God's unfailing love for us will not be shaken.

…my unfailing love for you will not be shaken… (Isaiah 54:10)


“Who takes care of you?” my husband asked.

My first thought was, “I’m fine, I don’t need anything,” – but I know that thought wasn’t true. A caregiver’s strength does not come from self but from the Lord. The grace and strength to carry on year after year is a blessing the Lord gives to the family – but we carry that blessing in “jars of clay,” as it were, and those vessels can become cracked and worn.

Seventeen years ago, my husband left his position as a children’s pastor due to chronic Lyme Disease. His desire to serve and his shepherd’s heart still come out in questions like the one he asked me. However, the ongoing joint pain, memory loss, confusion, chemical sensitivities, and other aspects of Lyme preclude that possibility.

Our children were one and three then, and now they are grown. Sometimes, I marvel: How did we survive all these years? There is only one answer – the Lord has sustained us and provided for us through His work and the hands of others.

Caregivers in our society are often held to unreasonable standards. Caregivers who stay by their spouse, ailing parent, or special needs child are exalted as almost super-human or spiritual giants. The ones who leave their spouse or family because they just don’t know how to cope are spurned and scorned. There is no middle ground, no room to be simply human as a caregiver. Who cares for the caregiver?


Maybe no one around you understands that, and maybe sometimes you forget that yourself. You feel the needs of others intensely, the work of caregiving is all around you and never-ending, and you see that no one but you is going to fill those needs. So you fill those needs, feeling (as I did at first) that while you need everything because your world has fallen apart, you need nothing others can give.

Who can be a spouse, child, or parent in your place and fill all the needs at a moment’s notice? Who can get up in the night, go to the doctor, or come running when your loved one cries out in pain? Who can fix the broken dreams? When you look at those things, everything else pales and seems meaningless.


What do you need? Who takes care of you?

I find that the seemingly little things are big, and caregivers must let others help.

  • Do you have acquaintances who love to cook or clean? Let them send an occasional meal or help with a household project, mundane cleaning, or organizing.
  • Do you have friends who can watch your children? Let them spell you for a few hours while you get out of the house.
  • Are there folks who ask to pray for you? Give them specific requests.

Maybe you have a lot of people in your life who want to help – or perhaps you are struggling to think of even one person who wants to help. Pray. Ask God to show you your needs and ask Him to send help.

I have found that sometimes, God sends someone to help – and sometimes, God gives me the strength to bear the burden instead.

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10)

My heart often feasts on these words. My world fell apart, but God’s love had not changed.

Yellow Bubbles
Merry Marinello

Merry Marinello

Merry is the author of Invisible Illness, Visible God: When Pain Meets the Power of an Indestructible Life. She and her husband, Dave, have been married for over 30 years and have two children (Zach and Anna) whom they homeschooled.

An Infusion of Hope for Caregivers

God knows how overwhelming caregiving can be, how it can throw the whole balance of our lives inside out and upside down. As caregivers, we need a steady infusion of hope from God's word to do the work He has called us to do.

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