When Love Hurts 

There is a weariness of spirit, that I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to encounter.

My mom always taught me, growing up, that if I ever wanted to get myself out of a funk, or feel better, that all I needed to do was to help or do something nice for another person. And she was always right.

Up until this time, let’s see – 8 weeks now since my mom had her stroke – pouring myself out in service to my mom and dad has been everything I thought it would be. The joyful giver comes to mind. And if I’m honest, the giving felt good. My spirit was full of the joy that comes from helping and loving another person.

That’s been my mission and what I’ve felt called to do right now: simply to love.

To love in every way, shape, and form that brings. Whether that’s listening or comforting my mom when she’s feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. Whether it’s doing a humiliating dance or silly accent spontaneously to lighten the mood when people are down. Whether that’s emptying the dishwasher at 6:30 in the morning before the house wakes up or making sure there are groceries in the fridge. Or whether it’s just spending time with my father to let him know he’s not alone in this.

Love takes many forms. Forms that I was anticipating. Forms that I welcomed. And embraced.

But what about another form of love that is often not talked about.

What about when love hurts?

This is an oft overlooked aspect of love, because honestly, it’s not fun to discuss. It’s not pleasant to remember and usually painful to relive.

And well, I’m beginning to understand why.

I’ve been pretty emotionally blindsided here these last several days.

One of the things that I really didn’t appreciate about strokes was how much it can change a person, at least during the initial recovery period. Sure, there are the obvious changes: for many (thankfully not my mom): there are physical changes – challenges that require physical/occupational therapy to manage. But then there are the mental and personality changes, which are not so obvious, at least on the surface, but that can be, perhaps, even more devastating than the physical.

But my spirit has been redlining, getting beaten down by discouragement, and dwelling on the things I cannot change. Allowing myself to feel defeated or hurt by her moments of tension or acute frustration.

Things as simple as the air space in a room, that was once filled with overwhelming love and compassion from my mom, is now stagnant and often tense, perhaps even slightly charged.

And that hurts.

As I type this, my eyes are just waterfalls, spilling over all the fear and confusion and pain that I’ve been bottling up, being strong on the outside for my dad and for my family, but I honestly don’t know what to do.

I know that this behavior and display is not really my mom. Mood swings are par for the course and this is just a result of the trauma in her brain and an aftermath of the stroke. And it’s not all the time. But I am just beside myself and truly lost for what to say or what to do or anything.

And after an especially difficult episode, I had to just go upstairs and cry.

What, Lord, are you trying to teach me through this? How, Lord, can I love this woman in the way she needs right now? Help me, Lord, to speak the words she wants to and needs to hear. 

This sluggishness of soul is new for me. I don’t feel myself. And I feel incapable of being the light and bringing the joy that my family so needs right now.

But I think what I need to remember is that, this “not myself” feeling I’m experiencing…my mom is experiencing this 100 times worse. Only she can’t express how she’s feeling and she doesn’t know how/if she’ll ever be fully back to herself. So the least I can do is offer compassion.

Going forward, I know things are going to probably get harder, not easier. But my presence at home has never been more needed. Not only for my mom, but also for my dad, as he’s feeling the pain of this new phase of recovery.

I need to remember that love can hurt.  I just glanced up and saw the crucifix. And if that doesn’t exemplify the degree to which love can hurt, then I don’t know what else to say.

Love is not always a walk in the park. Love is a choice. And I am realizing that now more than ever. Even if that means enduring some tough moments that leave me feeling raw or with a trampled spirit.

We are called to love. Even when it hurts.

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486 thoughts on “When Love Hurts 

  1. Love does hurt. It sometimes demands that we give of ourselves more than we can. And sometimes, the other person, is not in a position to return your love. But to have loved, enriches us. Its bittersweet. The joy of love and the pain it sometimes brings.

    You are going through a very difficult time. And I pray that it will ease, and that your love would lighten the scars that could have been. One thing is for certain, that your love improves the situation, and without it, everyone loses a little something.

    Hang in there.

      1. My trials are made easier thanks to my blog. And partly by reading about the trials of others. It reminds me that others have suffered and conquered. Thank you for sharing your life. And thanks for checking out my blog.

      2. you have such a massive following. Can I ask you if it really helps? The blogging community. I am so lost. I am losing the mini-community of my own family. I need to have something to replace it with. I am hoping I find something that sticks.

      3. That’s kind of you to say. You know, there are some really incredible friendships that I’ve made on here that I am so grateful for. Truly. It’s not that I think about the “numbers” or anything like that, but the kindness from people who I’ve genuinely grown to care about, it does mean a lot to me. I hope that helps. And that you find that something that “sticks.” 🙂

  2. I haven’t had to walk this path yet. I know you already know this but make sure you as a caretaker take care of yourself…whatever that looks like for you…8 weeks is a long time to be “on call” out of your normal routine. Rooting for you out here in the hinderlands. DM

  3. What comes to mind is you are taking on a burden meant for God, not you. We are not equipped to go this type of thing alone, perhaps you need to ask him to help more. The other aspect is you. I think being honest in your feelings is critical. Why do people need to change their demeanor in times of crisis? I don’t think you wear an S on your chest, so why act invulnerable? Be yourself and feel what you feel. It’s no secret what’s happening afterall. Finally, what are you doing for you? Your soul is crying out, or redlining, for a reason. Ignoring your needs will do no one any good. Look what’s happening to you! I hope you are used to my type of commentary lol. I mean it always with love and care. My thoughts are with you and your family. It’s going to work as God see fits. Let Him do the heavy lifting

    1. That’s a really powerful perspective. Thank you so much Rob. You’re right – I need to acknowledge my feelings and allow myself to feel them. You’re right – God is in control 🙂 big hugs to you xox

      1. I hope it helps you. You’re such a kind and beautiful soul, you deserve happiness evenbwhenbothers are less fortunate

      2. That’s major high praise coming from such a soul as you! Thanks, it makes me happy that I could be there for you. I am always here for you if you need me.

      3. Thanks Caralyn. Does it count that I knew it began with “C”? haha. Have a wonderful evening. And take care of you!

  4. Thank writing out your heart with authentic faith on this topic. It’s refreshing and real, we must talk through all aspects of life and love and suffering if we are to be real. It seems God has given you a gift in this blog to express yourself in constructive ways that blessed us also.
    Press on with sacrifical love dear sister. God is with you and especialy when we feel the lest powerful to manage it ourselves. Unless we are empty of self, Christ cannot really fill us with himself.
    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind words. Gosh, I am so touched by that. I don’t know, but I am just so grateful for the friendships on here, and that God has allowed our paths to cross. 🙂 And that is my favorite verse about love. thanks for sharing 🙂 big hugs xox

  5. Amen! Love does hurt. It’s painful stuff in all of it’s forms. It always comes with a great price, like the price Christ paid for us.

    “But I am just beside myself and truly lost for what to say or what to do or anything.”

    From an old caregiver pro here, you can’t actually “do” anything. Believing you can is what makes your soul weary. “Doing” usually amounts to trying to fix things that you lack the power to fix. Perhaps a better way to put it is that you simply love, bear witness to someone else’s suffering, and just trust that God is collecting your tears in a bottle. That’s the gift you give, bearing witness like the women did at the foot of the cross or at the empty tomb. Your presence, your tears are the gift, completely absent of actually “doing” anything.

    1. Thanks so much 🙂 Gosh, I am so uplifted by your words. But so true – Christ paid such a price for us. And *sigh* that’s so true. I have to let go of the “doing bug” and just *be* with them. That’s all. Thanks again for the encouragement. hugs xox

  6. You have the kindest spirit. You teach me something new, each time I read your blog. You inspire me to be a better person. I love your boldness and openness, regarding your faith. You are a beautiful person, inside and out. Your parents are blessed to have you as their daughter. Keep being the light that you are. It shines brighter than you will ever know.

    God Bless your sweet soul,
    Penelope

  7. You are doing everything right. Sometimes there no words for you to say…. just listen. Be that one important person in your mom and dads lives that is making a difference and loving them unconditionally…. ust like you are doing. Just listen and love them that is all you can really do…. just like they did for you when you were little. Time and love has come full circle and you have become the caregiver as hard as that is. Do you have anyone else that can help them too so you can get some breaks???? because you do need to give yourself some beaks too. You are a wonderful daughter and person. So sorry this is such a difficult time in all of your lives. Hugs and blessings to you dear. <3

    1. Oh thank you so much. You’re right – listening is powerful. Sometimes a person just needs to be heard. You’re doing that for me, and for that I am so grateful. Yes. I do, we’ve been keeping it close to the chest, but I have some good friends that I talk to just about every other day. So I’m thankful for that. So glad you stopped by. Your encouragement means the world. Hugs xox

  8. I have not felt myself for over a month and I have been struggling to be motivated in faith. I felt my self wondering and not knowing how to turn back. I personally hate talking to other people about how I’m feeling its worse when I realise I have been doing things wrong or been going about it the wrong way. I finding it hard to interact with church family because of how I feel and that hurts me so much 😭

    1. Hi Benjamin, thank you so much. That really resonates with me…I never feel comfortable talking about myself or my “things” with others. But I think you’re right – letting people in is so important to help in that area. Praying for you, friend. If you ever need to talk, I’m here! big hugs xox

  9. I can fully empathize with this – know you are not alone. I looked after my mom with Alzheimers 24/7 for 10 years sole charge (except for the final year when I got a week’s respite care a month). One of the hardest things for me to take was the realization that she no longer had any concern for me. It’s hard to express this, but her former caring nature towards others disappeared quite early on in the piece. It didn’t matter what was happening to me (even in one instance a dislocated elbow), she just didn’t recognize my needs or respond in any way. She was never nasty, but she became very blinkered and self-centered, which is perhaps a protective measure taken by the mind struggling with its own limitations. I had no partner, husband, siblings or anyone else for support, so the situation was especially cruel. On occasions I had difficulty keeping my cool. Times like this are very hard, but you walk away from them when it’s all over with huge inner strength. The Lord will carry you through and if you keep the right attitude you will benefit from it. Bless you for what you are doing!!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing part of your story. A lot of it resonates with me. I’m so sorry that you had to endure that. What a gift, though that you gave to your mother in her time of need. She may not have been able to say it right then but I know she was grateful in her heart for the sacrifice you made for her. Thanks for the encouragement. Big hugs xox

  10. Oh I’m sorry to hear of your (quite understandable) weariness of spirit and wish I had a wand for that (from here I have only prayers : ) But, on the bright side, you do seem very much in touch with your feelings and that is always a start to feeling better in some way. What strikes me is that you are such a Giver but you know we being human do have needs and it sounds like (imho of course!) the balance is out of whack with all the giving. Do you have any friends nearby, to take an evening off now and then? Do you have someone to talk with, even your favorite priest, so that you don’t feel like your dad and family have more to bear? At least you are venting here : ) Real hugs and in-person listening and laughter may be better for uplifting the soul though!

    1. Thanks so much 🙂 You’re so kind to say that. Yeah, I need to find some balance. I do have some friends here in Ohio that I am very grateful to have to be able to connect with. Yeah, the people in this little community have been such a blessing that I am very thankful for 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement. hugs xo

  11. From another person who also tends to hold things in until she explodes in tears, know that it’s okay to cry. God understands. He is the God of all comfort and emphasizes with your sorrow. Let Him hold you.

    https://youtu.be/lsG2XBFXYts praying he comforts both you and your family and gives you space to renew your soul. Ugh, how I want to hug you 💕

    1. Oh Julia, thank you so much. Yes, God does understand, and I can definitely cry out to Him. It’s just allowing myself to do that 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing that. And for your prayers. Big hugs to you xox

      1. You’re welcome. 💕 if you ever need an ear, know I’m here for you. May not have gone through this, but I’ll listen and send you songs and scripture ☺️ “it’s just allowing myself to do that.” You and me both – it hurts actually. It’s like an overwhelming heaviness always waiting to spill and then once it does, a tiredness sets in. Hugs. ❤️❤️

      2. Oh my gosh you are the sweetest. Thank you. Truly, Julia – I am so touched by your thoughtfulness and am so grateful for our friendship. I always walk away from our little interactions feeling so encouraged. Hope you have a beautiful night 🙂 xox

  12. Tough love…love is tough.

    Love is not easy, and it demands a lot of us. Remember that Jesus offered to share our burdens, “for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Some think this means that he will take our burdens from us, but that is not what he is saying, his offer is to lighten our load by taking some of it from us. If you are not familiar with a yoke, it is used in work animals to share the work between them so that neither has to take upon themselves the full load. Take Jesus at his offer, pray for his help in easing your load.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2NJDlE5C2SQ/TmDtk8qdhnI/AAAAAAAAAIk/D33vw2GpfR0/s1600/oxen+yoke.jpg

    1. Oh, Cristal, thank you so much. I really appreciate your prayers and kind encouragement. Yes, I do believe He is with my family and I during this difficult time. Thanks again. big hugs xox

  13. I’ve read most of your posts and I have to say that this is one of the most meaningful posts I have come across. I especially love (no pun intended) the part where you wrote “Love is a choice”. That is so true and sometimes we can’t help but to love even when it hurts. Thank you for your posts!

  14. My grandfather had a stroke not long ago, and he also has dementia. Yes, love does hurt and the wounds it inflicts are savage. Thanks for the truth, and know that God is with you through this trying time. We’re praying for you and yours.

    1. Hi Brandon, oh gosh, I am so sorry to hear that about your grandfather. I will definitely keep you and your grandfather in my thoughts and prayers. And thank you for your prayers as well. hang in there. it is a tough road, but yes, God is with us! hugs xox

    1. Thank you so much. I definitely will accept that hug and give you one right back! yes, I can trust Him with everything. Easier said than done. But I will cling to Him. hugs to you xox

  15. CS Lewis…. to love at all is to be vulnerable……..inter alia

    Your vulnerability can only make you more courageous and provide compassion. It’s just refreshing and sad to hear you speak so transparently, I feel like I know you. You know what, God is crying with you and even more than you, for you your mom and your dad. Day by day……..as you endure your strength will be honed… ane even if you never understand why, trust in his promises, his wisdom love and power. Just think about it, we cannot be refined any other way. You will be okay, John assures us and reminds us that we must cast our burdens on him, because he cares for us and that in just a little while he will make us firm, and strong and ground us. Pray for wisdom, strength and courage and then pay attention to see how he reaches out and comforts you…..I will be praying for you and your mom and Dad too.

    1. Trust in His promises, wisdom, love and power. Gosh, that really hits home with me. Thank you for sharing that. It’s so true, we have to just lay this down and give our worries and fear and pains to Him. He is the great Comforter. Thanks for the prayers. it means the world. hugs xo

  16. Bless you, and your Mom. It’s hard for all involved. Your Mom, who wants to be back to her old self, wants to be the one taking care of everyone, like you said in your last blog. She was the one always giving. It must be so frustrating, heartbreaking, you name it, for her to have to depend on you. She’s got not only a stroke to recover from but then this role reversal, that must be alien to her. Hard for you seeing her like this, wanting to make her better, wanting to understand, wanting to take away all her struggles. I wish there were words that would take it all away for the both of you, and your dad but knowing that’s not possible, I will keep praying for all of you. All that comes to me is He is made stronger in our afflictions, He will never leave you or forsake you. God Bless you 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh, you have hit the nail on the head. Yes. So true. My heart breaks for her for all of those reason. Thank you for your kindness. And for your prayers. Truly, it means the world. I am incredibly comforted by that : He will never leave us — that is a soothing balm to my heart. You are a blessing to me, my friend. thank you 🙂 big hugs xox

  17. Sister Soldier, It is my fervent prayer that you grow in God’s amazing grace and hold to His promise: “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”. Remember God is a promise keeper and He cannot fail, so cling to Him in you troubles. Lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you (Psalm 55:22). I know that what you are going through seems impossible, but that is even more reason to trust God because He specializes in the “impossible”!

    Keep your head up because up is where your help comes from 🙂

    Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13

    https://thewaychristiandiscipleship.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/real-talk-do-not-be-surprised/

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful response. It really resonated with me. “I will never leave you” — what a comfort that is to really think about. All of those verses are. Thanks for sharing that. I’m going to write that on a post-it : God specializes in the “Impossible.” Hugs to you xo

  18. Jesus said that the greatest love involves the greatest pain – laying down your life, nobody needs to hear all the gory details of the realities of his death to know laying your life down is painful.
    But take comfort in this Caralyn: it isn’t you. Crisis may be–no, crisis IS the best thing that can happen to you because it forces you to the end of yourself–the ‘this is the end of my strength and ability’ moment where you finally realize you’re in way over your head and you just can’t do it without Jesus. And you can’t.
    So rest in him. Burnout and bedrock are totally okay places to be but you gotta stop and rest when you get there, and always always always remember…it’s borrowed love. (:

    1. The greatest love involves the greatest pain — what a powerful thought. You’re right — it isn’t me. Jesus is the one sustaining us throughout all of this, and for that I am so thankful. Your words always give me such clarity and a new perspective. I’m very grateful for you, Carson. Thank you so much. hugs x

      1. But of course, my pleasure (: Because when you work out of a place of rest (and when that place of rest is the ultimate place of rest, in Jesus eg: ‘come to Me all you weary and heavy-burdened and I will give you rest’) there might still be some burnout as you learn to prioritize, there might still be some bedrock, as Jesus leads you through things, but now you’re doing it resting in the arms of Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, and Almighty God, and ‘my God will supply all your needs according to his glorious riches‘.

        A couple weeks back my puppet team director asked the question, ‘How much do you worry, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being not much, 10 being lots.’ and I took a hard look at myself and I said somewhere between 0.5 and 1.5 while mostly everyone else was above 5. And we went through this 23-item list of things people commonly worry about and we counted, I think I ended up with 5 maybes. And all that’s saying something because I’ve always been an anxious, nervous person who worried a lot about things, and in the last few years going out on my own I had a whole bunch more to worry about. But a few years ago was when I was learning that I could rest in Jesus, and now even after living paycheck to paycheck in a little house with minimal work opportunities, I’m not worrying, and that’s such a big testament to how much I’ve been able to find that rest and assurance in Prince of Peace. I mean, how many people can rattle off that name, or the verses that talk about peace that passes all understanding….and still worry because they don’t really know…who their Prince of Peace is.. I looked at everybody around the circle that night and I wish now I would’ve said, it shouldn’t be so surprising I don’t worry, I know Prince of Peace!

        Anyway, just another tim-bit for you 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

      2. That really resonated with my ” God will provide all our needs.” What a comfort that is.And even just His name – the Prince of Peace…we don’t realize how much of a luxury peace is until it in scarcity. What an enlightening conversation that was — its so true – resting in Jesus relieves all those fears and worries. The Prince of Peace. 🙂 Always appreciate your little nuggets of wisdom, Carson! have a great day 🙂

  19. Perhaps you can think of this as preparation for marriage and family of your own. There are no guarantees that life will go as expected–and it often doesn’t. Learning to take the easy with the difficult is a great life lesson. You have probably already thought of this, but maybe this experience is giving you insight into how it was for your mom when you were sick. I hold you and your family in prayer.

    1. Hi Madeline. Thanks so much for this. I like that – as preparation. 🙂 And you’re right, this definitely gives me new appreciation for the overwhelming love she poured out for me during my own time of need. What an incredible woman. Thanks so much. Big hugs to you xox

  20. Hi Caralyn: first of all, a BIG HUG to you. You have blessed many, and are sure a Blessing to your Mom and Dad.
    Even Our Lord Jesus got fatigued when He was on earth, helping, feeding, healing, blessing many. Often times He went off by Himself, and how did He spend that time alone, talking with His Father in Heaven. A question for you to ponder on your own: As busy as you are, and I know you are busy, have you taken / made time each day to read the Bible, talk to our Heavenly Father, and then sit quietly to listen for His voice. ( I am not prying, I am not saying you are not doing all this. I Luv you, respect you, admire you too much Caralyn, to think negatively at all).
    I am just trying to encourage you, and share, offer suggestions that at times it is easy for each of us to overlook.

    You may need some “Caralyn” time also. Some time just for you to enjoy yourself, laugh, relax, leaving stress and concerns aside for a short while.

    Continuing to pray for you, your Mom and Dad, Dear Amazing Friend.
    Luv and HUGS. 💐 🌹🌹❤️

    1. Thank you so much, George. I am so grateful for you 🙂 You know, I really should find more prayer time. That’s unfortunately, typically, the first thing that gets squeezed out when things get hectic. But you’re right, when I do have that time, I come away with a renewed spirit and an overwhelming sense of peace. I gratefully accept that challenge 🙂 I’ve been thinking and praying for you after the other weekend, George. And I am sending prayers of thanksgiving that you are doing well! big big hugs xox

      1. Thank you Caralyn. I am doing well, thanks. I am still feeling good, with no lingering after effects.
        Our plans got messed up, but I am still here, and still able to know that changes in plans had to be made. So we continue to give Jesus PRAISE.
        God’s Blessings, and Strength, Luv and Hugs.

  21. Caring for parents is hard, I know from experience. Yet it can be rewarding too…just like when they were parenting us! Comes full circle. When a major thing happens like this there is a mourning period of what once was. It is more than ok to mourn that. 🙂 Continued prayers.

    1. Thanks so much Deanna. I really appreciate your continued prayers. You are a blessing to me. You’re right, I was talking about that with my brother the other day, that it’s okay to mourn. Definitely had a good cry into his shoulder. The first time, really, since it happened. Thanks for being so amazing. hugs to you xo

  22. God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one. Rumi You
    Thank you. You are an inspiration.

  23. Yes love hurts its a pain that is felt so deep do not deprive yourself of hurting cry release taking care of someone especially who you love is exhausting and drains you its all part of this believe me I know I took care of my mom who was dying and watching a strong willed women turn slowly before my eyes to a frail sad women was devastating …but she was my mom so no worries you will go through many different stages of feelings there is no wrong in it, so do not not be so hard on yourself.Thinking of you .. Hugs

    1. Thank you so much for this. Oh gosh, I’m so sorry that you can relate so personally. What a gift that you gave your mother during her time of need. That must have been so hard. I really appreciate your kindness and encouragement. sending big hugs xox

      1. Thank you…just love her you don’t have to understand what she is feeling just be there that’s what matters and don’t be so hard on yourself. one day at a time.

      2. Oh sleep yes that would be !!!! I could use some myself ..but school vacation with a teenage son who just got his drivers license does not make for easy sleep …waiting for him to get home….please say a prayer for me 🙂

  24. My heart hurts for you and the pain you’re going through. Remember that you can’t control the situation. You can’t “fix it.” Ask God for guidance and wisdom. Also, take some time for yourself. Try to get away for a day if you can. It will give you a much needed break and a fresh perspective. Sending hugs. ❤️❤️

    1. Thank you Gerri. That’s so true – I’ve got to ask Him for that guidance and hope and peace and wisdom. He is in control and I am GRATEFUL for that! 🙂 It’s comforting to remember that I’m not in the drivers seat and that God has got this. Thanks for stopping by! hugs xx

  25. Dear friend. You and I have experienced similar things in the last little while. Surround yourself with the Love of God… This request isn’t just words I speak to you. Over the past two years I have been blessed to know you and read your words. I am here for you as your personal prayer warrior.

    https://nerdfornews.com/2017/02/09/the-price-of-prayer/

    https://nerdfornews.com/2017/02/10/a-year-living-like-joseph-how-to-stay-humble-during-times-of-great-hurt/

    https://nerdfornews.com/2017/02/16/putting-down-the-sword/

    Much love to you Carolyn

      1. Dear Lord ianthony come before your throne of grace at the request of giving help to those in need. Hearken unto my prayer for my friend Carolyn give her the strength she needs to have joy continuously. Give her the strength to believe every word you speak. Give her the wisdom to be still when the waters around her are rough. Give her the compassion to have pure religion listed in James. let your words be an ornament around her neck give her the piece that comes the waters. Give her the peace that heals the sick. Give her the love language spoken of in The Sermon on the Mount. it’s been an honor to be your friend this is your time to seek the Lord with your whole heart without the distractions of the concrete jungle behind you. give me the strength of Paul in which Paul wrote saying I am content in whatever state that I am in. Give her the courage of Esther the Loyalty of job and Abraham I asked that she contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the Saints. surround her mind with the beautiful thing that the Lord asks us to think upon listed in Philippians chapter 4 verse 8 may the Lord bless you may the Lord keep you may the Lord make his face to shine upon you and may the Lord love you with Grace abounding. I ask this in the name of Jesus

      2. Wow, Anthony, what a beautiful prayer. I am so humbled and touched by this. It really resonated with my spotty. Yes – let His strength bring my family and I courage and joy in this time. God is good and I cling to Him. Grateful for you, friend. This was beautiful. hugs xo

      3. whenever trials come your way singing the same way Paul did in prison sitting next to Silas sing way discouragement white singing group gospel songs and Praises unto the Lord and let your requests be made known unto him and he shall grant them. I love you my friend

    1. Thank you so much, girl. That really means a lot 🙂 Yeah, this is definitely a difficult and confusing time, but I am so grateful for friends like you 🙂 hope your week is off to a good start! big hugs xox

  26. This post has left me so very humbled.Most people do not understand love, nor have they recognized they have received it. This has given me much to meditate on. Thank you for writing this.

    1. Oh, I’m so glad that this hit home with you 🙂 You’re so right – I sometimes get overwhelmed when I think just how much love I have been shown over the years. It is really such a gift. thanks for your kind words. hugs xox

  27. I know exactly what you are going through. Ever since I came out eons ago and then my dad getting cancer and then mom getting cancer and she has had a few surgeries. I know that they need us for support because they were there when we were sick or having surgery. I am adopted and so I knew I didn’t fit but growing up with a dad who was a preacher and a mom who was the bible lady of the family tree, after me coming out it was hard on both parties and then its that one thing that happens, like you said “love can hurt” and it does. I quit school and got an early morning job so that I could take care of my dad during his recovery, I drove him to his appointments and even to therapy. He stated to me one day “I know I am not your biological father, but the way we have treated you was unfair and unkind… Regardless, I love you son…” Stay strong and I will keep you and your parents in my prayers for a safe and healthy recovery. Give your mom love and keep your dad laughing 😉

    1. Wow, what a journey you’ve been on, Matthew. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I will definitely keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. What a gift you are giving your parents in their time of need. It really gives a testimony to your character. Hang in there. And that’s great advice. Laughing is always the best medicine 😉 hugs xox

  28. Caralyn, so many have shared wonderful things. Know that I continue to pray as my heart aches for you and your family. This past summer I was struggling with some very hard issues, and asked the Lord in prayer to hold me. His unspoken response in my head and heart were, “My child, I wish you’d realize that I have been holding you all along.” I will pray you sense being held, so that your soul can be refreshed by our amazing “I AM”.

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful response. I so appreciate your continued prayers. Oh my gosh, what a powerful prayer experience. Isn’t that so true though? God carries us even before we ask for it 🙂 God is such a loving Father. It’s easy to forget that when times get tough. Thanks again 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  29. This. Just beautiful. No matter what situation you are in, love is a choice. It is a verb. An action. Feelings are fleeting, but love, when put into action daily, is firm.

    I love, love, love your posts. Every single one has left me in awe of your wisdom and I take a piece away. Tonight, you’ve wrenched my heart open. I have put off writing the NICU part of our story (and writing my heart on other issues), not because it was a bad experience, but because I am still working through the emotions of it all. It was a whirlwind experience and, at the same time, a long, slow 63-64 days.

    Thank you for reminding me to feel those emotions and that it is OK for love to hurt.

    Praying for you, sweet one. And your family, too. Sending hugs.

    1. Thank you so much, Shoni, for your prayers and this beautifully kind note. Yes – love is an action. That’s an important thing to remember. and what a kind thing to say about my blog. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. 🙂 Wow, that sounds like an incredibly challenging and emotionally stretching experience to say the least. I can only imagine the emotions you went through. Yes, it is okay to feel those things. I hope you do write the rest of your story. I, for one, would love to read it 🙂 Thanks again for the prayers xox

  30. BBB, thank you for continuing to share your heart through this difficult time. I am reading “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp and she beautifully puts into words loving through our brokenness is the broken way to Jesus. He can only give us strength in our brokenness. Praying for your sweet family.

    1. Thank you so much, BBB 🙂 The Broken Way…I feel like I’ve heard about that book before. Wow it sounds like a great book. The broken way to Jesus…how powerful. Thanks again for the prayers. Big hugs xox

  31. Another good one. Having raised five kids, experienced 12 grandchildren with number 13 on the way and watching my 91 year old mother and father grow into different people I have to agree with you wise insight. You continue to set the example for all of us. It is good to know that Jesus experience that pain so he can help us. Thanks again. John

    1. Thanks John. Gosh, I am humbled by such kind words. You’re right, nothing that we go though is foreign to Jesus. He’s endured it all and more, and never leaves our side throughout it all. Wow, 12 (almost 13) grandkids…what a blessing! Thanks for this encouragement, friend. Grateful for you. Hugs xo

  32. I love your outlook on life and how you turn to God for everything. ❤ I’m praying for your mom’s recovery and for your strength to love and care for your parents during this time!

    1. Thanks so much Megs. I really appreciate your prayers. It seriously means a lot. God is good, and He is really upholding my family and I during this difficult time. So glad you stopped by. hugs xox

  33. I feel for you so much. You go in thinking I love them. I believe in Christ. I have the Holy Spirit. I’m ready to help. And they try your patience in ways you never expected, in ways they never would have done when they were at full mental capacity. And even though you know better, you lose patience sometimes – Sometimes in front of them, sometimes in private moments. Either way you wonder if you’re really up to it.
    Seeing the crucifix – maybe I should have put that in sight more often – what a powerful moment. That’s the perfect reminder of why I am a Christian. It’s easy to talk about love, but when I really need to dig deep and love in real life when it’s painful and messy, no one can get me there except Jesus. He set the example no one else could of loving when it looks impossible, when it’s excruciating, when it is the most unnatural response to what’s happening to you. It feels overwhelming. It feels like I can’t do it. But compared to what He went through for me, for all of us, it’s nothing. I can do it. I can love, even now.
    Thank you.

    1. Wow, David. This is such a beautiful response. Thank you. And gosh, did you hit the nail on the head with that. Yes. Yessss Jesus. HE is the one getting my family through this. I don’t know what we’d do without His strength and grace in all of this. Or ever for that matter. He is the One who gets us there. Thank you for this incredible encouragement. You are good, my friend 🙂 big hugs xox

  34. This is absolutely beautiful!! Although I’ve never experienced a stroke, as a survivor of a traumatic brain injury, I can relate to this because I have seen this in my mom and family so many times. I thank God everyday for them, for never giving up on me, for always showing compassion towards me despite my terrible mood swings, and being that constant cheerleader. And that is exactly what you are providing for your parents right now. Stay strong, praying for you and your family

    1. Oh wow, Elizabeth. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement and for sharing part of your story. I’m so sorry to hear that that happened to you. What a challenge to have to endure. I’m so glad that you made it through. Praise God. Yes. it sounds like you had a pretty incredible support team. Thats so awesome. Thanks for the positivity and prayers. Big hugs xox

  35. Such an honest & vulnerable read. Well done for being authentic. It’s difficult when we feel we’ve reached the end of us ourselves & are left wishing we were more. I’ve felt the same & recently while at the gym lifting & my trainer came over & added two extra plates. I wanted to cry because I already hurt & was sure that I couldn’t take anymore. As I struggled to lift the heavier weight, my trainer put his hands beneath mind ready to catch them if I failed. At that moment I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, “I’m your spotter, I’m here to catch you, I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10. Stay strong girl –God’s got you! xx

    1. Thank you so much Sharon. Oh wow, what a cool nudging by the Holy Spirit! And while you were pumping iron, no less! haha Talk about a *strong* choice of timing! 😉 😉 😉 Oh gosh, gotta love a cheesy joke! hah but it’s so true – He is our spotter and will strengthen us in our weakness. Thanks for stopping by! hugs xo

  36. Let the Lord fill your vessel with His anointing power and strength, as you pour out yourself to meet the needs of your family. None of us has within us unlimited resources; without the renewal of our spirit by way of His Holy Spirit, we’ll run dry and burn out. Perhaps, at least in part, what He wants you to gain from this experience is to ever more lean on Him in faith and trust, and for renewal of your spirit.

    1. Thank you so much. Amen to that – may He fill my cup. You’re right, we need that in order to love and give.And that’s so true- this is an opportunity for renewal of my spirit and a strengthening and growth of trust. Thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  37. Lord, please give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen
    If you really mean it when you ask this of God, it does help.

    Then, even though this is your mother you have to know when to sympathize and when to empathize. None of us want our loved ones to hurt or be incapacitated, but life happens to all and when we sympathize too much we become incapacitated with the loved ones we want to help.

    I pray for you to have the strength to weather this storm and see your way through, and I pray you will find serenity while you do so.

    RI

    1. Hi RI, wow, such a powerful perspective here. Thank you so much for sharing this thoughtful response. It’s so true, I need to make sure that I’m not hindering progress or being too *overly* or detrimentally helpful. Lots of food for thought. Thank you. And I really appreciate your prayers. I love that serenity prayer. I especially love the full version of it. I was just made aware of the entire thing last week, and wow! talk about powerful! thanks for stopping by! hugs xox

  38. So many hugs u!! Yes, love can bring in so many feelings, and unfortunately they’re not always good. There can be sadness. There can be anger. Their can be inconsistent changes that make you feel something, then SWITCH, without any control (mostly from something good to not so good). Its not easy. You did a wonderful thing by reassuring your dad. I will keep you, and both your folks in my <3 and prayers!! Sending love and hugs always!!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Migueltio. You’re right, there are a lot of feelings right now. Honestly, more than I thought I was capable of feeling! You’re so kind to say that. And I really appreciate your prayers and constant positivity! You are such a source of light and sunshine in my day! I’m very grateful for you 🙂 hope you’re having a great week my friend! hugs xox

      1. Thanks so much!! You are a positive, inspirational light too! I am having a good week. School break. Trying to get things in that aren’t possible during work weeks. Hugs your way! xox

  39. The last person lost, that I was real close to me, when I was 14 and numb of my other issues, so I was lost with emptiness and quietness of sitting still, when my great grandfather passed away and united with his wife, that I never knew, because she die when I was real young, but I saw heart break through my great grandfather’s eye’s, that I got a lot of wisdom from him, through my life of knowing him.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Michael. Gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that about your grandfather. It sounds like the two of you had a really special relationship. Loss is hard, no matter how many years pass. Sending you big big hugs xox

      1. I’m find now, it just he pass away, when it was during my start of my angry teen years and I think I might of been little angry with something with him at the time, that I didn’t know what it was, before I came numb with an issue before he pass away, that broken me down, for my teen years.
        The thing is he help me out a lot, I think, with a compress issue, I had, that something happen to me with my lower back in the 1st grade. I know what it is now, but don’t recall it happening in my life.

      2. Yeah, I know loss, no matter how much time has passed, still is difficult. Yeah, that must have been difficult to go through those developmental years after enduring such a hardship. You are an inspiration, Michael. xx

      3. I think it was mostly me, because I didn’t want any help and I was in that phase of my life, that it was “my problem not yours and you making it worst,” phase.
        When I was 21 and needed to hear you not the only one with problems, that finally click to me and started to think of others besides myself.

  40. Thank you for this look into your heart. I see Jesus there.

    The hardest task a child will ever undertake is to be a parent to their parents. Even without the complication of the stroke, old age alone, if death does not intervene, will eventually require this task of reverse parenting. This is the most difficult moment of being a child. You are in a strange land. You are transformed into the parent, your mother has become the child. The one who cared for you when you were little and helpless, now needs your care. There is a fundamental “not right-ness” about the situation, an “upside down-ness” about the situation: you have entered the twilight zone. It is uncomfortable, it is painful, it is hard; but, it is honoring your parents to care for them as they once cared for you.

    As you go along this difficult journey, beware of caregiver burnout. You have been pouring yourself out into your parents for months and there may be many months ahead… You must take care of yourself so that you can take care of them. If you are running on empty, you need to take a break and recharge.

    God Bless.

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement, Oogata. Your words are so kind and wonderful. You’re right – an “upside-down-ness” is definitely how i would describe this. I am hopeful that it won’t be this way forever. And I am in it for the long haul and want to support her as best I can, in the way she needs. But you’re right, I need a recharge too. Thanks for stoping by and for sharing this beautiful wisdom. Big hugs xox

      1. First of all, I want to say that what you are doing for your parents is right and beautiful, but I’m going to agree with Oogata. It sounds like a little caregiver burnout happening. You’re not a bad daughter if you take a few moments each day to walk around the neighborhood, soak in a hot tub, spend time in prayer or meditation–in short, just take some time to recharge your batteries, so to speak. What’s happening hurts. It is stressful. It is frustrating…no matter how deeply you love. And that frustration doesn’t benefit anyone. When you take those few moments each day for yourself, you’ll have more to give to your parents in the long run. And recovering from a stroke is a long run. It’s kind of like running a marathon. You have to pace yourself. You’re all in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you & keep you!

      2. Thanks again, Lisa. You’re right – I should do those things every day. It’s not bad 🙂 And so true – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. That’s what we’re trying to remember everyday. Our family is used to sprinting, if you know what I mean. thanks for your continued prayers. hugs xox

  41. Your posts are so poignant. They bring the Good News into real life. I really appreciate that. So many things came to mind as I read your story.
    Timothy Keller has said, “There is no way to have a real relationship without becoming vulnerable to hurt.” When I read that I initially just thought of the truth of it in our interpersonal relationships.
    After reading your post I was reminded how God so wants a real – personal, intimate, genuine – relationship with you and me and everyone else that we was willing to experience the greatest hurt of all to free us from sin, death, the lies of the enemy, and to heal us from the terrible wounds we’ve experienced. But it wasn’t just physical hurt. He bore the weight of all sin, went through being separated from the other parts of the Godhead thinking he would never come back, to experience the second death.
    It was by that love that love is awakened in us; as it has in you.
    Thanks again for putting yourself out there.

    1. Wow, Brad, what a powerful and beautiful reflection. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and mind here. That’s so true — He took on it all out of love for us. What an incredible gift. And you’re right – that awakens love inside of us. What a powerful truth indeed. Thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

      1. You’re welcome. Now that I have amazed and astounded you once again by my cool and unconventional brilliance, I have a confession to make. Your post also make me a little sad/angry.
        I sincerely hope your mom continues to recover. My heart aches for your struggle and the thought of what your dad is feeling. And yet, I can’t imagine what you’re going through. And that’s the problem. I wish I could. I wish I could say me too or I’ve been there and I understand. But I can’t and that makes me sad/angry.
        In January 2012 I was on a last minute flight from Yellowknife to Surrey, BC. I arrived early on a Saturday morning.
        I spent the next two days sitting beside my mom as she died.
        I wish I could have gone through what you are going through.

      2. Oh my gosh Brad. That just breaks heart that you had to go through that. What a gift, though, that you were able to be with her in her final days. I can understand though, the mixed emotions. And I appreciate you opening up about that. That’s a really powerful perspective to remember the next time my soul is feeling weary. Big hugs to you xox

      3. Now I’m retreating back into my carefully crafted pastoral persona…
        Just a thought, perhaps one you’ve already had, is you are saying lots of words that sound like you need a time out. You also walk a little wounded. You must ensure you are practicing self care. You cannot serve from an empty cup.
        If I’m right, and I usually am 😏, please take a recovery day ASAP.

      4. I think you’re right. I think that’s just what the doctor (or pastor) orders. haha but seriously. Yeah, it’s been a difficult weekend.I think a little personal time would be renewing for my spirit. I will try to find a time for that ASAP. Thanks Brad 🙂 ok gonna try and get some shut eye now. hugs xox

  42. Caralyn child, if you don’t mind my calling you that from 48 years away, but also because my heart goes out to you, what you’re feeling is right on, part of the deal of living and loving. My wife and I have looked after parents of both sides for great lengths of time. Lydia’s dad passed away in our home following a stroke, and we are so glad that we had the joy of looking after him for several months and celebrating his birthday. Her parents used to come over and stay with us for several months at a stretch. We took a decision to look after my parents after political instability where they were living began to cause fortnightly strikes and a civil disobedience movement. This decision was hard, but there were no other options for old folks who had no pension or social security, and I have no siblings to divide the emotional and financial load with. It’s now over a decade they’ve been living with us.

    Some months ago, when my dad deteriorated, the weeks of service after that took its toll with fatigue primarily, but we had the joy of answered prayer for him, and a changed relationship and restoration with my parents. Now, I have to deal with his refusing to bathe, refusing to shave, my mom’s weird skin condition that is frightening the wits out of her, cooking for the family so that Lydia is released to handle another answer to prayer – a homeroom teacher’s post (something totally new for her), and a full job on top of all that. We also occasionally have to deal with the fact that because there’s no one we can easily request to stay with my parents, we can’t get breaks away as a family very often, and if we do, it can’t last more than a week. 91 year old dad, 83 year old mom, both deaf, one half blind, both extremely argumentative with each other, bless them, struggling to walk with God at this age.

    Lydia and I are realising that we can’t carry them beyond a certain point. You see, we’re all individuals with wills and decisions. While we serve our parents, they have their own play of will and decision, not all of which may be helpful, and sometimes, it’s required us releasing them into God’s hands. Now, it requires constant releasing them into God’s hands – each time we step out of the house. You have no idea how many disasters due to burning stoves, electrical connections left open, front door left open, slips and falls, etc. God has saved them from. We have also been astounded and deeply grateful for how God has protected them. When we used to live up in the mountains, we’ve also had scorpions at least twice a year turn up in the house right near my mom’s feet, that we’ve seen and killed in time, just because we ‘happened’ to pass by and look down.

    The fatigue is a part of the deal, and burnout is real if you’re pouring out more than is pouring in. We’ll be praying for God to give you wisdom on how much to do, where to pull back or away, and how to be filled (yes, right there in good old Ohio). Praying for fellowship for you beyond the blog, and a renewal of your strength when you come before Him in worship, caught up in His beauty.

    The times when we are just caught up in His presence and filled with awe at all that God is, when we sit and rest against our wonderful King Jesus, are as important as being filled with grace and strength to overcome.

    Much love and grace to you from Christ who has finished it all, and from us here,
    Indi

    1. Hi Indi, gosh thank you so much for sharing this. Wow, what a gift (and sacrifice) you and Lydia and your family are giving to your parents. That is such a witness to your character. Isn’t it incredible how God provides and protects us? He really has finished it all, and that gives such a powerful comfort. And how true is that: you’ve got to replenish what you’re pouring out. That’s what I need to remember – that it’s okay to take some “me” time. I’m going to be going back to NYC here in the next couple weeks for a weekend. I have a shoot, and then it’s one of my good friend’s birthdays, so it’s going to be really great to get away fro a few days. Thanks so much for your continued prayers and encouragement. You and your family are a blessing in my life. big hugs to you xox

      1. Actually, you’re being really kind in your interpretation of what I wrote, Caralyn. If you were living with us, you would quickly see how messy, falling-short and far from the sorted out, sacrificial service it may have sounded, it is. But God has been pleased to use it, and change us through it.

        It’s feeling the emptiness that can actually spur us onto the infilling that we can’t do without, but which we often miss because of the enormously meaningful activity we may be engaged in. I sometimes think that there is some real danger in feeling fulfilled by the activity we do, when we are really fulfilled in Christ.

        I decided to share this in our family devotion time a little while back, and HOW INTERESTING to see that, while you were such a part of our conversation pointing us to listen to what God is saying, our reading for today came from 1 Peter 2, and included verses 19 and 20 – ‘For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.’

        Is that a coincidence? Wow!

      2. Isn’t it incredible how we can give even just an inch, and God will use it for miles 🙂 And what a thought provoking idea– it really *isn’t* our activity that fulfills, it’s Christ. Amen to that 🙂 Oh my gosh, what a powerful verse. I can honestly say I have never heard that before, but WOW – it’s amazing how God’s Word is able to bring such comfort and enlightenment to a situation. And even if it is the same verse, you can read it again and again and then all of a sudden it can hit you in a brand new way. God is so good. Big hugs to you. I loved what you said to David, too. What a moving reflection he had. Much love to you and your family xox

  43. Everyone is different and love can be so devastating it remains with you for over 40 years. Depending on the person some are strong others are not a stay for over six months in hospital was something that was needed. I have been married 37 years now
    but the affect still eats away at me as I was so young and innocent.

  44. Thank you for sharing. I have enjoyed reading your blog.

    There is a place, in our own suffering, where we find more of Jesus. Phil. 3:10 says there is a “fellowship of His suffering,” and in that place we are closer to Him. He is not the author of the pain, but He will not waste the opportunity to show more of His great love for you in that place. God bless you and you will be in my prayers.

    1. That is such a beautiful thought, Casey – He will not waste the opportunity to show more of His great love for us — wow. Bam. There it is. so true. Thanks for this beautiful and resonating encouragement. You are so good 🙂 hugs to you xox

  45. Yes! So true. And when my daddy had his stroke, he changed too and dementia kicked up bigtime. And I would take care of him and my mom, who broke her hip at the same time and the bawl my eyes out on my way to take care of my husband and kids. And I wondered why and how much can I take and what can I learn. And I hit the same conclusion. Sometimes it is ok to fulfill a duty out of love for the only reason that live encompasses faithfulness of action as much as positive emotion. And in it I also learned my weakness, as I thought I was so tough and capable before, and God’s tireless and capable care of us all through it. I was spent so many times and cried out to God and He always provided that strength or patience or understanding, whatever was needed. Pray. You got this. More importantly, He does. Keep up the great work. Chin up. I have been where you are and I am on the other side, thankful to be but also to have done the right thing. Hugs!!! Love you! ❤❤

    1. Oh Tonya, I am so sorry to hear that about your parents. That just breaks my heart. What a gift you were able to give them during that difficult time. And what powerful lessons you learned. It’s so true — He is always there and provides us the strength and grace that we need in that moment. God does have this. Thanks for being such a bright spot in my day today 🙂 much love to you xox

  46. I can’t imagine being early in recovery and having to become a caregiver. Are you taking care of you too? How’s that balance? I know we can do all things with His strength and I’m sure He’s growing you in powerful ways through this, just acknowledging as you’ve said in this post love is no easy endeavor. Praying He keeps you a full fountain of love. ❤

    1. Hi E, thank you so much for your prayers and kind words. It truly means the world. Yeah, that balance could be better, to be totally honest. I think sleep is the greatest area that needs improvement. A full fountain of love — what a beautiful thought that is. God is good, and He is the source of the “water!” Thanks so much for being a beacon of light 🙂 hugs xo

  47. My dear Princess, this is what I have to say. You know I love you and it hurts sometimes. I can’t help not reading all your posts and commenting even if it is not reciprocal. Yet because I truly love you, I understand what you are going through and how difficult it is for you to do same with my posts.
    I think that is the same way you love your mum and want to do all it takes to help her. And yet, she may not be able to reciprocate or express herself the best way so you understand what’s going on and what you can do less or more… But you have to love anyway and then surrender the hurt to Jesus. You know it’s in the heart that love flows from, and without the heart there is no life. Hurt comes from the brain’s interpretation of life. Which is more powerful and which can be controlled… All to Jesus I surrender. TBT, I am going through a similar challenge with my own mother, not that she suffered a stroke but she has her own mental challenges and it impacts sometimes. Yet I love her and it hurts especially in moments like this. This morning at mass, we sang I surrender it all and I prayed for you because I read your post on my way to mass.
    With loads of love always

    1. Thank you so much, Marie. Yeah, this is a particularly busy and difficult time to find a free moment. I really appreciate your patience in that 🙂 Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. Your words are always so eloquent and point to the Truth — yes — surrender my hurt to Jesus. Such a powerful and comforting thing to do. I’m so sorry to hear that your mom is going through a challenging time. I will definitely keep you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there. this is a beautiful gift you are giving her. and amen – there is comfort in Jesus. big hugs to you x

  48. Wow man I felt myself tearing up reading this, you can feel the love and the despair and God has got this I swear even when it feels like the lights are going out, everything lands at the foot of the cross. A lot of love to you and your family right now.

    1. Oh Natty, thank you so much! I’m so glad this hit home with you. And wow — what a beautiful thought — everything lands at the foot of the cross. That’s so powerful. I’m going to write that on a post it and pop it on my mirror 🙂 Thanks again my friend. you are a blessing to me. hugs xox

  49. Keep going! Keep praying and keep hoping, open to whatever is next, and living in the present moment. Spoil yourself a bit when you can – favourite music, food, TV when there is time for it. Scented baths, books, when appropriate. Know that you are loved – enormously – by your Dad, by your Mum when she can think it, by your God. And by your friends. Doing well!

    1. Living in the present moment. That is such great advice. And spoiling myself a bit — haha I like that!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 jk jk but I totally get what you’re saying — take some “me” time, whether that’s a nice bubble bath with a sugar scrub or just a pleasant walk to listen to my favorite music. Thank you so much for this, Mari. You are a blessing to me, and I’m very grateful for our friendship 🙂 sending massive hugs to you xox

  50. I remember when it dawned on me that when you love, it sometimes brings terrible pain. I had a breakdown over one of my grandsons about 8 years ago. To watch what was happening in his life broke my heart. I had to leave the family for a few months and go live with my sisters. Even when I came home I wasnt ready, so I lived with my mother for another month.

    I’ve learned from Joyce Meyer how to give these feelings of love/pain to God. She says to just believe God is working. Not believe everything will turn out great, only believe he is working for you and your family. This brings me peace.

    Joyce always says, and this has helped me the most, to quote Scripture out loud. Find verses that help, write them down and say them out loud when you feel sad or overwhelmed. Doing this has saved my sanity. There is great power in God’s word.

    May God strengthen and comfort you and your family.

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers. Amen to that — there is such power in His word. I’m so sorry that you had to walk that road with your grandson. I’m glad that you had the support to get through that difficult period. That’s great advice — God is working. Thanks again. hugs xox

  51. This is a beautiful piece expressing such depth of love. It is a Christ-like love that suffers for others. Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends,” and that is certainly what you are doing.

    If I may, I would like to suggest something that may help- please forgive me if you just needed a listener.

    I think it’s important that you know that asking others for help, and talking about the hurt is incredibly strong. It is true fortitude and humility. It is also another way to spread love, because, although you are seeking love from someone when you ask for help, you are granting them an opportunity to give you that love that you need. Don’t be afraid to talk to people you trust- it is a blessing to everyone involved.

    May the love of God which surpasses all knowledge and understanding keep you and be with you forever. Amen.

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement and prayer, Connor. That’s such great advice – asking for help or seeking support from others is really a good thing to do – i need to make sure I’m filled up so that I can continue to give. Thanks so much for your kindness. Big hugs to you xox

  52. Dear one, it needs to be bigger than just you and Jesus, big as that is. Good work opening your heart here and getting good words. Please consider connecting with a prayer chain or prayer circle so you can know others are sharing the load. Consider daily Mass if available where you live or even on television which my neighbor relied on in a similar time. Can a priest or deacon bring you Communion? I usually avoid advice, but your situation really touches me. If I have overstepped, please forgive me.

    1. Thank you so much for this, Elizabeth. I really appreciate this perspective and advice — truly! thank you! You have not overstepped at all! We have been going to mass every sunday and adoration when we can. My mom is hooked into several bible studies and they are all praying for us. But you’re right, I think doing something of those things as *me* and not *my mom and me* would be really good to do. so thank you for that 🙂 big hugs xox

      1. Yes. You need a place to be honest without hurting your mom’s feelings. I’m a mom and I know it is hard to hear my daughter struggling with my health challenges. She needs a place to vent, as do you.

  53. Carolyn, there’s nothing that anyone can say to change the basic fact that love does, in fact, hurt beyond belief sometimes.

    32 years ago (exactly on 20th Feb ’85 as it happens) my brother died in a road accident. After 32 years the love endures, and so does a certain level of pain with the loss. When my dad got cancer in ’99 we had 3 months to care for him and say goodbye. Watching him go was dreadful, and the activity of loving him hurt.

    The last 7 years my wife has been fighting for her life. Loving her has hurt, but she’s currently in remission and we’re about to emigrate to the UK for a while. Loving her has hurt these last years, but I don’t regret it. I’m sure loving me has hurt her just as much as we’ve fought to save her.

    But we were never told loving would be easy or painless.

    Jesus loved and it led Him to crucifixion. The Father loved and He had to watch His Son die because He loves us.

    Love and pain are intertwined so much that it’s impossible to remove them sometimes from one another, and the more you love, the more pain you can be exposed to.

    After Robin died (my brother), I shut down and refused to let anyone in. I never wanted that kind of pain again.

    I BEG you not to fall into that trap. It feels easy to start with, keeping everyone at a distance. But the hurt from not loving is so much worse than the hurt from loving and losing.

    I love my friends. I have few truly close friends now, having elected quality over quantity. I can count them on one hand, and leaving South Africa means leaving my three closest friends 9000 miles away – but I wouldn’t change having them as friends for anything.

    Then there are the people who have made a true difference in my life that I pray for regularly and I genuinely love. Some I see most days and some I’ve never actually met in person (you would be one of those btw). I wouldn’t change having those influences in my life, loving those people even though I hurt for them when they hurt, they make my life richer, more worthwhile. Less superficial.

    I’m certain I’m not alone when I say this, but know you are not carrying your pain alone. Through the medium of this blog you have people from all over the world who are praying for you, who are praying for your parents, and who love you as a beloved little (or older) sister.

    It’s a privilege to be allowed to share your story. Even if we never meet in this world, you are loved and prayed for, simply because like any true friend, you share yourself and take time to listen as well. That’s what friendship is about.

    Choose who you let in closely very carefully, but love people so they can love and support you. I don’t mean on WordPress, Patreon or You Tube. I mean in real life.

    As much as we all love your blog, remember to take time out for yourself. Unplug for a while. Literally. There’s a place I go sometimes a couple of hours drive from home where there’s no cellphone coverage, no land-line telephone, no TV. I go for 3 or 4 days and although they put in a microwave last time I was there, I cook over a fire and all you can hear is the sound of the waves on the shore literally a stone’s throw from the door (if you have a good arm!). It’s the kind of place where you can’t help but hear God’s voice and be refreshed – and the best part is going with people I love. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other “socialising”. Just real connection, real conversation, real support, and most importantly real Love.

    But don’t ever doubt you are loved. Even if loving hurts, believe an old cynic when I say it’s SO much better than not loving.

    As always, I’m praying for you.

    Genesis 2:18 (Complete Jewish Bible). Check it out on http://www.biblegateway.com – that specific translation. Just a thought for you from prayer…

    David

    1. Hi David — wow I am so incredibly touched by this heart felt response. First of all, gosh, David, what a journey your life has been on. My heart just goes out to you and all that you’ve been through. I’m so glad that you’ve found a supportive community and friend group to join you along the way. You’re right – quality over quantity. That’s such a powerful way to live. And That’s such great advice – to unplug. I’ve been thinking about that too. To take some time to just have some mental “down time.” You are such a good friend, David, and I am so grateful that our paths crossed. You are a blessing to me. Thank you for the prayers and for passing along that link. I look forward to reading and reflecting on that today. Sending big big hugs to you xoxoxoxo

      1. I once had a minister who heard my full testimony over at that point my 28 year life. After we had been talking for a few meetings he advised me not to tell people my life story in one go as most people would not believe how much had happened, and most would not be able to take in exactly how much Grace I’ve received as a result.

        We’ve had some real crap to wade through in what has now been almost 45 years, 32 since Robin died and 31 and a half as a Christian. And a lot of the hardest blows have been in the last seven years. It’s certainly been quite a journey, and it’s not over yet. I’m only halfway through Moses observation of “three-score years and ten or four score if we have the strength”. God’s own command was not more than an hundred and twenty years, so I’m about a third of the way through my target!

        But most people ask how I can still be optimistic after so much. My response is easy (now).

        One of my favourite ministers is Andrew Wommack, another was the late Dave Duell. Both of them have said the same thing: you only run into the enemy if you’re not going in his direction.

        Why would every step in my life where I’ve started to try to move in the direction I am certain God was moving me have had such resistance if it’s NOT God’s direction? My wife and I started to try to move back to England five years ago, after a lot of prayer and thought (in that order). Job offers fell through, visa issues arose, despite being British-born I can’t just take the lady I’ve been married to for nearly 14 years now to the country of my citizenship because my income in that country has not been sufficient for the last few months. So she has to have a job offer and a work visa, but God has opened the doors so far now:

        In November there was nothing on the cards. All the doors were closed. Then a few days before Christmas she got a call from an agency that had previously rejected her CV asking if they could submit it to a hospital group that had already said they didn’t want her. She said OK as we felt God’s hand could be in this since it wasn’t a door we could even see. Two days later they called to arrange an interview by Skype on 4th January because of the Christmas break.

        Interviewed at 4 to 5pm UK time on 4th January. (6pm to 7pm SA time).

        Called at 11am SA time – 9am GMT 5th January. Job offer extended to her in psychiatry. So impressed with her the hospital has applied to become a registered Sponsor for Non-EU overseas employees so they can employ her. The Home Office rarely gives these credentials away to an organisation that already has an offer extended because a requirement is that the post must be advertised first in the UK, then the EU before it can be offered outside. They only accept applications on 5th of each month from potential sponsors. Application was filed on 5th February and we had word of it’s successful completion yesterday. My wife has had to extend the starting date of her contract three times because of visa delays. The hospital spoke to her directly and said not to worry, they will wait and hold the post as long as it takes so they can employ her. She’s just waiting now for the result of an English Language exam to prove she can speak English, despite being a member of the General Medical Council doctor’s registration already and having been lectured in medicine in English. The examiner she saw last week was not a native English speaker, a beautiful irony. She grew up in South Africa during apartheid, but has to complete a self-defence course in England before she can start work there. These delaying tactics now are bordering on comical, except they have held things up another month. But now all our ducks are in a row and we just have to wait the final decision for her actual visa application to be processed.

        So no matter how dark things have been, no matter how hard the winter, dawn breaks. Spring comes again. Even the enemy cannot stop the seasons changing.

        On reflection, Love isn’t what hurts though. Our pastor met with us this week and listened to my wife’s story and simply pointed out that the story will not change, but the lie is how the enemy frames the picture it creates. Like a painting hung behind tinted glass looks nothing like the real image, when the frame is changed, the true colours appear.

        I’m still learning to look for the fake frames. My grandfather was a preacher and a few weeks before he went Home he called me, very excited, because at the age of 80 God was showing him something new in a passage he’d studied since he was 16. 64 years later, God was still reframing the image for him, so I definitely don’t expect to see everything clearly after 32!

        Much love and hugs my friend XOXO

      2. thank you so much for this reflection, David. wow, congrats on your wife for her new job! God is so good. I’ve never heard of that preacher, but wow, what a powerful quote. so true. I willl have to look him up! I love what you wrote so much — it’s true, the dawn breaks. Spring comes again. There is so much hope in that. thanks for sharing and stopping by and just being amazing. big hugs xox

    2. David, I wanted to wait for Caralyn to respond first to you before I did. Thank you for what you wrote. It caught my heart and deeply touched me. You took all the words out of my mouth, and I was amazed by the resonance your reply created in me.

      I agree with you totally. In fact, we shared what you wrote in our family devotions today, and since I decided to respond to the urging of, I believe, God prompting me to start to share my story, by launching my blog, I’ve begun to gain a far deeper appreciation of community and shared lives. I share your view of friendship, and know what a vast distance needs to be crossed once a person becomes ‘…receding; a distant ship’s smoke on the horizon’ to quote Roger Waters in ‘Comfortably Numb’.

      God bless you, my brother, with much joy, fellowship of intimacy with Him that goes ‘farther in and farther up’, and His presence with you closer than a shadow.

      Many regards,
      Indi

  54. It’s a tough balance to strike. On the one hand, care giving involves patient love and making space for those in our care to vent their frustration. Their lives have been changed, stopped short, confined and otherwise messed up in ways hard to appreciate.

    At the same time, our own health and dignity – essential to caring for them! – demand that there be some healthy boundaries, that we not allow a dysfunctional relationship to emerge where we become an emotional punching bag for them to work out stuff.

    It is early here and I’m sure I’m mixing metaphors. But I hope the point comes through. Thinking of you.

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. You’re right – her life has been turned on its head and I 100% empathize with what she must be going through. I can’t even imagine. But you’re right, I have to make sure that I am filling up my own tank too. There’s another metaphor to throw in the mix 😉 haha thanks again. big hugs xox

  55. To help you .. I’m reading Ann Voskamp’s “The Broken Way” – I promise that reading it will give you some great perspective, energy and understanding the bigger process in the weariness. Truly, it’s what you do when you are at the end of you that God uses. The people witnessing your care (I mean online, neighbors and yeah, family) are seeing real love. Love that only kicks in when it’s inconvenient and bothersome.

    You are the real deal. By all means find the rhythm of rest – I mean for body, soul and mind (get the book; it’s on Kindle if that matters) – but also by all means, don’t give up. Prayers are going up for you which means strength will come down.

    Blessings,

    John

    1. Hi John, thanks so much for this. The Broken Way – I will definitely look into that. I have never had the luxury of time to read, and though I still don’t really have that time, I think I could make some time here in this season, as it is more conducive to quiet time. Thanks for passing that along. I think that’s so true – God uses us when we are at the end of ourselves…what a powerful thought. Thanks again for this beautiful encouragement and for your continued prayers. You are a real deal friend 🙂 hugs xox

  56. just taking a moment to read this post is all it needs for me to think over a lot of things and evaluate a lot of decision. I can boldly say that your post has made me a better person. Grace and strength to you too to practice as you have written.

  57. The pain and challenge that inevitably comes up from love is (I’m sure you know) a gift in itself. This is especially true in marriage, which is why we go so far as to call that a sacrament (a means of grace); but any self-giving love or holy passion will lead to pain of some sort. Hence the “passion” of our Lord is both about his suffering & death as well as about his love for those for whom he died. You’re sharing in his sufferings as you offer yourself as a “living sacrifice” in this time of service to your mother and the rest of your family.

    It’s a beautiful thing, and a place where God’s grace is clearly evident and readily available. And as you endure the suffering, that grace will have a transformative impact upon you (and likely others), growing you in sanctification / making you more like Christ. As everyone else is saying, what you’re doing is a beautiful thing, and your endurance not only does you credit, but reflects the infinite endurance and love of our Lord and Savior.

    God bless!

    1. Hi Fr. Bench, thank you so much for this insightful response. What a powerful thought — Jesus’s death was an act of both suffering and incredible love. I do feel that God is holding up my family right now. His grace is amazing. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement. I am humbled by your kind words and honored that you would take the time to read my blog. God bless xox

  58. (((hugs))) to you sweet one! You are such a light, even when you’re feeling the darkness. Please remember that you need to take care of yourself too. It’s very easy to give and give and give – be open to receiving. Do something for yourself today – if it’s asking your dad for a hug, or taking a walk or having some quiet time – do something for YOU. <3 sending you much love and lifting you up <3

    1. oh Erin, thank you so much. what a kind thing to say. You’re right – I’m going to take a minute for myself today. Because in order to be able to give, I have to be full myself Thanks for that encouragement. big hugs to you xo

  59. “Love is not always a walk in the park. Love is a choice. And I am realizing that now more than ever. Even if that means enduring some tough moments that leave me feeling raw or with a trampled spirit.
    We are called to love. Even when it hurts.” How much this RINGS truth in “this moment” of my life. A reversed experience however of mother to child. Keeping my eyes on Christ crucified always brings hope, because it is there I am reminded the Triumph does not rest in the pain of the crucifixion….but rather in JOY of the resurrection which follows! HUGS to you dear one for patiently enjoying the “hurt” until you might celebrate the Joy of New Life together!!

  60. I believe one of the hardest lessons we learn in this life is to love even when that emotion is not returned. That is especially true when a parent, spouse, or close family member is involved. I watched dementia turn my once vibrant, life-loving and love-giving grandmother into an empty shadow of her former self. My saintly mother cared for my grandmother through the mental confusion and physical deterioration with both love and frustrated, angry tears. My dad would always be there, giving my mom a break when she had given her all. Through my mom’s example, I saw unconditional love. I saw love extended without it being returned. I saw moments where charity shone.
    That being said, love came with an emotional cost. My mom did need breaks. She did need help. There were times other family members stepped in so my mom could recharge her emotional resources. She was a better care-giver after she had taken some few moments to be a care-receiver. Take care of yourself, too, as you so selflessly care for your dear mother. Angels hold you up.

    1. Thank you, Thunker, for sharing this. Wow, it sounds like your mom is a pretty incredible woman. I’m sorry that you had to watch your grandmother go through that. You’re right, it’s so very hard. Thanks for the encouragement. I do believe that God is holding up my family and I right now. I am very grateful for that. And for you, my friend 🙂 big hugs xox

  61. The truth of the cross in three words: grace transforms everything 🙂 “It’s by many afflictions that we enter into the kingdom,” Holy Scripture says. Every Christian is called by faith and grace to suffer together with Jesus. The matyr is someone who suffers martyrdom: the word „martyria“ means „testimony“. It is our work to give testimony to our Christian Faith even in the midst of horrendous suffering; in this way we are bearers of divine life.

    Blessings to you,
    Mark

    1. Grace transforms everything. Wow Mark, three little words, but my goodness how powerful. Thank you for sharing that with me. You’re right – that’s what we’re called to do. Thanks for this. big hugs xox

  62. You touched my heart. My family is Catholic and I am reminded of when my mom was ill. I was the not favored child. You have my prayers for your mom. It is so difficult but she is with you. My mom is gone.

  63. Caring for someone with dementia, whether temporary or permanent, is very different than caring for someone without. We give so much more with often little to nothing in return. We go into it lovingly and accepting the challenges, but the reality of practice day after day can be disheartening and stressful. It takes a toll on the caregiver.

    We need our mother’s love no matter how old we are. When it isn’t as it used to be, it hurts. You are mourning a loss, and need to take the time to do that.

    Keep in mind that you are of no value to your mother if you are emotionally or physically depleted. You absolutely have to walk away from time-to-time. I learned that the hard way and nearly paid for it with my own life. And then where would my loved one be? If you are feeling the strain or overwhelming sadness that comes with the territory, please take a break–daily, weekly, and monthly. Much love to you.

    1. Thank you so much Mary. I’m sorry that you know first hand the challenges it brings. I’m so glad you got through that tough time. That’s a powerful lesson you learned, that I very much appreciate you passing along. You’re right, I need to readjust how I look at taking those breaks – it isn’t selfish or bad…it’s actually good and necessary because it allows me to continue to have something to give. I’m going to NYC for a shoot and to go to one of my best friend’s birthday party in a couple weeks, so that will be a nice time to get away. thanks for the constant encouragement and positivity. You are a blessing to me 🙂 big hugs xox

    1. The problem with “the rascal behind the curtain” is “free will.” Love says “let there be more of you in the world.” When the beloved uses that power to hurt others, the lover is confronted with a choice. Unconditional Love must change allegiances to the wounded party. Thus it is taught: you can neither earn nor control the Father; we can only follow Jesus, and surrender to the Father’s guidance. That guidance is compassion for the suffering of others.

      1. 1944 It is time for war, as some might say, a Pearl Harbor day has dawned. I didn’t ask for this war. It came at me. So let me explain as explanations can be. Hee hee hee hee heee. The Question of the Article of whether love hurts, I responded to the topic.. Now you bring another. Please put a post of your own to be able myself to respond to topic. Please. As, [pif]. No offense, blog owner.

      1. Well, sometimes, life must be put into symbolics in order to understand abstracts. As, my reference here being to the unjust judge who would not hear the widow, but only for her incessant pleadings that he would finally deign to hear her case (Luke 18, if you must). Obviously, I am being attacked not only by you but your readers on your blog, so I refrain from further future use of your wordplay. I didn’t come here for contention. But it seems others have, so good-bye. Hasta nunca. I believed that Bible talk was welcome here, but I see it is not.

      2. Hi Daniel, I’m sorry that you feel that I was being hostile — I definitely was not, and I apologize if it came off that way. I was simply asking for your clarity as to what you meant by the rascal behind He curtain. I was genuinely asking because I didn’t understand where you were coming from, since I don’t think I mentioned a rascal in my post. Although I am severely sleep deprived, so forgive me if I am remiss! 🙂 Anywho, I hope you decide to come back. All are always welcome 🙂 have a beautiful day. Hugs and love xox

  64. I have learned, that love needs to be unconditional, but also that when we love someone it doesnt mean we have to love everything they do, or refuse to do. loving someone and loving a behavior do not need to go hand in hand. sending you strength and faith, and yes, love #StrictMotivation

  65. You captured the feeling perfectly. My mom recently passed away from her lung disease but the emotionally charged room is exactly what I felt. I couldn’t even put the right amount of Splenda in her iced tea. Loving through the hurt is so hard, but now that I see my presence made a difference, it’s all forgotten. I just remember the love without the hurt. Your parents need you now more than ever and your love for them is very evident. God Bless.

    1. Hi Christa, thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so sorry for your loss. Gosh, my heart is just breaking for you. I’m glad though that you are able to look back and feel the love that was present, even when things were challenging. Thank you for your encouragement, it really means a lot. You and your family are in my prayers during this difficult time. Sending big hug s XO

  66. Dearest Caralyn:

    To love is to become a doorway by which God enters the world. Jesus himself testified that he did not do the work:
    John 14:9-12
    Mark 10:18

    And the heartbreaking:
    Matthew 27:46
    expressing the hurt of having those he came to serve slam the door in his face.

    Only God can heal certain wounds. We can but bring him into the room. As he said on so many occasions: “Your faith has healed you.”

    Wishing you peace with all my heart,

    Brian

    1. Hi Brian, thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. Wow! To love is to become a doorway by which God enters the world. What a powerful statement. I’m going to keep that with me for the rest of the week. Thanks again! You are good. Hugs

  67. So good. Love does hurt. One of my favorite books is “Hinds Feet on High Places.” and the Shepherd tells Much Afraid “Love and pain go together…but it is so happy to love.” I’ve thought and prayed about you and your mom since reading about her stroke. I’m glad to know she is doing better. Stay in the game and all.

    1. Thank you so much. Hinds Feet on High Places – I’ll have to look into that book. Thanks for passing it along. And gosh, that is so kind of you. Thank you for your continued prayers for my family and I. It means more than you know. I really appreciate the kindness. Sending humongous hugs!

  68. So beautifully written. It brings memories of my mother who developed dementia before she died. She was often cruel, but I could see the struggle and hurt in her eyes, and reading this also brings back my fun loving, strong, hard working mother to my mind. She took care of us, now it was our turn to take care of her. Brings to mind a song, I think from the 60’s, He’s not Heavy, He’s my Brother.
    Sending good thoughts and prayer your way. What you are doing now will bring you many rewards within.

    1. Oh thank you so much for this kind response. I so appreciate your prayers and good thoughts. I’m so sorry you had to go through that with your mother. I hope that you can look back and see only those joyful moments. What you have to her was a gift 🙂 thanks again my friend. Hugs and love xox

  69. Hi Caralyn,

    Unfortunately (but there’s always a blessing hidden somewhere, I’m sure), the truth is that love does hurt. Actually, I don’t think that it’s real or true unless it hurts somehow at some point and as you said, you still choose to continue to love. If love isn’t real and it starts to hurt or be a burden, love leaves. When I was getting divorced from my 1st husband, I was in so much despair that the Psychologist wasn’t enough. I went to our Catholic priest. I learned then that love is a decision – a decision to be committed to love, even when you’re so irritated, tired, upset, discouraged, despondent, etc. It is a conscious decision every morning when we wake up that we will continue to love even when we don’t feel like it. And that’s not easy. That can hurt.

    My mom used to tell me that loving someone who loves me is easy; nothing special about that. We must love despite not being loved, even when we are hurt. I didn’t understand it and I thought she was strange until I had my first real love and I had to leave the country. It hurt so much that I could almost touch it but at the same time the love was so strong and heartwarming. It was the weirdest thing. That love never faded even though it had to be kept in the background and in a slightly different form.

    Your love for your mom and your parents isn’t so different, I think, from God’s love for you, and your love for God, too. There’s quite a bit of pain right now. It’s part of our journey. If we get through the pain, the hurdle, we are stronger and the bind is tighter and can weather more, even stronger storms, in the future.

    Keep the faith; keep the love!

    Sending you big love from my side and lots of hugs
    Anne
    xxx

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Anne. You’re right — love is a decision. I love that so much. A conscious decision. That sounds like such an challenging season. I’m sorry you had to endure that, but it sounds like you learned some pretty powerful life lessons. I’m glad you’ve kept the faith and kept the love. Thank you so much for your kind words and support. I do feel like my family’s bond is tighter than ever before. big hugs to you xox

  70. I know how hard it is to love someone that feels their own body has betrayed them. I was married to my 1st wife for 32 years and the last 18 of it she was disabled. She passed away in 2011 and there were times her anger was overwhelming. She wasn’t mad at me but she felt cheated and she struck out at the only one she could. I will leave you with the words of the Apostle Paul:
    9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    You are in my prayers, my friend.

    1. Hi Eric, thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so sorry to hear that your wife has passed on to Heaven. My heart goes out to you. That must have been a tough journey. But how wonderful to know that we will all be reunited one day 🙂 What a comforting verse. His grace really has been raining down on my family and I, as cheesy as that may sound. But it’s so true. Thank you so much for your prayers. It really means the world. Big hugs to you xox

  71. I have a muscle disease and have been struggling immensely with physical health as well as the emotional impact my health has brought upon me. I know it must be hard for my husband who gives his unconditional love at all times to not always have the happy positive wife that I once was at all times. Keep the faith that your mom’s soul is the same and her heart is the same and on that soul level you can meet and feel the bond and joy even if not physically in the room.

    1. Oh gosh, Bethany, I am so sorry that you’re having to navigate that journey. I will definitely keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. That’s such a powerful thought: that her soul and heart are the same. I actually told her that today : that even when she was in the hospital and couldn’t really speak, that I could feel that same soul and love and heart in just the way she was holding my hand. This was such a beautiful response. thanks again. hugs xox

  72. Can I just confess that I failed at this?? My parents, in their mid 80s, in Assisted living for a couple of years now, plus having declined in their cognitive abilities before that, and I just wanted them to be as they always had been for my adult life. But that’s not how it works. I ask God to help me honor my father & mother. Not be selfish to want things to stay the same.

    Sorry bout that…I don’t know all about your situation, but I pray for your Mom, your Dad, you as caregiver. We need to encourage each other.

    Blessings, dear soul!

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, and for sharing this about your parents. That definitely sounds like a tough situation, and I will definitely keep them and your whole family in my thoughts and prayers. I definitely can relate to your feelings, of wanting things to be the same as growing up. The whole aging process is hard to navigate for sure. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind encouragement. Big hugs to you oxox

  73. Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe has been sooo soothing to me in times like these. Remember you’re not alone in times like these. We all have times when we feel alone, but the reality is, He has gone the way before us and prepared the way. He’s already done the prep work for you. Just accept the grace that He’s already provided in every moment.

    Hind’s Feet In High Places is a really good book! I recommend it too! It helped me through some really trying times as a teenager and messages from the book keep coming back through the years. You’ll love it!

    1. Thank you so much for passing along these book recess. I will definitely look into them! What a comforting truth — that He has paved the way for us. We are never alone. And i do feel that He has showered my family and I with grace and mercy in all of this. Thanks for your kindness and encouragement. hugs xox

      1. You are so welcome! Steady my heart is a song not a book, but that would sure make a great book title! You can find the song on youtube. I absolutely love a lot of the songs that Kari Jobe sings. Their real, genuine and fit the raw places that we often hit that nobody likes talk about. If’n you know what I mean. I hope things get easier for you!

  74. Goodness, I just want to be your friend!!! I love your writing. Your hurt is conveyed very gracefully. You can tell the therapy it provides your soul. I hope this storm passes soon, and your mother is well. I pray for you and your father to have patience during such a trying time.

    1. Thank you so much Dacia! Aw you’re so sweet. Yeah the writing is really healing for me. Thank you for you kind words and prayers. It truly means the world. And yes! Let’s be friends! 😍😍😍Hugs and love xox

  75. I am very sorry that you are going through a tough time. I nursed my father and it was an unsettling experience for me. It’s like family dynamics which I was used to had changed, and it made me feel very vulnerable. However, you will come out of it as a stronger and more compassionate person, I promise. My father taught me a lot about myself without him uttering a word about it while I was at his bedside. Be strong for your mom and your family. You are a wonderful person.X

    1. Thank you so much for such kind words, I really appreciate the encouragement. And thank you for sharing your story. What a gift you’ve given your father. He sounds like a great man. I’m sorry that you can relate in such a personal way. But I’m glad it has given you such wisdom and a powerful life lesson. Thanks again for the encouragement. big hugs xox

  76. > Going forward, I know things are going to probably get harder, not easier.

    You don’t know this. Don’t assume this. I’ve spent tons of time in neuro-wards due to a car accident that me and my dad were involved in and for him it resulted in severe traumatic brain injury at the time. This was one of the worst things that happened in my life. An absolute nightmare. Additionally all that time I spend in the hospital and eventually meeting numerous other patients (stroke patients included) was quite a learning experience. Anyway,.. I wont go into details but my dad actually eventually made a comeback. I won’t say he is 100% but its still remarkable and all in all he is well.

    Ok. Take care and God Bless! I will be praying for you and your family.
    ~ Raj

    1. Thanks Raj, I really appreciate that perspective. Oh wow, I’m so sorry to hear that you and your dad had to go through that. It sounds like that was a real life changing experience. I’m so glad that you are both okay and that he is doing so well! God is good! Thanks for the prayers. Big hugs xox

  77. Wonderful read and an emotion we can all relate to. Love is Giving of ourself into service to God and the well being of others. Sometimes love does hurt because it’s tough love made for growth and strength. Theirs always a lesson in all forms of love and we can be assured we shall suffer for our Lords sake. I will keep your dad and mother in my earnest prayers. Thanks for sharing my friend.

    1. Thank you so much Stephen. What a thoughtful and beautiful reflection. You’re right – there is always a lesson to be learned in love. So glad you stopped by. I really appreciate your prayers. Big hugs xox

  78. I am so sorry of what happened to your mother. I pray that she has a good recovery in Jesus name and she is healed from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet in the name of Jesus Christ! Romans 12:9 “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good”. Love is good, family is good, laughter is good, prayer is good, hope is good but above all GOD is good.
    I can’t understand all things but God knows all things. Just know that God loves you and everyone around you. That Jesus is looking out for you and you (His child) will not be moved (Psalm 112:6; Proverbs 12:3). John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. That is God’s promise to us and God never fails or falls short on his promises. I hope this is encouraging to you. God bless YOU!

    1. I am going to cling to that promise! Thank you so much for this beautiful response. I am so touched by your encouragement. What comforting scripture – God is good and gives us life! Thanks for that reminder. And thanks for your prayers. It really means a lot. Big hugs to you xox

  79. Thinking of you and offering prayers. Your ability to empathize with your mother and to try to see from her perspective even when you are overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted is really remarkable. Do you think it could be a miracle? It must certainly be the influence of the Holy Spirit, don’t you think? That you can be so open to love, to serving God’s purpose and doing his will, whatever that will may be, even when you are in a spiritual “desert,” so to speak, is a sign of your deep faith and trust. I am reflecting on that in hopes that it will bring you some encouragement, but also, because there is a lesson in your example for me. Thank you. And if you ever need a friend in Dayton, I’m an email away. Remember to take care of yourself while you are taking care of others. We are called to love ourselves as we love our neighbors. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much Lulu. I really appreciate your prayers and friendship during this trying season 🙂 you know, I do think God’s grace is miraculous – and I really feel like He has been holding my family and I during this difficult season. You are so wonderful, thank you for the encouragement, Lulu. That’s kind of you to say. And that’s right- we are allowed to-and need-to love ourselves and include ourselves in the care plan too:) thanks again Lulu. You are a blessing to me. Big hugs xox

  80. I could feel your pain. I read a book years ago in which one of the characters was called “Acceptance With Joy”. At the times of pain like you are walking through, when you cannot change the circumstances nor help the person to understand so they can make adjustment, then the best way to handle it is to accept it with joy and let love cover it all. I believe that is what Jesus would do.

    1. Accept it with joy and let love cover all. Wow, what a powerful thought. I believe that’s what Jesus would do too. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful reflection, Joy. I really appreciate it. Big hugs xox

  81. Hey Girl! I know what you are going through and I appreciate you sharing so honestly and pouring out your heart! It is tough and you need to lean on God and you need others to stand with you! I took care of my mom for 5 1/2 years! It is an incredible journey of love and pain and so many more emotions!
    Talk to God, talk to others, especially those going through the same–check with your mom’s doc or the hospital for support groups in your area!
    Love and prayers for you and your family!

    Thank you for visiting my blog https://thelittleredwagonblog.wordpress.com/ and liking my post “Keep Moving Forward”

  82. Amazing entry. I hadn’t thought about the personality changes that come along with a stroke, but it makes sense. I would almost think that that’s the hardest part. I hope you have some kind of support system. With the challenges my partner and I have had with our son, we’ve always been able to tag team when necessary. If you don’t have one close at hand, I’m glad to have met you through your blog.

    I love the phrase “Love is a choice.” Man, that’s just brilliant! Very well put! Love certainly is a choice, and a daily one…sometimes moment to moment.

    I’m so sorry to read of your situation and how draining it can be. I wish there was something brilliant I could say. I just don’t know.

    I’m glad you wrote this entry. I suppose all I can say is that while you were writing, the I, we, were there with you.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. It really means a lot. You’re right- moment to moment. And right now you’re catching me in one of those moments…I can’t tell you how much this little nudge of affirmation means. Thank you with all my heart. Hugs and love xox

      1. I’m glad I could be there for you. Send me a message if you ever need to vent. It’s not a bad thing, sometimes it’s necessary.

        It’s good to see that your getting so much support. That’s a good thing.

        Sending “positive vibes” your way!
        Theseus

  83. My mom lays in a hospital bed dying as I type this. She had a right brain stroke yesterday. I’ve been her caregiver for over a year. The road a head will get harder. It will bring you moments of turmoil and moments of utter thankfulness that you are a part of your mom’s healing. I’m about to lose the one person in my life that would do anything for me. I’m about to lose someone who is my best friend.. she’s my mom. God bless you that your mom’s stroke wasn’t as severe as my mom’s was. Hold your mother close, always cherish her. God bless.

    1. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry to hear that. Gosh, my heart just goes out to you right now and I am sending all my love and prayers to you and your mother. It sounds like your mother is an incredibly amazing woman and that the two of you have a really special bond. Lord, lay your blanket of peace over snowangel and her mother in this challenging moment. Hang in there. Sending so many hugs and love xox

      1. I dealt with a ED for my whole life. My Mommy was there for me and suffered right along with me. I still am. I’m fighting for my life not to eat food to find comfort. Thank you for your prayers.

      2. You’re so welcome, I will definitely continue to pray. ED is insidious, and the fight is long and difficult. I believe in you 🙂 And I can totally relate – my mom suffered right along there with me too during that time. That’s something I don’t think people really appreciate about ED, is how it doesn’t just impact the girl (or boy), but also her family, and parents especially. Everyone lives through it and suffers together. Thanks again for sharing that. sending so so much love and hugs xox

      3. Oh my goodness, I’m sending up a prayer for her and your family right now. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart is just breaking right now for you. Sending all my love. May she Rest In Peace.

  84. I know how some of this can feel and I know it is heartbreaking. When I was 21, my mum went to work one day just as normal, then at some point during the work day something happened in her mind and she ended up getting taken away in handcuffs and being sectioned as she had become a risk to others. From this day on (15 years) she has never been the person that went to work that day, she is in and out of hospital and on heavy medication – and sometimes it feels that I have never had a Mum since. I don’t share your spiritual faith but I do hope that your families struggles take an upturn soon

  85. Kid I will say this. What you are doing for your mom is amazing! She has a wonderful daughter. But make sure to take time for you. You need to recharge as well. Do something you love. Go out and find the parts of life that have NOT changed.

    This will rejuvenate you and mom will benefit from a recharged and loving little girl!

    1. Oh tony, thank you so much. That’s so kind of you to say. The Truth is, I really have a wonderful mom and this I the least I can do. She’s been my rock my entire life and I’m so grateful to be able to do this. That’s such great advice – I will definitely do that. It’s good to recharge:) thanks again. Hugs and love xox

  86. Your pain is the expanding size of your heart. <3 Hopefully, your mom will recover more each day.

  87. I’ll be praying for you and your mom. By the way, our pastor defines love in this way: giving a person what he (or she) needs the most, when he (or she) deserve it the least, at great personal cost.

    You’re right – Love is action, and not necessarily an emotion. We choose to love and to behave accordingly, even when we don’t feel like it. Real love – the love talked about in the Bible and exemplified by Jesus – is hard, but it is very deep.

    It sounds like you love your mom in this way. You are experiencing a tremendous personal cost now, but you’re choosing to love your mom with your actions, even when you could do something different. I believe that God will honor you for the choices that you are making, but I know that doesn’t make anything easier for you now.

    Psalm 34:19 comes to mind now – I may have share this verse with you in the past – but hang in there. God is faithful, even (especially?) when things are hard.

    1. Oh gosh, thank you so much for this kind response. Giving a person what they need the most when they deserve it the least at great personal cost — wow what a powerful way to put it. Thanks for sharing that. Oh yes, I love that verse too. So comforting and full of hope. Yes, God is faithful. I am clinging to that truth. I really appreciate this wonderful encouragement. hugs xox

  88. Oh dear, this sounds so hard but let me reassure you that you ARE being the light and bringing the joy that your family so needs right now; even if you don’t feel it. God bless you and all that you are ~ Annebella. Keep on keep’n on, take it one day at a time and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. Thank you so much for this kind response. I really appreciate hat reassurance. My heart is so full right now 🙂 and thank you for the prayers, Annabella. It means the world!!! Hugs and love xox

  89. “Love is not a because , it is a no matter what”
    This is so true and we actually love because God loved us first.
    He is able to put His love in our heart and that is able to stand the test of life.
    I pray for more grace in this situation you find yourself that His love may abound and push you where your strength leaves you.
    Blessings…

  90. So sorry for what you are going through. I do know, though that this is a critical (if painful) lesson. Some days it will be easier to handle, and others it will be less easy. Hang in there and keep your eyes on Jesus. I’m in a similar place right now for different reasons, and I keep meditating on Hebrews 12:2-4 to remind me of what He did for me… May the Lord be your refuge and strength in a weary season!

    1. Thanks so much, HM. You’re right, this is definitely an important lesson that I’m going to learn. Not quite sure what it is yet, but I do know the Lord is at work and that He will work this all together for good…eventually. Thanks for passing that verse along..I hope everything is okay. I will definitely keep you and yours in my prayers. Hang in there friend 🙂 massive hugs to you xox

  91. We had a storm here today. “Storm Doris” (gotta love how English our names are for our storms!). I sat in my favourite spot by the sea and watch the 63mph winds blowing the sand into swirling, stinging clouds, and watched how – with the wind at 90 degrees to the incoming tide – the wind made the waves in the shallows go in a different direction to the one they intended to.

    I thought about the storms of life.

    We often say to someone “going through it” things like “hey, this too shall pass!” and I realised that whilst that can seem an irritating platitude that doesn’t help, it is of course true. Otherwise, why call it a storm?

    Storms pass. Even Hurricane Alley has days with no hurricanes… 😉

    Today the winds here blow the sand and move the water. But the tide still came in. The waves might have changed direction for a bit, but the tide still came in. It will go out again. And in again. Regardless of whether the winds are still strong or have dropped.

    The beach will still be there after the winds drop. Sure, there will be drifts in new places and rocks freshly exposed in others. But the beach, the sand, will still be there. Today, tomorrow, as it was yesterday.

    Storms affect the things we see but they don’t need to alter who we are. As a born again child of God you have Holy Spirit inside you. Unchanging. He who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    For your Mum too, the landscape on the surface may look different and that may make HER look different, but inside she is still the same woman she has always been.

    This storm will pass, and you will both (and Dad!) be as beautiful and as precious after as before.

    Much love to you xxx

    1. Wow, Mary, what an incredible response. Thank you so much for sharing this. What an evening you had with the storm Doris. It sounds equally scary and yet surprisingly peaceful. How true is that – what you wrote really resonated with my spirit. He is unchanging. The beach may look a little different but He is the same and my family and I will get through this. Thank you for this wonderful encouragement. It’s just what I needed to hear. Big hugs to you and stay safe:) Hugs and love xox

  92. Hey Beauty, I just wanted to add in my two cents and tell you that you don’t have to do anything. Just be you. You don’t have to find any magical words to say in order to make it all better. Right now you need to be a dartboard. Let those arrows of frustration pierce your chest and melt into warm water. Like you said, the crucifix is the ultimate showing of giving it all up for others. Times will be rough and you will cry again – and again and again – but they know you love them. They will always know how much you love them. Even if on the surface they can’t see it. The important thing is that GOD CAN SEE IT and He will make you whole.

    Remember to take time out for YOU as well. You can’t charge a battery for others when your own charge is low. Take time MAKE TIME to go out and surround yourself with the people and places that give you a boost. You only live once. Take care of yourself and you will be better able to take care of your mom and dad. Love ya kid. 🙂

    1. Aw, Eric, thank you so much for this. You’re right, it’s important to take time…even MAKE time for myself so that I can continue to take care of them. That’s such great advice. I really appreciate your encouragement. big hugs to you xox

  93. You are an amazing daughter – trying to do all you can for mom, and being strong for dad too. Take care of yourself also – the reason I am saying this is that you can be everyone’s sunshine but your light needs to be replenished too. Prayer helps – occasionally don’t feel guilty to take that break and go for a walk, or meet a friend for an hour. Your mom is not being herself – just let any hurtful words roll off. If anyone offers help, take it. Don’t be hesitant to ask for help too. Love to you and prayers for your family!

    1. Oh gosh thank you so much. That’s so kind of you to say 🙂 that’s so true – I need to replenish my spirit to. I’m actually taking a walk right now 🙂 thanks for the encouragement and prayers. It means the world. Hugs and love xox

  94. Love is what we have to offer the world and ourselves even as the skies are shaking. Sounds like you’ve got plenty of it in store and plenty of honesty too. Good combination.

      1. And the same back at you. Best thing about love is it’s free and doesn’t wear out if you use it a lot. Xx

  95. Hello BBB,

    Thanks for sharing. Love has many sides and God allies His children to experience it all to mature. He is making you an artist who can paint with real depth. Pray you keep turning this into gold. Not to be crude but here is a daring you can make an infograph with: “When life gives you crap, make manure.” Isn’t it true that God’s children use everything for His glory? Have a great week.

    Gary On Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 4:00 PM BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “There is a weariness of spirit, that I’m going > to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to encounter. My mom always taught me, > growing up, that if I ever wanted to get myself out of a funk, or feel > better, that all I needed to do was to help or do something nic” >