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If you’ve ever been in a caregiving role, whether it be for a child, spouse, sick parent or relative, you know how hard it can be to care for yourself as well. In this episode, we talk about caregiver burnout, and how we can have hope as caregivers, despite the toll it can take.
We’re talking with Sarah Forgrave, one who has been in the position of caregiver for at least two different family members, and author of the book Prayers of Hope for Caregivers.
Sarah’s impetus for writing about hope and prayer for caregivers was birthed out of her own season of caregiving for her sister, and then for her young son. Sarah learned ways to help avoid caregiver burnout. She understands the many challenges a caregiver faces, and the fact that caregivers are often overlooked in the shadow of the person who’s sick.
Sarah shares how she learned that we can talk to God authentically where we are, that we don’t have to put on a Christian mask, and that He welcomes us just as we are.
Sarah also shares that in order to avoid caregiver burnout, carve out a few minutes each day to nurture your soul. During times of caregiving, all of your attention goes toward the other person’s wellbeing, but don’t forget about your own needs in the process. Self-care is crucial to providing care for others.
As you go through each day, pay attention to the five-minute windows you have alone (like when your care recipient is sleeping, when you’re driving, etc.), and make one intentional choice to nurture our relationship with God. Maybe read a short devotional at home or listen to an uplifting worship song while you drive. You might take a few deep breaths and incorporate Scripture medication with it—whatever fits the moment.
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Quotables from the episode:
When you feel alone or invisible as a caregiver, remember that God sees you and hears you. His strength is more than enough to carry us through—it may be a minute by minute process of trust, but He will provide what we need.
It is not selfish for the caregiver to engage in some self-care, in fact, it will help avoid caregiver burnout. You have to refill yourself before you can pour out on others.
Psalm 142:4-5 “I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Then I pray to you, O Lord, I say, ‘you are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Psalm 22:24 “God has never let you down, never looked the other way when you were being kicked around. He has never wandered off to do his own thing; he has been right there, listening.”
1 Peter 5:10 “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Sarah’s website, www.sarahforgrave.com has additional resources both for caregivers and the person who is sick, including biblical encouragement, uplifting songs for hard times, and more. It also contains resources for friends wanting to come alongside someone going through a hard time, including thoughtful gift ideas, meal delivery suggestions, and printable cards of encouragement.
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award.
Hope Prevails Bible Study by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award.
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To connect with Sarah Forgrave
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Guest: Sarah Forgrave, Author and Speaker
Sarah Forgrave, is the author of Prayers of Hope for Caregivers and Prayers of Hope and Healing, prayer devotionals that connect readers to God during hard times. Familiar with the broken messes of life, Sarah loves encouraging others toward a deeper walk of faith. When she’s not writing or speaking, she loves to shop the aisles at Trader Joe’s or spend time with her husband and two preteen children in their Midwest home.
Visit Sarah at www.SarahForgrave.com.
Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson