There is a time in every young woman’s life when she is being forced to become a caretaker. It is a terrifying time, and one that is not unlike the time I was caretaking.
Even though I was a “caretaker,” I was not an “elder,” I was, rather, a “caregiver.” I had an immediate love affair with my job. I had a deep rooted need to do more, to make a difference in people’s lives. I loved every minute of being involved in the caretaking lifestyle. It was the only way to make a difference in the people around me. I was a member of the Church of the Nazarene, and we celebrated our 25th Anniversary in October 2002. I remember the evening.
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There were some great speakers from other churches. One speaker opened with the following words: “The people who are walking on this earth today are not of this world, and no human being is an island.” She was speaking from her experience of the last 25+ years in which she had lived as a caretaker. I was touched to hear it. The truth is, I felt it. I had been so lost in my own pain and confusion that I hadn’t even realized I was doing it. Now I knew! “I’m a caretaker. They are our children.” It was a simple statement. And yet, it had a much deeper meaning than I ever knew before. In fact, it was just the beginning of the changes I was going to make in my life.
My faith was a huge part of my life. We had gone through many life changes in the last 25+ years. One of them was our decision to walk “in the shadows.” In essence, our decision was to take a more private approach to life. Our private community was one of the best for this. We had created our community first and wanted others to join our small group for support in our fitness excercises.