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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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AFR_LOGO.jpgHOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER is broadcast LIVE each Saturday at 8 AM Eastern on American Family Radio.

 

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.

 

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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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"I'm going to swerve into something today that I've been stewing on for a while ..."

That's how we started the July 20, 2019 show, and we tackled families struggling with addiction (alcoholism).
I said to a young man recently, "Honour thy father and thy mother.." (Exodus 12:20) DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO HONOR THE IMPAIRMENT!

When dealing with an addiction issue, family members all too often (and sadly) place themselves in bondage trying to enable.

The disease of addiction is a family disease, and will take everyone with it ...if allowed. Alzheimer's has no mercy ...and will crush everyone around an impaired loved one  ...if allowed.  Caregivers will sadly take so much abuse into their heart as they listen to a disease speak with the voice of a someone they love. 

But it's  the disease, not your mother, father, spouse, etc.!

Yet, so many struggle, often painfully, with tremendous sense of guilt while mistakenly honoring a disease or impairment instead of the parent or loved one.

We spend a good bit of time on this issue in today's show. Share this show with someone you know who is struggling with this. 

if you're in a relationship with someone struggling with addiction/alcoholism, here is a helpful resource. 

https://al-anon.org/

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A show FOR caregivers.

ABOUT caregivers. 

HOSTED by a caregiver.

With millions putting themselves between a vulnerable loved one and even worse disaster, the family caregiver continues to be an "at risk" individual. Not just physically and emotionally, but financial risk looms for caregivers, as well. 

It's not enough to say,"take care of yourself."  Caregivers need require regular, specific, and clear reminders of what HOPE for the caregiver looks like. 

Peter Rosenberger brings 33 years of experience as a caregiver through a medical nightmare that includes 80 surgeries, multiple amputations, and nearly $11 million in medical costs. Hope for the Caregiver is the nation's #1 show for family caregivers and is committed to strengthening those who care for the weakest among us. 

www.hopeforthecaregiver.com 

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Watching someone suffer with chronic pain remains a heartbreaking reality for so many caregivers. As a spouse of a chronic pain sufferer (Gracie's dealt with this for 36 years), I personally understand the frustration, despair, grief, and helplessness in watching a loved one suffer. 

Laura called the show to share her difficulties as she watches her husband suffer. One of consistent challenges caregivers face in this particular journey is despair and feeling isolated and alone ...feeling that God has abandoned them. 

We're not alone, and God hasn't abandoned us.  Listen to the conversation. 

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As anyone who’s moved knows, things can get lost or misplaced in the process. In our recent move to Southwest Montana, my scattered mind led me to drop my debit card in the parking lot of a grocery store in Bozeman. (Granted, I've got all this head ...and so little brain, but I'd like to think that I can normally keep from hurling my debit card to the ground.)

Meet the wonderful individual who found it, tracked me down, and returned it safely.  Her name is Kylie Stier and she is the business manager at Bozeman Lodge. 

You will love meeting her ...and learning more about this wonderful individual! 

Thank you Kylie - you saved me a LOT of headache, and are a breath of fresh air to meet in this world! 

"Live the way you choose - in style and comfort, surrounded by good friends and modern amenities in the beautiful Gallatin Valley. Bozeman Lodge is a warm and friendly community with a full range of amenities and a full schedule of social, educational and recreational opportunities."

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Peter Rosenberger is the host of HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER - the nation's #1 broadcast show for the family caregiver. 

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