May 17, 2020
Praying for the Military Caregiver
[I have asked my friend, Jen Ostan, to write our devotional for today. She has been awarded for her exceptional service as a Military Caregiver in the United States. Jen cares for her husband, Major William J. Ostan, Esq. LL. M., (Ret).]
Supporting the Caregivers for America’s Wounded Warriors
I knew that my husband’s voluntary oath to serve in the U.S. Army would require sacrifice on my part and that of my children, and I was happy to support my soldier and our nation in that way. Rarely, however, do we look ahead down the road of tragedy, to envision what might happen if an injury or illness cuts short the long-term plan of military service. When that happens, it catapults us into a different type of service, not one we choose, but one that must be fulfilled – still quite honorable and wholly vital. Serving in this new role of military caregiver is one of the most challenging roles that I’ve had the honor of fulfilling, and it has opened my eyes to an entire community of hidden heroes.
Little did I know, there are 5.5 million of us across the Nation – husbands, wives, friends, siblings, children, and nurses – all caregivers to our nation’s wounded warriors. These hidden heroes have taken up the role of caring for our veterans who have been injured, wounded, or become ill because of their military service to our country.
For caregivers like me, that were military spouses long before our soldier became ill or injured, this shift in responsibilities is a difficult transition. We must learn to advocate for our veteran in new and daunting ways. We are faced with major medical, career, and life decisions, often while continuing to work and raise children. I’ve realized now, more than ever, I must lean into the Lord and accept help from those around me. I refuse to simply “survive” in this role. I want to thrive with the help of Jesus.
Join me in praying for our military caregivers and their wounded warriors across America. We can help lift up their weary arms as they continue to persevere each day in caring for their veteran.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5; ESV)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer (by, Jen Ostan):
- Thank the Lord for the caregivers that are personally caring for our nation’s wounded and ill veterans on a daily basis.
- Pray for the daily needs of these caregivers to be met—jobs, medical appointments, childcare, meals, housing, and healthy supportive relationships.
- Ask the Lord to reveal himself to those who do not know him yet, bringing true, everlasting hope into their hearts.
- Pray for the family members of the wounded warriors who carry the burden each day. This affects spouses, parents, siblings, and especially children.
- If you know of any military caregivers in your community, pray about how you can support that person and their veteran. This could be a simple phone call to check in, an offer to watch their kids or drive their veteran to an apt, or dropping off a gift card for some self-care for the weary caregiver. They rarely ask for help, but often need it and welcome it.
- Pray for healing. If the veteran is healed, improves, or no longer needs as many medical services, restoration is possible.
A prayer you can pray (by, Jen Ostan):
Lord, let your presence rest on our military caregivers. Give them strength for the days ahead and meet them in their daily sacrifice. Surround them with tangible support from their local communities and loved ones and send your Spirit to bring comfort when they feel overwhelmed. Lord, cause your Church to grow in awareness of these hidden heroes, so we can serve alongside them, support them, and provide respite for them in times of need. Father, please make yourself known to military caregivers so they can experience the one true hope, your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You, Jesus, for bringing healing to our Veterans – to their bodies, their minds, and their relationships. Amen
America’s wounded warriors, their families, and caregivers will be healed and restored. They will thrive in character and hope in this new day!
Learn more about Jen Ostan here.