Human Dignity · Pro-Life · Relationships

Full Circle

Top: Beth’s 2nd son Aiden Diedrick on the day of his birth, 1/17/09
Bottom: Beth’s friends, the McCoy’s, enjoying a lovely winter afternoon with Beth

It occurred to me after a shift of caregiving for a senior couple. I arrived at home and quickly changed out of my Home Instead uniform and into the first tee shirt I grabbed. It happened to be my Elizabeth Ministry tee. I threw it on and, at that time, an unmistakable revelation had come over me…

The color purple.

purple

For many years I focused on helping build the Elizabeth Ministry Chapter at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Illinois. We aided many young women, who quickly became friends. We helped these newfound friends through pregnancies and miscarriages and became shoulders to cry on and empathized with many of the challenges life brings for women as wives, mothers, and more. We created playdates and our children entertained one another while we mothers prayed many rosaries and strengthened our spirituality as well as our bonds as sisters in Christ. It was such a joyful time in my life and I am so grateful for the ministry work God allowed me to be a part of at that time!

After relocating 750 miles to South Carolina, my ministry work has come to a full circle. I became a caregiver with Home Instead. Through this position I am able to fulfill ministry work for the elderly and disabled. I am now able to show God how much I love Him by caring for people who are near the end of this life.

I am also realizing that Elizabeth Ministry is important for not only new mothers or the younger generations, but seniors as well. Many elderly woman I have talked to had miscarriages that were never acknowledged in their youth.

Full circle. Life and death. All revealed in one beautiful color.

I think it’s important for the pro-life movement to fully participate in celebrating all life and mourning all death on both sides of this spectrum. From personal experience, I have always been outspoken regarding the sanctity of life. However, until this past year, I have never given myself the opportunity to truly care for the elderly. I have been able to create friendships, build trust, and learn from the older generations and fulfill the pro-life movement in a most amazing way! Caregiving for seniors is so rewarding in so many ways! I find beauty in age. I think it is just what God had in store, waiting for me, to continue the mission He has instilled on my heart.

Remember the days of old, consider the years long past; ask your father, and he will inform you; your elders, and they will tell you. ~ Deuteronomy 32:7

The dignity of the human person is so intimate, and all it takes is one personal experience to increase faith and spirituality. God is incredible and knows exactly what He is doing.

When I first began with senior caregiving I was paired with a beautiful person who was bed-bound with dementia. She could only communicate through smiling and a loud burst of laughter. She was so joyful even amidst her suffering.

Always rejoice. Pray without ceasing. In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

This joyful person was God’s instrument for me. With gleaming and happy eyes, she communicated to me with smiles for yes and straight face for no. We had such a spectacular few days together!

I’d like to share one moment that will forever be in my heart. It was time to change the bedding and I was happy to do so. As she laid there, I worked diligently and gracefully around her. My bangs were dancing in front of my face. As I pulled the sheet up near her shoulder, she touched my arm. I stopped. We locked eyes as I asked her if she was alright. She smiled. Her eyes were full of unconditional love. She lovingly touched my hair, and moved my bangs back behind my ear so they wouldn’t be a nuisance while I cared for her in a most intimate way. I thanked her, and internally I rejoiced to God that I was in that moment and my eyes were opened to true human dignity.

Being of one mind one towards another. Not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in your own conceits. ~ Romans 12:16

God does not make mistakes. We all must live our lives according to God’s plan. Sometimes we may lose sight of that. It may be difficult to listen to Christ if we are distracted with temporal affairs such as television, music, video games, and the internet. Sometimes all it takes is one special encounter with another human being to lift the veil (in my case it was my own hair!) of distraction for us to truly heed God’s call.

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