Who’s responsible for the caregiver?
turning to faith in times of need

As a caregiver I try NOT to focus on all that I am actually responsible for because the magnitude of this is so overwhelming that I would be too frightened to leave my bed in the mornings!  I see the responsibilities being categorized into two groups which are physical and emotional/spiritual.

First are the physical needs of the patient.  Things like bathing, feeding, personal hygiene, giving of medications, and even assisting when using the toilet are daily chores achieved by caregivers.  Caregivers also cook, clean, shop, run errands, pay bills, manage medications, keep journals, make appointments, transport the patient, and stay during hospital visits.  The average caregiver in America is between the age of 40-60, works a full time job, and cares for his/her own family while caring for another.  Caregivers often forfeit their own health while focusing on another.

Secondly, caregivers hold emotional and spiritual responsibilities for those they care for.  The caregiver must be strong, courageous, and steadfast in the face of trauma and debilitating fear.  I look back at moments in my own caregiving journey and do not know how I kept it all together and how I was able to support my husband and my daughter, but realize Jesus was holding me all the while.  I was never strong enough, courageous enough, or steadfast enough but my Jesus was.  A caregiver without Christ will only last so long.

While a caregiver lifts everyone else, prays with and for others, and even points others to God for help, there is usually no one to tell or do those things for the caregiver.  I found the ONLY one who could refill me and give me the strength to face my next day was Jesus Christ.  He became my most intimate friend and confidant.  During my moments of hopelessness I turned to His Word and was given Isaiah 41:13 which says, “I am holding you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God—and I say to you, Don’t be afraid; I am here to help you.” The best self-help book I’ve ever read continues to be the Bible!  Not only did He die for me but He left the ULTIMATE caregiver called the Holy Spirit to comfort me, encourage me, and guide me when no one else on this earth possibly could.

The Christian Church has not purposely forgotten caregivers.  It just doesn’t understand the need.  As a caregiver, church member, or ministry leader, you can join MDO Ministries in becoming a voice for caregivers across the globe who long to be recognized as what they truly are which is a  missionary of the home, rest home, or hospital.  Caregivers are called to care for others not unlike a missionary called the plains of Africa.  What they do is a choice.  They do the very things that Jesus commissioned all of us to do in Matthew 25:45 when He said, “‘When you refused to help the least of these my brothers, you were refusing help to me.’”

A simple monthly support/prayer group, visiting when they can’t come to church, sending a card or email, mentioning their name along with the one they care for during prayer requests, or a visit will mean more than you could ever imagine to a caregiver.  The church must care for the caregiver where they are in order for them to continue in the amazing work God has called them to do.

Written by Jessica
Jessica is the Founder and Ministry Leader of MDO Ministries. Jessica earned a BS as well as a Masters Degree in library science both from East Carolina University. She was a public educator and school librarian for over 16 years when God called her to a completely new challenge. For the next two years, she served Wayne Christian School as a classroom teacher and the school's first ever Advancement Coordinator. In September of 2013 God again called Jessica in obedience to move and trust Him completely. She presently serves as Coordinator of Undergraduate & Online Research for the Jerry Falwell Library as well as an associate professor for Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She along with her husband, Brian, continue to lead MDO Ministries full time. She is the mother of Taylor, her 11 year old daughter.

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37 Comments

  1. I’d have not made it if not for my sisters/brothers in Christ

    Reply
  2. There will come a time when we truly understand that we are our brother’s keeper in that we are all One. Caring for each other will be 2nd nature (in fact it’s our 1st nature but we have forgotten due to our separation theology) and we will be able to put an end to so much suffering.

    Reply
  3. We are all caregiver’s ,in one way or another”Rest is needed.

    Reply
  4. Excellent points, thank you for writing this and bringing it to the forefront…

    Reply
  5. I enjoyed this so much as my faith is a huge part of coping

    Reply
  6. Being able to Have Downtime between Clients is Important.
    Recharging Yourself.

    Reply
  7. Thank you for sharing this. Isaiah 41:13 is what I need to hold on to every day!!

    Reply
  8. Most of the time its the caregiver itself

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  9. I have to be responsible for myself…

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  10. There are more people praying and willing to help you 1care for your loved one than you’ll ever know, God bless you

    Reply
  11. The caregivers are viewed as “saints” who CHOOSE to sacrifice their lives. They are not viewed as family members who need help while helping. I learned this very quickly, and accepted it.

    Reply
  12. Actually I’m responsible for myself. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have a support system! At one time or another in life we ALL need one for one reason or another. I never dreamed I’d be taking care of three dearly loved family members and working still full time. So I retired early, then I never dreamed my husband would get cancer & be gone in 10 months & two yrs later my daughter alsi. When you see someone in need, don’t wait to be asked, just reach out that helping hand, there’s so much you can do without asking. It would have been a God send to me many times. You don’t know what tomorrow may bring.

    Reply
  13. Wow, one of the better articles I’ve read about caregivers.

    Reply
  14. Thank you for sharing this info. So true.

    Reply
  15. This is so important…. it does become lonely .

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  16. I don’t know how I do it but I care for my disabled son, both elderly parents…my dad 95 mom 76, son 24..I’m so very tired! My husband works and is my only help when he’s home!

    Reply
  17. Ive been caregiving 247365, my husband has short term memory loss, caused by a cardiac arrest 10 yrs ago

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    • I feel for you. Been caring for mom with Alzheimers 24/7/365 for 4 years. Labor of love but am exhausted.

      Reply
  18. There is in Tennessee. It’s called Choices. United Health Insurance Community.
    Ask questions. Go to support groups.
    Talk to people. Call our representatives tell them we need them to vote for help.
    I just put my Mother in Nursing Home. Didn’t want to do it. I even had help. I still was caregiving 24/7/365.
    That’s inhumane.
    A caregiver works 168 hours a week.
    Do you know anyone else who works those crazy hours?
    Blessings to all caregivers.

    Reply
    • I’m In Tenn. Also , But, My Mom Has Mental Illness , Dementia , Diabetes , A-Fib , She Has Always Been Disabled Her Whole Life . When She Started Drawing Social Security Off Her Deceased Husband , Even Though They Never Lived Together , My Mom Doesn’t Qualify For Any State Help , Or Anything For That Matter ! ! They All Tell Me It Is What It Is ! ! So I Do The Best I Can , By Myself ! ! It’s Truly Hard , But, Gods Got This ! ! !

      Reply
    • Okay try changing her insurance to united health care community. That’s what I did.
      You go from there.
      I am in East Tennessee.
      I started going to a support group from the senior adviser of the local hospital.

      Reply
  19. The same way it’s been done for years. You make time for you. You laugh, you cry, but you do it, because in most cases this is your family member. Sadly their should be a company that you could turn to one-two days a week that would give you a break. Praying for everyone. Just remember to laugh when you can. ✝

    Reply
  20. It’s time for the Caregivers to speak up. How do we do it behind the scenes.
    That’s what I am doing. I want to blog about it.
    Speak up!

    Reply
  21. True thank you n god bless you all..

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  22. Thank you. What a wonderful article. It was very encouraging.

    Reply
  23. I am a caregiver for my husband .We have been married for 50 years.He relies on me for everything,eating,bathing,medications,and he isn’t able to walk and can barely talk.I have been taking care of him for 9 years now but the last 3 have been the hardest .He needs constant care 24/7, so I am pretty much house bound.This I know everyday I ask God to help me thru the day and every night I thank God that we made it another day.So thankful to know I am not alone.Yes I get discouraged sometimes and feel overwhelmed,but then I remember that I am not alone I just need to call on the Lord.I really don’t know how people manage this job with faith in God.

    Reply
  24. You have hit on many of the issues I am currently dealing with. Not to sure on the Jesus part, my dealings with the man upstairs have been non existing lately. But I did find your story uplifting

    Reply

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