The Ugly Truth About Soul Care
Lately, I’ve been really dry spiritually. Thirsty. Not super close to the LORD.
I don’t like to admit that. No one does. It makes us feel guilty or ashamed. Like we are a bad Christian if we’re not walking in ecstasy with Jesus.
Or afraid of being judged. Some will automatically insist I’m harboring some secret sin, making God feel far away.
I can assure you I’m not. I’m as much in love with Jesus as I’ve ever been. I desire to serve Him now more than ever. I know He is with me and I talk to Him regularly. I listen for His voice and read His Word. But I still feel dry.
Because the truth is, life drains us. We don’t have to be navigating a crisis to become depleted. We don’t have to be wrestling through some giant disappointment to feel distant from God. Life, every-day regular life, with all of its demands and to dos, drains us. And even when we’re doing everything right, we sometimes still feel empty.
Which is why we need soul care.
My Own Quest for Soul Care
In ten days, I’m grabbing a beloved sister, we’re heading into salty air, and sitting at the feet of Jesus at a conference. Soul care.
Sometimes we feel selfish saying we need it. Or think something must be wrong with us when we’re not overflowing with joy after our twenty minute quiet time. Often as women we regularly pour ourselves out for our families and friends, yet never slow down long enough to really receive. Or even reflect on how empty we actually are.
Not all soul care needs to be this extravagant. One of my most life altering spiritual moments happened while munching on snacks in my living room watching Steel Magnolias with my neighbors. A girl’s night in. This tired mama of toddlers relished in a night of some laughter and girl talk. (Really spiritual, right?!) In the middle of the movie, Shelby, played by Julia Roberts, says to her mother, “Mama, I’d rather go through this life with five minutes of wonderful, than a whole lifetime of nothing special!” and Sally Field, with tear filled eyes, nods her head in agreement. Instantly, I felt the LORD nudging me in the quietness of my heart. “Child, are you going to choose a predictable, comfortable, nothing special life, or are you going to really trust me and risk it all for five minutes of wonderful?”
Stepping Out and Stepping Up After Soul Care
Three weeks later I was leading a bible study in my living room with my neighbors. Thirty women from eleven different churches- or no church at all- crammed into the new girl in town’s home. (If you’ve ever lived in a small town in the south you know only God can bring a baptist and a pentecostal together in the same Bible study- LOL!) If I hadn’t taken the time for some soul care, would I have heard His voice and felt His leading? Only He knows. But sometimes I wonder how often I miss Him because I am incessantly scurrying around instead of allowing Him to speak and care for my soul.
Our Savior Sought Soul Care
I don’t know if you struggle with soul care because it feels selfish. I don’t know if you feel guilty or ashamed that you don’t feel closer to God. Truth be told, our feelings don’t really matter. Jesus often left the crowds to spend time with God. He sought Soul care. He only had three years to accomplish everything God clothed in human flesh came to do– and He still paused and pulled away. He reclined and relaxed with friends. So you and I can and should also.
Soul care. Because life drains and depletes us. And if we’ve poured ourselves out, we ought never to feel guilty or ashamed.
When was the last time you paused and pulled away for some soul care? What did you do?
Erica Wiggenhorn is the author of two bible studies and a video teaching series by Moody Publishers Women. To find out more about Erica’s writing and speaking ministry, you can visit her website at www.EricaWiggenhorn.com. You can view view her latest teaching video from The Unexplainable Church here!