Jul 12 2017

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What’s your biggest self-care need?

What’s your biggest self-care need?Doctor’s Orders

I arrived home after the surgery. My head felt loopy from the pain medicine. My job for the short-term: rest. The doctor gave specific instructions. No housework. No heavy lifting. The priority was recovery. If I didn’t follow instructions, I could delay healing. I resisted rest but kept to the mandates. Over time, I healed.

The Cause-Effect Reality

How I wish I could follow the Great Physician’s orders in my every day life. But it’s not so simple. After a life-threatening surgery, I feel the seriousness of my choices. The cause-effect reality hangs in the air. As that memory fades further into the back, I lose the connection between my choices and the priority of healing.

In the spiritual world, healing is called sanctification. This big word is the process of transforming us (a broken mess) into Christ-like perfection. It’s a work God starts in us when we put our faith in Christ.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

God cares about our soul health so much that he doesn’t leave it entirely up to us. He’s intimately involved but he calls us to participate. When we cooperate with God in our healing, the transformation touches every aspect of our lives. Our mind, will, emotions, and body get a make-over as God heals our soul. Talk about an all-inclusive package. Who wouldn’t want that?

When we think God’s orders are optional

The promise is real—God’s working in us. But we get tripped up in following Doctor’s orders. So much of the spiritual mandates get put into our optional category. Why? Because we don’t always see the cause-effect reality. We wait until we’re in a ditch and then want a quick fix. We don’t want emergency surgery. Instead we’d take the pill of escape over God’s healthy soul plan.

Avoiding isn’t caring

Sometimes we call the pill of escape “self-care.” Instead of facing the reasons for being stressed out, we check out and dull our pain. We tell ourselves we “deserve” a break, a treat, a “little something for me” to justify what it is: avoidance. While these false self-care tactics aren’t necessarily bad, they aren’t truly effective in caring for us. Depending on what it is, it can’t be a slow poison. The elixir takes us two steps away from healing and wholeness. The first step by helping us avoid dealing with our issues. The second step by making us believe we’re just fine as we are.

Getting to the root of our needsGodly self-care seeks the root

Godly self-care calls us to go to the root of our care needs. No escape. The biggest fear is facing our pain, but here’s the beauty of godly self-care: we never have to walk the journey of healing alone. God is our Guide, our Healer, our Comforter, and He is our re-Creator in the process of our healing.

How God is helping me with my biggest self-care need

My biggest self-care need right now is rest. I didn’t know I was terrible at it, but my body is giving me clues. My mind fights it like a 2-year-old child. “I don’t wanna.” What’s the root problem? Oh, so much. Fear and pride. Thankfully, I’m not on this journey alone. Here is how God’s walking with me in my stumbling toward self-care:

  • My Guide – He’s helping me become aware. He’s giving me ideas like using Circle to cut my internet access off at midnight.
  • My Healer – When my body is stressing, and I need to sleep, he is helping me to calm.
  • My Comforter – As I face my fears and feelings of shame, he’s there to speak comforting truth to my heart.
  • My re-Creator – I’m not who I used to be. I’m not who I will be. But even now, I see how he is making me whole.

What’s your biggest self-care need?

What are the root problems? In what ways do you see God as Guide, Healer, Comforter, and re-Creator in your life? Or, in ways do you need to invite him into your process?

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