joshua gorenflo

It’s rare that I share my faith publicly. Not because I am not passionate about what I believe, but because I never want to push my beliefs on anyone. Too often I have had people make judgments or incorrect assumptions about what my life is like, and what I should believe because of those assumptions.  That kind of thing drives me crazy, so I try hard not to do the same thing to the people around me.

Because of some things going on in my life lately, today I am going to make an exception.

Most people know that in order for my life to work well I need a team of amazing caregivers. It is only with the help of others that I can begin to live my best life possible. People around me also know what a struggle it has been at times (especially recently) to find quality caregivers to assist with my needs. When I am looking for new people to be on my caregiving team, I typically advertise on Craigslist and on campus. Then I pray.

It seems like it should be easy. This job pays $10 an hour and is pretty basic stuff. Doing laundry. Doing dishes. Helping me get dressed. Providing transportation. The perfect experience for college students going into the helping professions, right? But it is also a high burnout job, and I have trouble hiring people who are willing to stick with it even when it gets tough.

When I struggle because it seems there are no good caregivers to be had, I find comfort in the following verse of Scripture. Lamentations 3:24

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.”

To me, it means that God will provide everything I need at the time that I need it. Worry isn’t necessary. Hope in God is. That Scripture also adds new meaning for me to the last part of Psalm 23:5. “My cup runneth over.”

Together I interpret both verses to mean that God will provide all that I need in His timing, and sometimes His blessings will overflow as He does it.

Enter Joshua. He answered my ad for a caregiver when he saw it on Craigslist last summer. He had recently moved to town and was looking for something to do while he searched for full-time employment. Also a writer, we had similar beliefs and interests, and from the time that we met, the two of us simply connected. He was older than the typical college students I hire, so I think that might have helped us be on the same page a little more so to speak. Looking back, wonderful memories of fabulous conversations fill my mind as he helped me cook dinner or while he folded my laundry. It was in those conversations that we learned to support each other. He even wrote a guest post on this blog once, about his experience being my caregiver. Please read it here if you are interested.

While I knew that Joshua liked this job, I was not aware how much so until we went out to dinner with my parents when they were in town visiting. At the beginning of the meal, Dad thanked Joshua for all the ways that he was helping me. Joshua interrupted him. “No, You don’t get to thank me,” he said to my dad, “Your daughter is a wonderful person who I very much enjoy learning from. I think I get more from working for her than she will ever get from me.”

About a month later, I had a caregiver quit without giving any notice. Although that is not uncommon, it always shakes me up. It is difficult not to take it personally or think that I did something wrong. When I relayed the news to Joshua over a text that night, he responded quickly. “Just remember what a beautiful soul you are Lorraine.”

Sonic was a favorite hang out for the two of us, and over time I confided many of my deepest fears to Joshua over a waffle cone of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and pecans. I don’t know which was sweeter, the frozen concoction or Joshua’s compassionate understanding.

Life has no manners sometimes, and because of his work schedule, Joshua can no longer be a caregiver for me. I am taking it hard because it feels like I am losing one of the biggest supports that I’ve got.

Over the past week or so another friend has reminded me that Joshua and I will always be connected. Although he won’t physically be in my life as much in the future as he has been in the past, all I have to do when I want to see him is to close my eyes and remember.

My cup runneth over!