Dipping my toes in self-care

I've been wrestling with how to start this. How to begin sharing with you about this new journey I'm on. A big part of that is just trying to figure out what it will look like for myself even.

I feel very called to this journey of exploring self-care but I also feel very called to pursue it with caution. The reason for this big yellow sign I see in my peripheral is because I believe self-care can be a tricky thing and it can very easily get mixed into the big pot of worldly self-care slogans, retreats, and life plans.

I feel this is dangerous because I don't want anything I do or anything I pursue to ever dull the beauty and uniqueness of walking with Jesus alone.

He doesn't belong amongst those things and neither do I.

I'm not here to tell you that my way is the right way and I'm certainly not here to tell you that your way is wrong. But maybe I can challenge you just a little to ask if there is a way that could be better. If there is a way that you can truly care for yourself from the inside out without ever having to strive for it and without ever having to sacrifice the greater picture of generosity and self-less love.

Could there be a way to self care that is still putting others first and at the same time is leaving you truly thriving?

I believe there is. And my friends, I believe it to be the simplest and sweetest pursuit we will even embark on.

But don't take my word for it. My challenge for you is to come along with me. Dip your toes in the water next to mine and let's figure this one out together. 

Let's go deep, get raw, and see if there is a better way. An easier way. And maybe, just maybe we will find out that the path to healing, fullness, and joy has already been marked out for us. That the small path in the tall grass has already been cut away and we just need to adjust our compass a little to find it. 

I think where I will start is in a place that is very foreign to me. In a word that was once very fractured in my life. But I've known for a little while now that God has been aching to redeem it because I believe it's a word that so defines who he is.

That word is pursue.

I've spent most of my ministry being the pursuer and I love it. I love seeking out people to love, to encourage, and to disciple. And in that I already see such a huge picture of redemption.

But that's not the direction that word is taking in my journey of self-care. I believe God wants me to be pursued. This is so new to me. I've never actually seen myself as someone worth being pursued. I've seen God's relentless pursuit in my life over and over again and I so often see myself as the little lost sheep that he has kept coming back for time and time again. But outside of that, with people, with family and friends, I've never felt pursued. And I've tucked that desire away because I struggle so badly with the fact that I even have a desire like that. 

I so often feel bad that my deeply rooted knowing of God's pursuit doesn't feel like it's enough and it so should be! But when I'm being honest, it doesn't feel like it is. But the cool thing is is that he knows my heart. Oh how I love that. He knows that I need more time to believe him. 

He knows, that even though his pursuit ABSOLUTELY IS ENOUGH, my little human heart aches for more sometimes. 

And he will stop at nothing to bring me closer to him, to love me more, and to use whatever tool he has too to show me his perfect pursuit.

I don't know how this is practically fitting into my journey. 

Maybe it's just taking the time to acknowledge where I'm at, remember who he is, and trust him with the next steps. But I think one little part of this, my part of this, has been to make myself open to being pursued by others. To use my time wisely and to know when to say no. That has been so hard because I want to always say yes to relationships. I want to find more time and space than I actually have to care for others but that doesn't leave room for the relationships God wants to bring into my own life to love and pour into me. 

And I want that. 

I want to be around people who want to give back and want to see my spiritual life, my marriage, and my family thrive.

One way I've made small steps in doing this has been to be open to a new environment for those relationships. To take a little time away from the "normal" and the "comfortable" and step into a new place where God's given me permission to just be led.

And in all this I'm finding I'm not withdrawing from serving and caring for those whom God has entrusted to me but instead it's just equipping me to do it better.

And in this simple step of bravery and obedience I'm already seeing the pursuit. I'm already seeing people reach out toward me and want to take an interest in knowing me. All without wanting anything in return.

I don't know what this looks like for you. But just take a leap here. Step into the unknown of new friendships, new churches, new jobs, or whatever God lays before you and have courage. Know that you are not doing this alone and that God will always make a way and a good way for those whom He loves. And He so desperately loves you!

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