Caregiving and Endurance
by Earline Kline
After my father died my mother’s mind began to slip. So my sister took her into her own home to care for her. Then one day she called me and ask of I could take mother for a while and give her a break? She would somehow have to get her from Californian to Idaho.
As I pondered caring for mother for three months, I was sure I could not do it. I had no experience caring for someone with dementia. My sister brought mother to me and I discovered that when God gives you a task He enables you to do it. I cared for mother off and on for several years until she became very fearful and angry and mean to my day care children. Then I had to tell my sister I couldn’t do it any more. I prayed Alzheimer’s would never happen to my husband or myself after what I had seen it do to my mother.
Dan and I had a dream for his retirement—that he would become a prison chaplain. He loved prison ministry and we had served together in the prison for several years. Then he was given the chaplain position at the Idaho Maximum Security Prison. God had given us the desire of our hearts and we were filled with joy. Then a year later Dan began to do strange things and he was removed from his chaplain’s position. I suspected Alzheimer’s. The night they came and told us our hearts were broken. I had a hard time going to sleep that night and I said to the Lord, “I have to have a word from You!” Finally I slept. When I awoke the first words in my mind were: “The clouds you so much dread will break with blessing on your head.” God was promising me Dan’s Alzheimer’s would be a blessing to me and I clung to that promise as I cared for him through the next six years until God took him home.
In the middle of those care giving years I received a call from Truit Ford of Haven of Rest. Someone from Haven would call me every three months to see how I was doing and would pray with me. Truit said, “Earline, God is building endurance in you and He will see you through.” I really didn’t like that word endurance but I knew what he said was true. Paul admonishes us in Romans 5:3-4 “Rejoice in your afflictions for they build endurance and endurance builds character and character hope.”
After Dan was gone I received an Email from a woman in Montana asking me if there was a devotional out there for care givers. I replied, “Not to my knowledge.” I was so inspired I sat down and had an outline done in a couple of hours. I went on to write 52 pages, one for every week of the year. But I could not get it published. Then I discovered Robert Sweesy and Endurance Press and I ask Robert if he would make the devotional into an E-book. He took on the task and now “New Every Morning” is on Amazon and you can down load it to a Kindle. He has done a beautiful job and I especially love the cover—a sunrise over the hills. So now my years of care giving can encourage and bless others across the country.
Buy: New Every Morning Here