When you have nothing left to give

My 8-year-old son sent us to the ER on his first day of second grade. It wasn’t the typical rambunctious boy scenario, with a broken bone or battle wound from an adventurous day outside. Either of those would have been a walk in the park compared to what we faced.

We found ourselves in the ER because my son developed a rare infection in his jaw that grew at an alarming rate. Doctors told us that if he didn’t go into surgery right away, his breathing passage would be blocked and he could die.

On top of the seriousness of the situation, my son battled severe anxiety of hospitals, doctors, nurses, needles, and anything remotely resembling any of the above. By the time we made it through his middle-of-the-night surgery and had spent a couple days in the ICU, I was running on fumes.

Being on call 24/7 to not only care for his physical needs but also keep him calm drained every ounce of energy I had.

After yet another day of coaxing him to take his medicine and let the doctors inspect his incision, I collapsed on the hospital pullout couch for another broken night of sleep. A tear slipped from my eye and raced down my cheek as I prayed, “God, I’m so worn out. I have nothing left to give. Is there any way You can fill me with Your strength?”

No rushing wind blew through the room, but I heard the words of Jesus pour through my mind. “I am with you always… My power is made perfect in your weakness… Come to me and I will give you rest.”[1]

Those phrases I had read months before in his Word during my quiet time  filled me with the reserves of strength I needed when life fell apart.

Caring for my son took everything I had. But I’m so thankful I worship a God who takes my little and turns it into so much more—“strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”[2] With Him, all things are possible.

Sarah Forgrave is an author and speaker who loves encouraging others toward a deeper walk of faith. As someone who has spent considerable time in doctors’ offices, both as a patient and caregiver, Sarah knows the challenges and triumphs a health journey can bring. Her greatest passion is connecting with God in the messes and hardships of life.

She is the author of Prayers of Hope for Caregivers and Prayers for Hope and Healing, a prayer devotional for those facing health challenges. In addition to blogging about prayer, faith, and friendship on her website, she is a monthly contributor to TheChristianMommy.com and has contributed to Guideposts’ A Cup of Christmas Cheer and many other anthologies and websites. Outside of writing and speaking, Sarah is the busy mom of two preteen children and the wife of an entrepreneurial husband. When she has a moment to herself, she loves to shop the aisles at Trader Joe’s or curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. Visit Sarah at www.sarahforgrave.com.

About Prayers of Hope for Caregivers:

Caring for someone with health needs can be emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining. Sarah Forgrave has spent considerable time, both as someone struggling with serious medical issues and as the family member of a chronically ill patient, and she understands the many challenges you face in your caregiving role.

Sarah wants to share what she discovered with you—peace through prayer, solace in Scripture, and unending hope from a Heavenly Father who never stops loving you.

Each heartfelt prayer and devotion is intended to help you navigate the complex set of emotions that come with caregiving. Read it front to back or go directly to the devotion addressing how you feel at any given moment…when you need it most.

Take comfort in the truth that God knows your every need as a caregiver and is always there for you amid your toughest trials.


[1] Matthew 28:20; II Corinthians 12:9; Matthew 11:28

[2] From “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” – lyrics by Thomas Chisholm

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