Loving a sick person is too hard! (Watchers, we are not impartial observers)

I’ve been absent lately.

I’ve discovered that it’s quite difficult to type with a broken wrist!

I’m also settling in to what it looks like to be at home, loving someone going through chemotherapy.

we are never impartial observers www.calledtowatch.com #caregiver #struggle #chronicillness #writer #hope #chronic #faith #watching #prayer

It’s not easy. Patience and domestic duties have never been my strong points. Far from it actually. Some days I want to give it all up and become an “impartial observer”. It hurts much less when you fail and takes far less effort!

Nevertheless, God has called me to be a Watcher right now, so I pray and know He will equip me in all the ways necessary (and probably in a lot I’d like to pretend aren’t necessarily, like the ability to  ‘see’ what needs  to be done around the house or remember to pick up my own clothes from the floor).

ALSO an exciting piece of news: This is the 100th post on Called to Watch! Is there someone you know who might find this blog helpful? Take a moment to send them the link, or sign up for email updates!

Being a Watcher is hard, and instead of ‘really’ caring, it’s tempting to disengage emotionally. When this happens, we become “impartial observers”.

Do you…

  • …feel afraid of experiencing anger or pain?
  • …stop properly listening to your Loved One’s descriptions or complains?
  • use distractions (such as TV, personal projects, social events) to prevent yourself thinking deeply about your Loved One and their situation?

Why is it wrong?

  • There’s one simple reason: try as we might, we are not impartial observers or disinterested parties, and we never can be
  • We may be hurting our Loved One in our refusal to deeply engage, even if we try and hide the fact
  • By refusing to ‘be present’ to the utmost of our ability, we are missing out on a chance to grow and to be loved
  • There’s nothing to be gained from skimming through life – instead we are denying both who we are, and who we could be

Why is it tempting?

  • We are afraid: afraid there is no answer to our emotions. Fearful lest our emotions find no resting place and consume us
  • We are terrified that we will get hurt if we enter life too deeply
  • We don’t want to be a burden. What if we ‘break down’, or make our Loved One stressed?
  • We believe we have no right to be in pain – so we ignore it. We don’t want to steal our Loved One’s “thunder”

we are never impartial observers www.calledtowatch.com #caregiver #struggle #chronicillness #writer #hope #chronic #faith #watching #prayer we are never impartial observers www.calledtowatch.com #caregiver #struggle #chronicillness #writer #hope #chronic #faith #watching #prayer

Some truths:

  • I believe the benefits reaped from truly engaging in those around us outweigh the pain of relationships – but the only way to find out is to dive in
  • God is enough. He is the complete and capable answer to our emotions
  • It is too late for us not to “get caught up” in our Loved One’s life – so we may as well see it through properly

How do we respond?

  • We can repent of our lack of trust
  • We can start smallallow ourselves to weep over one conversation, or ask one friend a question or doubt that has been weighing on us
  • We can admit to ourselves, and to God and to our Loved Ones that we are afraid to love deeply. That we find it confronting or frightening
  • We can turn to Jesus when the pain comes. Because it will come, but it will be worth it.

My friends, let us never be tricked into believing it is safer or easier or better to be a disinterested party. We are Watchers, not “impartial observers!”

Please Note: There is a time and place for ‘self-care’ – this post is by no means advocating against looking after yourself! In this vein, be reassured that I didn’t write this with my sore wrist. This is a previously written post I was saving for a rainy day (or a broken wrist!)

Friends, just as we are not impartial observers, we are also not… delegates, experts, saints, biographers or doctors. [READ the series!]

 //Have you ever been tempted to “throw the towel in” and ‘disengage’? What did you do?

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Author: Emily J. M.

Hi, I'm Emily. Two of my closest family members struggle with chronic illness, and I watch them. That's hard, and so I write about life as a 'Watcher', what it looks like to support them and find Hope.

Thoughts? I'd love to hear from you, friend.