But it was back in Vietnam and they got over there and the whole thing just fell apart. I mean, these guys were highly trained. They were some of the first people there in Vietnam and they got over there and it was basically an ambush. It was just falling apart. And Moore, played by Mel Gibson gets up and he looks at these soldiers and every one of them you could just see it in their eyes …"Okay, what are we going to do now?"

And he looked at one young sergeant, I think it was and he said, "I want you to take that creek bed". He was yelling these things out, "That creek bed! We're going to take that hill!" And it’s very micromanaged things …of what we're going to do—that we're not going to just sit there and start shooting somewhere and hopefully we hit the enemy. We're going to have very targeted steps and that's the kind of counseling that you need and that's the kind of counseling that your husband needs.
It's not going to be a situation where they say, "Well, you know, write three things to say that you like about each other" or whatever. I'm not saying that you're getting that. I'm just simply saying it's going to have to be almost “military type” action plans. “We're going to take that creek bed!” …this is what we're going to do today. Right now. Those are the kind of action steps that you're going to have to have. And you're going to have to have that support team around you and your church and so forth. And if you're not getting that, you need to trim out everything around you that is distracting you from a healthier path. I mean, you're going to have to ruthlessly cut things and even relationships that are pulling you down because you guys are in a very, very, very dangerous position.

 

Norma:              Yeah. We are. That's why I called.

 

Peter:                 The whole thing can just come crashing down on you and then these kids will be just... Well, you know, it'll take everybody down.

 

Norma:              Right, and I don't want that to happen.

 

Peter:                 Well, I don't want it to happen either and I don't think anybody listening wants it to happen. We're all pulling for you, but it's going to take you and your husband. It starts at the kitchen table. It usually does. And it's going to take you and your husband sitting down and get your Bible out. You know, and proverbs says; lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. That's what it says in Proverbs and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 And it's really important that you hang on to that scripture because when you lean on your own understanding, you get in some real messes. Believe me, I know this. This is my life. I am the crash test dummy of caregivers and I've leaned on my own understanding and made a mess of things. But there are the people who have good understanding and godly counsel for you. Scripture says there's wisdom in a multitude of counselors and you're going to need a multitude of counselors in this one.

Norma:              Okay.

Peter:                 And ask your husband at the table... Just say, look …and I'm going to put this out on the podcast and play this back for him if you have to … but just say, "Look, before you just go all nuclear here and say, this is done and I can't take it anymore, can we have an honest conversation about what we can do and how we can navigate this and how we can see God's hand in this and trust God in this?"

Now, we'll tell you this. I will tell you this, with absolute 100% conviction, Norma. You can trust God in this. He has not abandoned you. He already knows about all of this. Okay?

Norma:              Right.

Peter:                 This is not something that God has just said, "Oh my goodness, I took my eye off of Norma and look what happened." That's not what's going on here. But there's a lot of heartbreak for whatever reason and there's a lot of different factors that have gone into this. But here's where we are. And my wife's car accident did not catch God by surprise. When her friend Joni Eareckson Tada dove into that Chesapeake Bay back in 1967 and broke her neck and became a quadriplegic. It didn't catch God by surprise.

Norma:              Right.

Peter:                 When Cain murdered his brother Abel, it did not catch God by surprise. And he's able to weave and work through these things with us. But it does take work and it takes trust …and this is what it looks like to cry out to a Savior. So, if you feel like your counselor is the right person for the job and the kids' counselor is the right person for the job, okay, then you've got some real allies.

 

And now your husband's going to need that.

 

It may be more than what your church offers, but you're going to need strategic counseling. Not just emoting you know, I know this is a tough place for you guys. Every time you meet with a counselor, you should come out with some type of action step. But I don't care how small the action step is. The action step could be just to go home and you know, clean the refrigerator. I'm just making stuff up here. But it has to be an action step that you guys can actually wrap your mind around doing to help these children get to a place where they are not creating havoc everywhere. And help you guys get to a place where you're not being sucked into the havoc that they do create.

Norma:              Okay.

Peter:                 This is a hard place Norma. I am not saying these things without any sense of understanding or appreciation of just how difficult this is for you. But it's a very dangerous place for you. You are welcome to call anytime you want. You're welcomed to give us updates and we'll do the best we can to connect you with resources that can help you with it as well. Okay?

Norma:              I appreciate that so much.

 

Peter:                 You're welcome Norma.

Norma:              Fine. Okay.

Peter:                 Well, thank you. Thank you. We as caregivers are in dangerous places and we have to have strategic players. The goal was not to feel better about these things. The goal is to be better. Healthy caregivers make better caregivers.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver.

www.hopeforthecaregiver.com. Help us keep the show on. Go out and take a look and see how you can do it. We'll see you next week.

Hope for the Caregiver is the family caregiver outreach of Standing With Hope

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"The Obvious Often Becomes Obvious ...Just Before It Becomes Obvious."

Susan from Memphis called the show to share her dilemma of caring for her mother from a long distance. With one brother pulling the yeoman's share of the load, resentment cropped into the family.

Yet, Susan didn't quite know what to do.

I asked, "Instead of helping your mother, how about helping your brother?"

When helping a caregiver, t isn't necessary to wrack your brain and try to reinvent the wheel - sometimes, it IS the wheel!

I pointed her to her brother's tires and asked if he could use a new set?  

She quickly latched onto that idea and realized he regularly put a lot of miles on his car. In the process, Susan found a tangible way she could thoughtfully show her brother that she cared and was part of the team.

Helping a caregiving doesn't have to be complicated or exotic.  Look for the things that caregivers regularly use, and offer to help. Dry-cleaning, grocery shopping, lawn care, home maintenance, car issues, etc. 

All of those things can be immensely helpful to a caregiver. 

"If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?"  James 2:16

Hope for the Caregiver is the family caregiver outreach of Standing With Hope. Consider supporting this ministry today. Click for more info. 

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