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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When the Comforter Needs Comforting

As AWBA expands its virtual community through the power of the Internet, we grow with supporters and kindred spirits who share their personal stories, inspirational quotes, websites, blogs, etc.  I try to pass along as much of this goodness as possible.

One of our supporters, Julia, has been part of the AWBA family since the beginning and is one such kindred spirit.   Periodically, I receive an email from her that lifts my spirit as I am reminded there are people all over the world who are impacted by what we are about.  Julia is a caregiver and she shared with me recently, 

I came across this article today written for caregivers.  It speaks of the loneliness of when caregivers find themselves in the place of needing comfort themselves, and long for the care they themselves have poured out.  It resonated deeply with my own heart and experience, and I felt seen, heard and understood as the words washed over me.  I wanted to pass it on to you as a resource.  (click this link) For the Comforter 

My deepest gratitude to Julia for sharing her story and this particular blog post, and to Tanya Marlow and her blog link posted above.  As one who offers care as friend, family member,  Stephen Minister, chaplain, health care worker, social worker, clergy, etc. do you seek out comfort when you need it?  It can be hard to ask for support when others are "struggling so much more than I am."  It can be hard to even realize how weary you may be.  Having traveled this painful journey of compassion fatigue in my own life, I understand how subtly this comes about.    I resonate with Tanya's blog image shared above.  A man or woman with the gifts of compassion and mercy often gives the outward appearance of one who is sturdy, capable, and carrying a bottomless well of support for others who are struggling.  Then, at the end of the day or in the middle of the night, tears come unsure of who is ready to listen to the deep sadness and overwhelmingness as we prepare to do it all over again the next day.

What has been your experience with this?  Like my friend Julia, do you feel seen, heard and understood in these words or in this image?  Is there a comforter in your life who might need a word of support or a kindness to acknowledge their ministry of providing care?

For those who comfort, may you receive God's blessings of love, nurture and care in the darkest of your moments of supporting and offering care to another.  AWBA hears you.

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