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Caring for Yourself in Crisis

Apr 30, 2020

This post is by Amy Mykytiuk.

“Ministry has taken a strange turn,” I laughed as I discussed with a friend that a typical day as a  pastor’s wife now consists of delivering toilet paper to a church member.

She responded, “I bet there wasn't a class in seminary that prepared you for this.”

No, but we did learn about dealing with a crisis almost 15 years ago while attending seminary in New Orleans. During Hurricane Katrina, we found ourselves exiled 12 hours from home, unsure of when we could return, or if we would be allowed to return at all.

When the levees broke, we found ourselves homeless, jobless, and without a purpose. Our life had been school, and now school was buried under water, along with our car. We possessed only what material possessions had fit into our van when we evacuated.

It's interesting how much of this quarantine parallels. Schools are closed, and we are exiled, not from home, but from life. Many have lost jobs. Schools are closed, and while our homes haven't been lost, accessibility to the most basic essentials like toilet paper is scarce.

That time was one of the hardest times of my life, but we learned important lessons that apply even now.

Taking care of yourself and your health in the middle of crisis is vital. A good healthy diet and daily exercise can go a long way to staying healthy and fighting off illness, but physical health isn’t your only concern. Mental, emotional, and spiritual health are just as important and actually determine your physical health in the long run. 

Here are a few ways you can take care of yourself and your family.

  1. Show grace in stressful times, to one another and yourself. People say and do weird things when they are stressed, worried, or scared. Avoid feeling offended and give grace instead. 
  2. Make a decision and move forward without questioning whether it was the right one. During stressful times, decisions must be made in stress, but even when we don't have our heads on straight, God can carry us through even a bad decision, which brings me to number three.
  3. Trust God. Rest. Take a break. Allow yourself to mourn, be angry, frustrated, lonely, or tired, but don’t live there. Then rest. While we rest and allow ourselves to heal, God is still on duty, taking care of you, just like he took care of Elijah using the ravens (1 Kings 17).
  4. Feed yourself. Don’t skip meals, and even more importantly, don’t skip Bible study and prayer. Keep a journal or find someone to talk to or pray with so you don’t bottle it up. Look up verses on specific topics like, hope, worry, the promises of God, fear, etc. I like to write prayers on paper and put them in a box, symbolic of leaving my worries in the capable hands of the Almighty.
  5. Get away. Jesus took time away, God commanded it. Jesus slept in the belly of the boat (Matthew 8:23-27) as the storm raged, and He rested easy because He knew God was in control of the storm. He went away to the Garden to pray (Mark 14:35). Take time away from your family, even your kids, to rest and to pray. Most of all, take a break from the world! Turn off the TV, your social media, even your phone for a time. Remove the distractions so that God can calm your mind and your spirit.
  6. Don’t allow any lies into your head. Fill your mind with truth so that you don’t lose hope. “… and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b). Discipline your thoughts! 

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8b).

Finally my prayer for all of us. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”( Romans 15:13).

 

Amy currently works as a quarantined ministry assistant to her pastor husband, Jay, in Southwest Kansas.  Between naps, snacking, and bossing the pastor around, she spends her days sort of homeschooling four of their children. The fifth and oldest is the only essential member of society and spends his days restocking shelves at the local grocery store and fending off toilet paper hoarders. Amy is the author of Send Help.. and Coffee: A Shot of Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. She has done freelance writing and has edited multiple books. In addition to writing history and English lessons, Bible studies, and the occasional blog post, one of her great passions is sharing her testimony with people of all walks of life. You can find her latest musings at www.aftertherain407.home.blog.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

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