Relying on the God of Green Hope

Green Hope

…continued from yesterday.

Every mother’s nightmare involves visions of their child homeless and adrift in a cruel world. While I fretted and stewed about Sarah’s safety after she disappeared that morning, she enjoyed some alone time—but her phone had died and she didn’t have a cable to charge it.

When she returned around eight, I sagged in relief. The constant tension and worry had started to slowly suck the life out of me. I wondered if her medication would ever start to make a difference and ease the pain and despair she couldn’t seem to find relief from.

The next morning, I glanced at my Bible app and saw the verse for the day, “Oh, may the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope.” (Romans 15:13 MSG).

Balm for my weary soul. I needed joy and peace and yes, hope. Without those three things, I knew that soon Sarah wouldn’t be the only one suffering from deep depression. Those words reminded me that as a caregiver (and believe me, when someone in your household—no matter what their age—no longer cares for themselves, whether it’s physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually, you become a caregiver), I had to remember to take care of myself, too.

Self care is an important ingredient in healthcare when you're caring for someone else. #caregiver Click To Tweet

I had lost my focus in focusing on Sarah and her problems. I started spending portions of each day watching the last of the migrating hummingbirds as they came to my feeders. I learned to focus on them and their antics—and in the process, I took thousands of photos.

Each delicate, yet tough little bird had at least a glimmer of green on it—a visual reminder of the hope that God offered to me on a daily basis. The desert around me settled into its drab winter colors. My life had taken on the same hues and filled with rocky places and prickly emotions.

But the hummers—they brought a glimmer of green hope into my life just when I needed it the most.

The hummers would remind me over and over again of God’s green hope as Sarah continued to struggle.

…to be continued.

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I’m linking up with my friend Leah’s place–where you can find other great posts about hope.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Green the color for mental health awareness=hope! Self-care is so important for ourselves and those we are caring for. I’m glad you realized the importance of self care for yourself.
    Tara recently posted…“Grace Like Rain”My Profile

  • Anita,
    wow. I’m so sorry I can’t keep up with your #write31days but know that I love each post I’m reading on Thursday nights after the FMF prompt. Truly you are gifted with the telling of such a difficult journey! My new job has kept me unable to read anybody’s posts this month other than FMF, but I’m so glad for the small readings once a week.
    Bless you, dear friend! You are going to help so many people through this story!
    (#6 this week)
    Tammy recently posted…Green: Five Minute FridayMy Profile

  • Anita, I look for each installment with a mixture of hope…and dread. Life has its cliffhangers…and surely this is one.

    I’m probably unique in that I could have done without the hummers…for some reason, they tend to attack me! I’ve been stabbed in the neck several times by their sharp little beaks. Totally crazy, and Barbara didn’t believe it until she saw it happen.

    Kids, dogs, goats, horses, turtles, and yes, even cats flock to me…but hummers? No way.

    And to think I saved one once, by giving him a drink of sugar-water when his energy ran out! (That’s a bit of advice – if you ever find an inert hummer, make up some sugar-water and dab a Q-tip full to his (or her) beak. The results can be surprisingly abrupt as the revitalized hummer leaps back into the world.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 70 – Green With Envy {FMF}My Profile

  • Self care as a caregiver is so important. I know all too well from experience. Praying for strength and comfort for you. And may I say your photos are beautiful.
    Maria @ Milk + Honey recently posted…Five Minute Friday: GreenMy Profile

  • Beautiful story you’re telling here. A story of hope. Interesting that we had the very same verse, same version pop into our heads from the FMF prompt.

    I liked this: “I had lost my focus in focusing on Sarah and her problems.” We do lose our focus, and then God gets out of focus. Blessings to you, Anita.
    Betsy de Cruz recently posted…One Supernatural Gift We All Need From GodMy Profile

  • I can’t say I’ve enjoyed reading your series Anita but I have appreciated it, when I’ve made it over (make sense, I hope). The bummer of 31 days is we’re all so busy writing that we have little time to read others 🙁
    Christy recently posted…The Elvis Years– In the Studio; and Felton Jarvis CYGTMy Profile

  • I love your verse! As soon as I saw the word “green,” I knew you were following fmf … I went to bed with that word on my mind–but don’t have a fit for mine … oh, well!

    ANYWAY … love this beautiful story about you and your daughter. And we are now at hope. I love it!
    Dianne Thornton recently posted…Repentance WITHOUT RegretMy Profile

  • Such beautiful pictures Anita! I can’t imagine the pain of being a carer but also the beauty of serving the Lord in such a way. Lord, may Anita keep her eyes fixed upon you and the blessings in her life. Bring relief and healing into the life of her daughter and open her heart to your love and restoration. Amen.
    Sarah Travis recently posted…God Names and Re-NamesMy Profile

  • Your wildlife pictures are always so stunning. If this whole teacher/writer thing doesn’t work out, you know, lol.
    Melissa recently posted…The Benefits Of A Clean HouseMy Profile

  • Your photos are amazing! I’m going to have to start your 31 days series from the beginning to get the full story. 🙂
    michelle recently posted…FiveMinuteFriday_GreenMy Profile

  • You are so right about self health in respect to Caring for the needs of someone else. We forget it. We feel guilt for it. But without it we can’t see the situation clearly. Your date with the humming birds is a good reminder that sometimes we can become consumed with the problems of others and lose the beauty and Joy of life. We need to still see life going on. I have a mother who had mental illness struggles all my life. Sometimes I am consumed with the questions that accompany it but I must learn to distract myself and focus elsewhere for a while. Mental Illness is very difficult to deal with.
    Somer recently posted…Five Minute Fridays #GreenMy Profile

    • I’m so sorry for the problems your family has gone through due to your mom’s mental health issues. It’s not fun. The art of refocusing is definitely important when one is a caregiver or has someone in their life that requires a lot of attention.
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…From the Pit to the Pinnacle is a Good Thing, Right?My Profile

  • LOVE your hummingbird pics!
    Robyn recently posted…Hearing God While DatingMy Profile

  • Romans 15:13 is one of my fave verses. So when I saw that it said, “green hope,” I had to go check the msg Bible for myself. Yep, green hope. By inserting that word it sure adds dimension to the meaning of the verse. To me green signifies growing, healthy, alive. Thanks for sharing this interesting take on a very familiar verse.

    susan recently posted…Finding Laughter – What I Learned From a Funny Friend (Day 16)My Profile

  • You must know that this is the scripture the Lord gave me when I was fresh out of hope and filled up with despair for my adult daughter in 2002. I adore this translation too, GREEN HOPE! Gives me God bumps. And how on earth did you get so blessed to turn this into an FMF “green” post. You lucky girl (you know I don’t believe in “luck”….)
    Susan Shipe recently posted…day 19: integrityMy Profile

    • There’s a reason God ordained the Message translation! It speaks to me in fresh ways that make me really think about what’s in the Bible. I’m so glad you found the verse during your time of despair (and that things are better now!).
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…Never Underestimate the Importance of CommunicationMy Profile

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  • Thank you for giving me the honor of sharing this post via my 31 Days post Love Writes Community. Finally getting a chance to comment myself! You are traveling such a tough road, but your words are a blessing to me in their raw honesty because they remind me that God is not after our good works, but after our hearts, wanting us to rest in Him, so that by resting in Him we are strengthened on our weary paths. I needed to re-read this today. Thank you.
    Anna Smit recently posted…Day 31 Love Seeks After All of YouMy Profile

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  • I hadn’t read that translation of Romans 15:13 before so I didn’t know it said green hope, but I love it! Green means growing and a growing hope is possible as you mature spiritually. When you see how He has cared for you in the past, you have a growing belief He will do it in the future.

    Thanks for linking this post up at the Loft – it certainly ties in with our theme!
    Jerralea recently posted…Hope at The LoftMy Profile

  • Anita…those pictures are spectacular! I love them. I’ve never read that translation where it says ‘green hope’. Green…growth, go….hope that grows, hope that goes. I like it. Thank you so much for linking up at The Loft this week. I loved having your voice here.
    Leah Adams recently posted…The Loft Link-Up ~ HopeMy Profile

  • What a lovely word GREEN HOPE the MSG provides in this verse. Thank you for sharing your heart, your struggle and your HOPE with us!