I honestly believe that one of the hardest things to go through in life is going through a period of time when you are cut off from the rest of society. Whether it’s because of chronic sickness, an injury, or pregnancy related complications, not being allowed to socialize with others can cause a barrage of emotions.
If you’ve never walked this valley it can be hard to understand how lonesome it can be for those currently in it. When I was pregnant with my second baby, I developed placenta previa – a serious condition that could threaten both the babies and mothers life. With placenta previa, the placenta covers the cervix in varying degrees. It can cause unprovoked and uncontrolled bleeding. Without medical intervention the baby and mother can die. So medical professionals take this very seriously. At 30 weeks along I had my first bleeding episode, I was hospitalized overnight. Thankfully the bleeding stopped and I returned home the next day on modified bed rest. This scene repeated itself two more times but on the third time I was no longer allowed to leave the hospital. I would stay until the baby came on strict hospital bed rest. I was only allowed to get out of bed to go to the bathroom and one shower a day. I couldn’t walk around, couldn’t lift my toddler, couldn’t do much at all. This went on for nearly three months.
While my world seemed to stop abruptly, everyone else’s seemed to carry one without me. Very few people visit me, texted me or even sent me cards. There were a few people who went out of their way to visit me more than once, I so enjoyed those visits. It got very boring and lonely in a hospital room all by yourself unable to do anything. Knowing people were coming to see me made the day seem a tad more bearable.
Watching church online only fueled my sadness. It was as if I were locked away while everyone forgot all about me. Those feelings were of course magnified by the pregnancy hormones and fear of the unknown but you see, most people dealing with sickness have their judgement clouded by their feelings of fear and loneliness.
One thing that touched me the most while on bed rest was the simple acts of others to know that I wasn’t forgotten; that people cared and were praying for me. The simplest things can make the biggest difference for those on bed rest or shut in.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Simple Ways to Encourage Someone on Bed Rest or Shut In
Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, whatever time you can spare try to do so. This simple act makes the biggest difference in brightening someone’s day. They’re battling feeling lonely and forgotten, show them that they’re not by going to see them.
Send Them a Card
When you can’t go and visit, slip a note in the mail. This act alone can take you only five minutes but can change the outlook of the other persons whole day. Send encouraging Bible verses or uplifting quotes if you can’t think of anything to say.
Drop off Goodies
If you can’t stay for visit but you’re in the area, try dropping off coffee, a drive thru meal, or snacks or reading material. Life on bed rest is boring. Super super boring. Anything you have to offer will brighten their day. Trust me.
My cousin dropped off a Beverly Lewis Amish book series to me when I first went into the hospital, 4 years later and I am still completely hooked on Amish novels and Lewis has become my all time favorite author. You never know the impact of what you bring to someone else.
Shoot Them a Text
A quick 30 second text can cheer someone up and brighten their mood. If they can’t make it to church, a simple “missing you today” text can let them know they aren’t forgotten.
Don’t Forget About the Kids
If the family has children, don’t forget about them. The sickness is just as hard on them as it is for their parents!
It touched my heart when people remembered my toddler when they did come for a visit. Many people brought my 16 month old coloring books and toys that were only to be played with while visiting Mama in the hospital. Being locked in a hospital room for a few hours can be rough for the little guys so having new and exciting toys to entertain them is super helpful and thoughtful.
Often times, the family is bogged down with dealing with the hospital and parking bills so buying new toys for the hospital isn’t on their list of things to buy. Thinking of the kids is such a blessing!
Bring Them a Meal
I worried about what my husband was going to eat while I was in the hospital. I was relieved that my church supplied a few meals a week for him and our son. Without that, they would’ve been eating a box of Cheez-Its every night!
Taking the weight of meals off someone’s shoulders during a hard time is a huge blessing! It is one less thing they have to worry about when they are worried enough.
It doesn’t take much to help someone who is struggling. They simply just want to be remembered and not forgotten. So any gesture will always bless them. Whether you’ve walked that path before or not you can still be a blessing to someone in need. It’s hard to put yourself in their shoes but just remember that everyone you meet is fighting their own hard battles, so let’s be kind.
Your turn! Have you ever ministered to someone on bed rest or shut in? Or have you been blessed by someone reaching out to you when you needed it?
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