For several years prior to her death, I served as a caregiver and advocate for my 96-year-old aunt. Her advanced age brought hearing loss, which made it difficult for her to understand health care providers as well as others. Sometimes, she attempted to fake hearing and answered confidently, if incorrectly. But increasingly, she looked to me to translate for her, especially in situations where providers were masked.
My job as advocate was most often needed at times when my aunt was hospitalized. In the months before her death, a hospitalist wanted to send her to an intense physical therapy rehab facility. I knew, because of various medical conditions and declining stamina, my aunt would not be able to handle this rigorous program. I pled her case, standing firm against pressure from the hospitalist. In the end, my advocacy prevailed, and she went to a facility with a program commensurate with her age and physical abilities.
Several synonyms exist for the word “advocate”—champion, proponent, promoter, supporter, to name a few. An advocate acts on behalf of another.
As Jesus tried to prepare his disciples for his upcoming arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and eventual return to his Father, he promised to send them an Advocate as his representative. The verse following John 14:26 promises peace, and in our turbulent world, peace is truly a God-given gift. “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 NLT).
Sometimes we forget the Holy Spirit acts on our behalf, providing wisdom, warning, helping, convicting, counseling, and comforting. Often, we feel we have to struggle through hardship, solve overwhelming problems, or negotiate life obstacles in our own strength. Instead, remember Jesus’s promise to his disciples to provide an advocate is also a promise to us. The power, presence, and protection of the Holy Spirit are always available. All we have to do is ask for help. The additional benefit of our Advocate’s help is peace of mind and heart, something we all crave when buffeted by difficulty or the unexpected.
Are you facing a life challenge that seems insurmountable? Remember your greatest resource, your Advocate, the Holy Spirit is within you, providing wisdom and counsel and acting on your behalf.
Get to Know Candy Arrington
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, and speaker who frequently writes on the topics of faith, health, personal growth, and methods for moving through, and beyond, challenging life circumstances. Candy’s publishing credits include three nonfiction books: Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B & H Publishing Group), as well as hundreds of articles and devotionals in numerous print and online outlets—Focus on the Family, AriseDaily.com, Inspiration.org, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Find her at CandyArrington.com.