The life of a caregiver has its ups and downs, its rewards and challenges. The spiritual practice of Silence and Solitude has been life giving to me as I care for my 94-year-old mom who lives with my husband and me.
In December, I attended an overnight Silent Retreat held in a retreat center in the surrounding beauty of wooded paths and meandering stream. Knowing I had been neglecting caring for myself, I signed up for a gentle yoga class. Our instructor taught us a pose she called the Ta Da stance, because it reflects how a little child runs into a room with enthusiasm, lifting up her arms and announcing she’s here with a loud, TA DA! At that moment, I realized I had lost my Ta Da.
In the surrounding beauty, I walked along one of the wooded paths, seeking God and listening for his voice to me. Fear about the future and doubt about my abilities as a caregiver had been filling my thoughts following a stressful time of decision making concerning my mom’s health insurance. God’s gentle voice reminded me that He’s with me on this journey and that I can fully trust him. Right there on the path, I surrendered to him my doubts and my fears and joy filled me. You could say that I retrieved my Ta Da! At that moment, my hands went up and a smile on my face as I remembered the interior freedom that comes with surrendering. I was filled with renewed confidence in my love for my mom and grateful for the gift it is to share this journey with her.
Before leaving the retreat, I wrote these words on a smooth stone, “Ta Da.” On the occasion that I might once again forget what is true, I will hold this stone in my hand and remember.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalms 34:4-5 (NIV)
- Are there areas of doubt in your life where you feel you’re in over your head? Are you anxious about the future? Is there something you need to surrender to God?
- Have you lost your Ta Da? What would it look like to retrieve it?
Lord, as I let go of the need to know, and of the fear of inadequacy, fill me with your peace and joy, and let my soul rest in you.