On Being Used Up


On Being Used Up

(I wrote this four years ago.)

On one or more of my most arrogant days I have been so bold as to say to someone or other, as if the arrogance would be less important were I to keep it to myself, that I have asked God to use me up. I have asked to be burnt down to the nub in my service to Him. Writing this in the early a.m. I am appalled at the arrogance of my belief in my own depth of ability to hold out long enough to be used up on an eight-hour a day job, much less used up in the service to the Almighty. Nonetheless, I will say that today, in so much as I am able to be used up, I have been used up.

There is no need for me to go into great detail or to prove my case. I feel it in every fiber of my body and mind. As a full-time caregiver there are days that pass without much effort. There are days that pass with one thing after the other and there are days that are packed from morning to morning with one task after the other springing up one as if in a race to the finish. Today or whatever I am calling these endless days with little sleep, was a springing up day. From start to finish, stem to stern, stick a fork in me I'm done kind of day.

Mind you, I am capable of leaving an alarming number of tasks undone. If there were such a thing I could be said to be a multi-untasker. I move from task to task moving first one thing and then the other and back again. It is precisely that trait that allows me to say with all sincerity that I have been used up this day. All the undone tasks remain undone.

Today I, in the role of caregiver, have been used up. Hour by hour, need by need no hour was left with a minute in it.  At 2:30 a.m. I sit here at my laptop, before I prepare to go to bed, and I can state with all honesty, that I have done a good day's work. I have done it well and I have done it willingly.

I have learned that, for most of the caregivers I know, a day like today means a great deal to them. It means a great deal to me. It humbles me. What is far more amazing is that my husband and I have done it together. Not professionally or skilled but, in our own way, we muddled through this day. Two of the most stubborn, self-willed adults you could hope to meet on the street worked together today. Not planned. Not rehearsed. Winging it all the way, following each other's cues and letting the less successful moments go without marring the next task we, without discussing it, made it.

Yes, he still has FTD and I am still not the poster child for patience. I am learning that less than perfect but done is just fine with me, just fine with my husband and I'm thinking much more to God's glory than anything else we could have done today.

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What a journey.