A Caregiver’s Choice

from-suffering-to-gratitudeOver the course of the last few months, as I have watched the news and witnessed the unimaginable struggles faced by Syrian refugees, I have wondered how they will ever find peace and happiness again.

I kept wondering what I could do to help, and then two weeks ago, a new family started attending our church. They are Middle East refugees who had to flee from their home, their businesses, friends, family, culture, and even their language.

You might expect them to be bitter, angry, or in deep grief over all they left behind, but they’re not. They are grateful to have survived, and they give thanks every day to be living in a safe city where bombs aren’t exploding and people aren’t being tortured or shot.

Khalil Gibran said, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

I have always believed that is true, and now I know it for certain.

Each of us faces difficulties in life. As caregivers, we grieve the loss of our loved ones’ physical and cognitive abilities. We miss the life and relationship we once shared with them, and we mourn the loss of a future we thought we would be able enjoy together.

At one time or another, we are all forced leave behind the things we love, and we have to learn cope with a present and future that is very different from what we had imagined. The good news is that the human spirit is resilient beyond our imagination, and even when faced with incredibly difficult circumstances, we can choose to feel grateful that we have the strength and determination to get up every day and help someone else whose needs are greater than our own.