Hey there, Friend!
If I could use a word to describe our guest today, I would choose “delight.” Cara Aguilar is an absolute delight of a person – she is a delight to be around, she is a delight to listen to, and she delights in the Lord. That is why I’m delighted (see what I did there?) to introduce her to you as our Number 3 most-listened-to podcast episode on Season One of the Heal Podcast!
This was a rare interview where I got to record with Cara in person, since she lives close to me. Of course, I can’t really say why a certain episode gets more listens than others do, but if I had to guess, I’d say my conversation with Cara made it into the Top 3 episodes on our podcast because: 1) She’s touched so many people over the years with her authentic faith and love that they couldn’t wait to hear an update on how she has faced the recent suffering of her life, and 2) Cara has suffered, she has suffered well, and she’s still in the thick of suffering and surrendering some more.
Once she had already started a family and was deep in the trenches of mothering four children, Cara’s husband started exhibiting some out-of-the-norm behaviors. They eventually discovered he had Huntington’s disease, a rare degenerative disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Cara then followed her wedding vows to the very end, until death parted her from her husband when the disease claimed his life.
If it wasn’t enough to endure watching her spouse change in personality and eventually pass away, she then found out that her son had the disease, as well. While some people’s symptoms of Huntington’s don’t appear until they are middle-aged or older, her son’s symptoms showed up in childhood. Cara became a caregiver again, this time praying for and serving and loving her son until she got him home (to heaven) when Huntington’s took his life, as well.
Currently, Cara is remarried (hip hip hooray!) and spends much of her days taking care of two of her other children, who also inherited Huntington’s disease. From the outside, it could seem like Cara hasn’t even had time to catch her breath between the losses of her husband and son before facing the whole story again with her next children, like the tragedy is on replay in her life. But here’s the amazing thing: Cara doesn’t see it that way. She lives in the constant tension of God’s sufficient grace to buoy her through trials she never would have chosen in a million years and the temptation to let the grief consume her.
In our conversation today, Cara vulnerably and courageously shares how she grieves the losses and pain of watching Huntington’s take so much away from her that she loves, while also sharing the immense joy and pleasure that she has had in the gift of her children and the way God loves her and them through it all. As Cara comes face to face with suffering and loss daily, she has found that there is no other place she would rather be than at the feet of Jesus. Listen in to see how Cara still finds her God trustworthy and good while walking through this story. I believe you'll find hope for your own dark days in this episode!
Listen to learn more about:
· What the day-to-day reality is for caregivers- physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
· How God has met and continues to meet Cara through his Word and her relationship with him.
· What to do when the burdens of life that you’ve never chosen seem more than any human soul can bear.
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Favorite Quote from the episode:
· “I would encourage anyone to just keep turning to Jesus, keep turning to God. We’re told if we seek him we find him, and in our most difficult times, we need him more than ever, but if you choose to lean on God, and trust him and grow in knowing him, he will not let you down. It might not look how you think it’s going to look, but he will be there, and he will not let you down, and he will work miracles in your life, even if they’re not ‘the big one.’ One person asked me, ‘Why hasn’t God done a miracle for you?’ and I said, ‘Oh goodness, he does miracles for me every day.’”
Links from our conversation:
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