As I walk this journey of caregiving, I'm reminded of an overused saying that is definitely true in this case: It's a marathon, not a sprint. I'm learning that "everything I need" doesn't come all at once. It comes like the manna in the wilderness, just enough for a day - even a moment - at a time.
It is through prayer, worship, Bible study that I "gather" that manna. I'm learning to pray for 1 Corinthians 13 love, for Galatians 5:22 fruitfulness, for Habakkuk 3:17-19 steadiness, for Psalm 23 peace and rest, and so much more! My time with the Lord is like the stretching, nutrition, hydration, and training runs that a marathoner puts in ahead of the race - except my race is every. single. day.
Just like a marathoner, I can have great preparation and have a bad race that day. I can also have terrible preparation and have a great race. That's because the quality of my race doesn't depend ultimately on me. I get what I need by HIS divine power. I can guarantee a bad race, though, by failing to "come to know Him" - if I don't grow in knowing who He is, I will never get past the starting line.
And here is the really encouraging part - when I act in ways consistent with His character - the "godly life" Peter mentions - I gain assurance in my own faith. Paul writes in Romans 5:3-5 that growth in endurance brings strength of character which increases my assurance of salvation. When I act in love toward others, I know God's love fills me because He is the source of that love.
So I go back to Him, again and again, asking for what doesn't come naturally. I ask others to pray with and for me, especially on days I can't bring myself to pray. Because the beautiful truth is, doing the hard thing when I know it was Him and not me reminds me that I am His.
He gives me everything I need. And when that happens, I realize everything I need - is HIM.