It feels like it’s been forever since my last post. I looked and realized that it had been almost a month and now a I look and we’ve entered fall (although it hasn’t yet felt like it in Georgia), and we’re just a few days from October. The month of September has just flow by and so much has happened in such a short period of time. I was on the road for two weeks, first to Liberty University for my final on campus intensive, and then over the pond to London for a week of work. First trip over and it was a worthwhile trip.
In the midst of all if this, I begin to enter my Practicum/Internship phase of my Masters program. With that we officially rolled out our new counseling ministry where I will base my work as a counselor, especially in the early phases. A lot going on and then this week I begin co-leading a new men’s discipleship group. I share all of this activity with one key point that continues to ring through my head and heart. “Don’t forget to take care of your self.”As Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart…”
I know I’ve written about soul/self-care before, but I can’t reiterate just how important it is. I went to my bride, Amber, this morning and said to her, “With all of the counseling and new ministry work that is coming along, please tell me if I begin to let it take over too much and if it is taking away from my time with you and the kids.” One of the key things I’ve heard in my studies is that counselors and many in ministry as well, are horrible at self-care. Burnout begins to set in, and then we have nothing else to offer.
I’m in a season of transition right now, so there is a lot going on, but I don’t think it’s any mistake that God led me back to the mountains this year with Become Good Soil, where self-care was one of the key topics. I feel that God is definitely teaching me to remember Him and to guard my heart through all of this work. I’m fixing to take on the weight of so many people’s wounds and sufferings. It’s not my weight to bear, though.
There’s a song by Will Reagan and United Pursuit that came on one morning while I was in Virginia early this month. The song is called, ‘Take a Moment.’ The lyrics go as follows:
Who God is and who I am
There You go lifting my load again
No longer am I held by
The yoke of this world
Come up under the yoke of Jesus
His yoke is easy and His burden is so light
“Soul care” is not a category for most people. They don’t plan their week around it. Maybe it feels unnecessary; maybe it feels indulgent. It certainly wasn’t a category for me for too many years. But my friends, the harsh reality is this: life is probably going to get worse on this planet before it gets better; all signs indicate it is getting worse at an alarming rate. “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5). In other words, if you think this is hard, wait till the dog squat really hits the fan.
We are going to want our souls strong and ready for the days ahead, not weary and weak. We are going to need our souls strong. So we must practice soul care. I, for one, am trying to make room for it as part of my “routine.” It really is helping.